24 professionals from Raleigh Neurology Associates that use Centricity Practice Solution attested to Meaningful Use in a carefully planned process that required no major changes in ways of practicing medicine.
Business as Usual - Raleigh Neurology Associates Case Study
SummaryRaleigh Neurology Associates in the Raleigh-Durhamarea of North Carolina is one of the largest neurologypractices in the southeast. In 2011, Raleigh Neurologyadopted the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) moduleof Centricity Practice Solution and encouraged itsproviders to attest to Meaningful Use. Some cliniciansinitially feared changes in their ways of practicing andresisted the process. However, successful attestationby 24 eligible professionals soon demonstrated thatthe flexibility of the Stage 1 requirements and thedesign of the Meaningful-Use-certified EMR supportedunobtrusive data reporting that facilitated timelyattestation. Keys to success:• Careful planning and the ability to customizeworkflows in Centricity Practice Solution ensureda smooth transition to an EMR.• Pre-built Meaningful Use reports from GE Healthcarehelped clinicians track their progress and supportprocess fine-tuning.• Neurologists met some measures by demonstratingexemption.• A value-added reseller provided essential supportthroughout the process.24 professionals from Raleigh NeurologyAssociates that use Centricity Practice Solutionattested to Meaningful Use in a carefully plannedprocess that required no major changes in waysof practicing medicine.Business as Usual
Early EMR adoption helped avoid future penaltiesand regulatory issuesIn 2010, CFO Cindy Nyberg felt the threat of a regulatoryavalanche building overhead: HIPAA 5010, MeaningfulUse, ICD-10. At the time, her practice, Raleigh NeurologyAssociates, was operating comfortably with scannedpaper charts and the Practice Management (PM) moduleof Centricity Practice Solution. However, as she charted acourse for the next five years, Nyberg realized that a seriesof proactive preparations starting with the adoption of anEMR and attestation for Stage 1 of Meaningful Use woulddefuse the mounting pressures without burying her providers.“Some adopt EMRs to obtain the Meaningful Use incentives,”says Nyberg. “To me, that’s just a bonus. The real goal wasavoiding penalties in 2015. We acted early because I wantedto give my providers six to twelve months to becomecompletely comfortable with the EMR and Meaningful Usebefore tackling ICD-10.” The decision to upgrade to theintegrated EMR/PM system from GE Healthcare formedthe cornerstone of the plan.Explicitly including Meaningful Use in the EMRimplementation plan was criticalWith a clear goal in mind, Raleigh Neurology made MeaningfulUse integral to their EMR planning and rollout. Preparationsincluded researching Meaningful Use, educating cliniciansand support staff, deciding which menu sets to use forattestation, determining how to incorporate Meaningful Useinto clinical workflows, building encounter forms to supportthose workflows and to capture the necessary data, andpre-loading patient data from the previous system’s scannedcharts into Centricity Practice Solution.Virtual OfficeWare of Pittsburgh, a GE Healthcare value-addedreseller, supported the process and provided on-site help atgo-live for all three practice locations. “Raleigh’s project teamwas amazing,” notes Jill Kline, Corporate Trainer at VirtualOfficeWare. “They embraced our suggestions and took itupon themselves to become experts.” The practice was fullylive by September 2011 and immediately began monitoringits performance on the Meaningful Use measures.Pre-built Meaningful Use reports acceleratedsuccessful attestationRaleigh Neurology tracked their progress using pre-builtMeaningful Use reports available from GE Healthcare thatproved “very easy to use and provided everything necessaryfor us to review calculations and ensure accuracy for ourattestation,” notes Compliance Manager Shenik Pinder.Harriet Hildebrand, EHR Manager, adds that troubleshootingunexpected results was straightforward because it was“so easy to understand what data is being pulled into thereport.” For example, when data failed to appear, the staffcould determine if providers needed additional training orif the custom-built encounter forms required adjustment.Hildebrand continues, If figures observed on the reportswere not within expected ranges for our business, the staffcould easily run queries to help identify the disconnect.“We acted early because I wanted to give my providerssix to twelve months to become completely comfortablewith the EMR and Meaningful Use before tackling ICD-10.”Cindy NybergChief Financial OfficerRaleigh Neurology AssociatesCase HighlightsSituation:• Neurology specialty seeking to attestto Meaningful Use• 25 physicians• Three locations in the Raleigh-Durham areaof North CarolinaResults:• 96% of EPs attested to Stage 1, capturing themaximum available incentive• All but one attested within six months of go-live
Neurologists attested without material changes inthe way they practiceUpon learning of the plan to adopt an EMR and attest toMeaningful Use, some clinicians feared the transition wouldforce them to practice outside their specialty and addsignificantly to their workload. The pre-built reports, whichautomatically determined whether providers were exemptfrom meeting specific measures, helped project leaders allayproviders’ concerns. In fact, 23 of 25 physicians attestedwithin six months after Centricity Practice Solution went liveand without material changes to the way they practicedmedicine. Only two specialists encountered challenges. Oneclinician who only performs diagnostic tests and does notconduct office visits chose not to attest because doing sowould have required him to repeat the data entry of hisreferring colleagues. A neuroopthalmologist whose patientsonly infrequently required blood pressure readings initiallyfound herself unable to claim exemption from one requiredmeasure; however, she soon successfully attested once herstaff began taking readings for all her patients.Confidence in GE Healthcare – now and in the futureA decade of experience with the GE Healthcare PM moduleconvinced Raleigh Neurology that Centricity Practice Solutionwould help them prepare for Meaningful Use attestation.Hildebrand recalls, “We were confident that partnering withGE Healthcare was right for our organization.” Confirmationthat Centricity Practice Solution was ONC-certified as acomplete EHR for Meaningful Use solidified the decision. With24 successful attestations, Nyberg believes her providers willsoon be ready to take on the next regulatory hurdle. Whenthat time comes, she anticipates that GE Healthcare will onceagain stand by her side.About Raleigh Neurology AssociatesRaleigh Neurology Associates serves more than 250,000people from three locations in and around Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and is one of the largestneurology practices in the southeast. Backed bystate-of-the-art facilities, its 25 physicians provideservices that include care for stroke, seizures, multiplesclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, neckand back pain, headaches, and sleep disorders.“We were confident that partnering with GE Healthcarewas right for our organization.”Raleigh Neurology Associates