Case Study

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Central Arizona Pain Institute

Central Arizona Pain Institute has been growing steadily since Eric T. Baumann, MD opened the Pain Management specialty practice in the summer of 2005. Margie Anacaya, MD, and a nurse practitioner came on board in 2007. A second nurse practitioner joined two years later, in 2009.

“We tried to implement the EHR that our billing company was using, but we didn’t get past the first day,” Dr. Anacaya recalled. They continued to use that billing company, but returned to using paper charts and dictation.

Therefore, when the practice began looking for an Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution, they already knew what they didn’t want, based upon their negative experience with their current and previous billing companies. They aimed to find a company that would adapt to and address their particular needs.

After substantial research, which included looking at different companies, talking with vendors, and testing a variety of software and systems, the practice selected the Aprima EHR and PM solution.

“We chose Aprima for the price point and because their system looked really easy to mold to our needs as a specialty practice,” Dr. Anacaya stated.

Smooth Implementation

In August 2011, the practice went live with Aprima EHR and PM. To help ensure the practice was fully ready to go live, their assigned project manager held extensive conversations with Dr. Anacaya and others at the practice. Additionally, Aprima’s implementation professionals remained onsite at the practice for several extra days after going live, to ensure everything was running smoothly and that everyone in the practice felt confident using the system.

In particular, Dr. Anacaya wanted Dr. Baumann, the founder of the practice, to be satisfied with the new systems she had chosen.

“Dr. Baumann was very happy with Aprima,” Dr. Anacaya said. “I hardly had to do anything after implementation.” Dr. Anacaya reported that Dr. Baumann was especially pleased with how Aprima supported and enhanced the way he prefers to work. He was worried that the EHR would slow down his work flow; instead he found that it made him faster.

Customized for Pain Management Needs

One of the most rewarding aspects of the Aprima EHR for the practice is how easy it was to tailor the solution to their specific needs and patient complaints. This adaptability facilitated rapid and effortless documentation for a practice like Central Arizona Pain Institute, which specializes in Pain Management.

For example, the practice uses Aprima’s built-in Common Problem Palette tool to easily retrieve information associated with the most common symptoms, diagnoses, procedures and medications for their specific patient population. Providers at the practice noted that they can complete their charts in just a few key strokes – a huge time saver for this busy practice.

“Because of the opiates we use and our elderly populations, the fact that drug interactions pop up instantaneously is an invaluable feature for our specialty,” said Dr. Anacaya.

Voice Recognition Feature Yields Significant Cost Savings

“Dr. Baumann routinely dictates his notes,” Dr. Anacaya stated. “Therefore, it was important that any solution would enable us to be just as quick as or quicker than what we had before.”

In fact, several people at the practice frequently use dictation. Before using Aprima EHR, the office staff spent a significant amount of time, not to mention supplies, downloading information and printing it out.

The voice recognition feature facilitates faster dictation and documentation for the practice. Better yet, it saves the practice $3,500 per month on average in dictation costs alone, Dr. Anacaya reported.

Increased Collections and Revenue

The practice continued to use the same billing company who promised that they could effectively use the EHR for billing. Instead, they noticed collections had slowed down. “After several meetings with our billing company with no improvement, we knew we had to look for another solution to our issues. When we found out that Aprima offered Revenue Cycle Management, we knew we had to research this as a potential addition to the successful partnership we already had with Aprima.”

In August 2013, they engaged Aprima for RCM. “Within the first month that we began using Aprima RCM, we noticed a big difference in our revenue,” Dr. Anacaya said. “We’ve been thrilled to see that our collections have improved by at least 20% – and it’s not because we’ve been working more!”

Responsive Customer Service and Support

One of the biggest concerns Central Arizona Pain Institute had before using Aprima was whether they would be adequately responsive to their needs, given the distance of Aprima’s office from Arizona.

“Our prior billing company was an hour away from us. Aprima was even farther,” said Dr. Anacaya. “But I’m able to get a quick response from Aprima when I have a question – faster even than I could get with the other, closer company.”

Although Aprima has grown substantially, Dr. Anacaya has noticed that Aprima has become even more responsive.

“The ongoing support and weekly updates we receive from Aprima have been really good,” reported Dr. Anacaya. “Aprima responds to my calls within 24-48 hours. Plus, we’ve never had a problem with our system.”

Improved Internal Communication and Documentation

“The Instant Message feature is wonderful if you’re with a patient and you need something done,” Dr. Anacaya said. She even creates procedure requests instantly from her laptop while in the exam room. Additionally, the practice finds it helpful that they can keep tasks in patients’ charts so that they know if they’re waiting on results or other information.

The features and capabilities of Aprima have enabled Central Arizona Pain Institute to do things they haven’t been able to accomplish previously. In fact, the practice reports that their internal communication and documentation have improved as a result of Aprima.