Case Study

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Rheumatology Associates of South TX

A few years after opening Rheumatology Associates of South Texas in 2005, the physicians decided that the practice should move from paper to an electronic health record (EHR) system in the near future.

They began reviewing and testing multiple products and ultimately selected Aprima’s EHR and PM systems for their two San Antonio, Texas, Rheumatology practice locations, which today include five physicians, four physician assistants and two nurse practitioners.

“Aprima delivered the system functionalities, such as rapid notetaking and easy customization, that we wanted for our practice,” said Thomas Rennie, MD. “No other company could match their capabilities. Plus, we were very pleased with how good our notes looked.”

In 2008, Rheumatology Associates of South Texas began implementing and using Aprima.

Strong Implementation Support Team

“I knew what I needed and wanted, but I didn’t know how to make it all happen,” said Dr. Rennie. “Aprima’s Implementation Team spent a lot of time up front with us before we implemented it into our practice.”

Before the practice went live with the product, Aprima set up planning meetings with the Rheumatologists and customized the Rheumatology content for things like Chief Complaints, HPIs and exams.

The practice then chose to gradually begin implementing Aprima, so that they wouldn’t risk decreasing the number of patients they saw. By doing so, the practice was able to keep the revenue going strong as they eased into using the product.

Ease of Customization

One of the biggest reasons why Rheumatology Associates of South Texas chose Aprima EHR was because of its ability to easily customize the product to fit each provider’s style. The providers were able to change the terminology and format to match their individual preferences.

“We were able to customize the product right out of the box for our Rheumatology practice,” stated Dr. Rennie.

Overall, Rheumatology Associates of South Texas has found the system to be easy to use and straightforward.

Increased Productivity

Another one of the major reasons Dr. Rennie’s practice chose Aprima was for the benefit of the solution’s ability to help providers create notes to referring physicians more quickly and easily. Now that so much information is more easily within reach because of Aprima, the practice has found that they’re able to do more, faster.

This increased productivity even helped the practice improve their bottom line. Once the practice moved to Aprima, they were able to bring the billing in house, instead of paying a billing company.

“Our productivity has definitely increased,” stated Dr. Rennie. “I’m able to document the physical exams while I’m seeing the patient. By the end of the day, my notes are completed and they’re out to the insurance company for billing.”

Convenience of Aprima Mobile

“Over the last eight years, we’ve found so many additional things we like about Aprima,”
said Dr. Rennie.

One of these things is the Aprima mobile app for Apple®- and Android™-based smartphones and tablets, which Dr. Rennie uses on his phone. With this new technology, he’s able to access his EHR data anywhere he goes.

“It comes in handy when you’re on call and not at your computer,” said Dr. Rennie. “For example, I was out and about this weekend while on call, and I was able to quickly look up a patient’s information on my phone before responding to the request for a medication refill.
I love it!”

Plus, with Aprima Mobile, Dr. Rennie finds it easy to review labs, communicate internally through the messaging function, and become familiar with other physicians’ patients. In all, it’s like having a remote-access desktop.

Forward Thinking, Proactive Solution for Rheumatology Practices

From helping ensure they are meeting criteria for Meaningful Use, to transitioning easily from
ICD-9 to ICD-10, Aprima’s solution helps give Rheumatologists peace of mind.

“There are a lot of doctors who struggle with these things,” stated Dr. Rennie. “Aprima makes sure their clients have everything they need to succeed. They are really forward thinking and proactive in how they’ve incorporated these aspects into their system.”

Ongoing Value-Added Support

After implementing the solution, Dr. Rennie has continued to be impressed with the ongoing support he’s received from the dedicated team at Aprima.

“I’ve worked with many Aprima staff throughout the years. and they’ve all been very helpful,” Dr. Rennie stated.

In addition to being responsive to his requests, he’s found that Aprima heavily invests in adding value for current users. As one example, Dr. Rennie mentioned the Annual User Conference that Aprima hosts in Dallas.

“I go to the Aprima conference every year, and I think it’s a great opportunity to take phenomenal classes, network, and learn from and help other providers. This conference is great year after year,” said Dr. Rennie.

After eight years, Dr. Rennie continues to be delighted by the Aprima EHR and PM systems.