Case Study

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Shasta Orthopedics Group

When Paul Schwartz, MD, founded Shasta Orthopedics in 1993, the practice promptly grew. The following year, John Lange, MD, joined the practice, and Stephen Ferraro, MD, came on board in 1997. Since then, Shasta Orthopedics has grown to be the largest Orthopedic and Sports Medicine practice in the North State region of California, with nine physicians and three physician assistants.

For eight years, the practice leveraged an electronic health record (EHR) solution but later decided to select a different company – one that could adapt to their particular needs. “We looked at a number of other electronic health records systems,” said Dr. Schwartz. “Ultimately we chose Aprima for their responsiveness and willingness to adapt their product to our needs.”

In 2009, the practice began using the Aprima EHR solution.

Customized For Specialty Practice Needs

One of the most compelling reasons why Shasta Ortho selected Aprima was their enthusiastic and adept response to customizing the system to suit the practice’s needs.

“Before using Aprima, we had developed functionalities that weren’t prevalent at the time. Aprima readily built these functionalities into their EHR for us,” said Dr. Schwartz.

In particular, Dr. Schwartz appreciated the Orthopedic specialty vocabulary that Aprima built into the system. “I really like the specialty vocabulary that Aprima worked hard to develop,” he said. “I see different programs every year, and the Orthopedic vocabulary in Aprima’s system is head and shoulders above other programs.”

Smooth Implementation and Comprehensive Training

Initially Drs. Schwartz and Lange were the only ones using Aprima at the rapidly growing practice. After they experienced how well it worked, they decided to roll out Aprima to everyone. “The implementation process was great,” said Dr. Schwartz. “Aprima conducted training for the entire team.”

Increased Efficiency

Another advantage Aprima offers is a more efficient workflow for placing orders. In fact, the ordering process is easy, even when the practice needs a specific piece of equipment for surgery. “I can generate a custom order, where I have 20 different things ordered, and I’ll know what kind of specialized orders there are and how long it will take to receive them,” said Dr. Schwartz.

The practice is even able to keep office expenses down by needing fewer full-time employees to handle tasks such as gaining authorizations and placing orders. “The way we manage the orders for the office through Aprima is very streamlined. That’s my favorite part of the program,” he said.

Versatile, Nimble Solutions

“One of the advantages of Aprima is the versatility it offers” said Dr. Schwartz. “Aprima gives us the ability to change things on the fly while we work. With our previous EHR system, it was more difficult and time-consuming.”

Rapid Documentation

Dr. Schwartz uses a blended approach to documentation in Aprima, whereby he leverages the use of a medical assistant to do initial data entry such as PMH, medication reconciliation and vitals, and use of a scribe for lengthy, custom data entries, as well as for routine database field selection. This way he can spend more time during the visit focused on the patient and less time in documentation.

When weighing Aprima’s documentation speed capabilities against another large EHR, Dr. Schwartz has found that Aprima compares very favorably because it is so versatile and allows input based on the provider’s preference: macros, templates, direct entry with field selection, typing, Dragon, or scribes.