The Collier County Medical Society and the Southwest Florida Physicians Association are working together to get more Naples physicians to transition their private practices from paper records to using Electronic Medical Record systems or EMRs.
“We are doing a survey to understand the overall permeability of EMR within Naples physician practices, what they’re using if anything at all; are they happy with their product?” said Radiologist and Collier County Medical Society President Dr. Richard Pagilara. “And this information is important to number one: help us understand where we need to go in order to try and get as many people at 100% compliance with meaningful use and eventually help us to make sure that the HIE, the Health Information Exchange is a viable and useful entity.”
The Health information exchange is what allows physician offices and hospitals to share patient data. The two big hospital systems in Collier County, Naples Community Hospitals and Physician’s Regional Hospitals already use electric medical record systems.
Dr. Pagliara admits, transitioning an office to an EMR system can be expensive, but notes cost savings come in the form of time and resources saved by no longer needing to maintain paper records and by avoiding unnecessary testing or treatment on patients. “We can really limit or reduce the amount of duplicate ordering for ancillary services,” said Pagliara. “If doctor B wants a CBC and is unaware that Doctor A ordered it last week, a duplicate order could be diverted, reducing the cost of healthcare, not only globally, but maybe out of the patient’s pocket.”
Federal stimulus funds are available as an incentive for more doctors to switch to EMRs, but Dr. Pagliara said time is running out to take advantage of that money. Pagliara says he hopes to have the survey data completed and analyzed by the end of the year.