As promised in my last blog, I told you I would let you know which EMR system I chose and why. There are gobs of EMR systems available in the aesthetic marketplace, so choosing the right one for your practice takes due diligence. It’s very easy to go with paper charts and oh-so tempting for those of us who aren’t technologically gifted, but the fact of the matter is, you need electronic charting for a sound and healthy practice.
Coming from a practice that used CosmetiSoft, I had an idea of what I wanted and didn’t want in a system. I knew I wanted to choose a different system than the one I was accustomed because CosmetiSoft is not the easiest to navigate (in my opinion) and I found the reporting tools to be cumbersome.
I called my friend Dawn Sagrillo, NP, in Whitefish, Minnesota, who owns Refresh Medspa. She is a fellow injector who has years of experience and I value her opinion greatly. I look up to her as a mentor in the business. I asked her what system she chose and she said PatientNow. I had always heard about PatientNow EMR and with her positive feedback, it became the software I researched first.
I watched the quick online PatientNow demo, spoke with one of the representatives on the phone and participated in a 30 minute online demonstration. I loved what I saw.
Here are some of the features I loved about PatientNow during the demo:
- Treatment pathways. When a patient either calls or schedules a procedure, a series of scheduled and customized emails go out to the patient pertaining to that procedure. This is like in house marketing awesome-sauce!
- Commission tools. If you have a larger practice with multiple providers, who also have differing commission structures, each provider’s commission can be customized. Hallelujah. That feature, in and of itself, is a managerial and payroll specialist God-send.
- Reporting. Coming from a system that had poor reporting features, the reports I felt were of most importance. The needed reports were automatically templated in PatientNow. Voila!
- Texting. Text reminders for appointments are built into the system, called TextNow. You do not have to pay for this extra feature. In addition, patients can text into the system with photos that can be easily downloaded into their chart. They can also text the system if they need to change or cancel an appointment. Convenience at its finest.
I looked at a few other EMR systems, but at the end of the day, I negotiated a great deal with PatientNow (a two year contract) and have not regretted it yet. My current PatientNow system is server based and will have a cloud based option in the near future. I have the server in my office, in a server rack (it’s huge) but it’s functioned perfectly for me.
Now that I have been using the system for 6 months, I still love Patient Now. Above, I gave you the reasons why I chose it, now I will give the reasons why I still love it.
- Texting. TextNow is very convenient in today’s world of “send me a picture of your bruising.” Patients can text a photo to the system and NOT my personal cell. Awwwww! In addition, appointment text reminders are truly preferred, for the most part. Simple and easy.
- Great training. We had Terrell as our training. We had 6 (I think) live trainings with him on the phone, each lasting an hour or so. Terrell has been our man! They also will send pre-recorded trainings of the software so new employees can be trained. We keep all the trainings in an Evernote folder and access when needed.
- Sync with Google calendar. There isn’t an app per se that allows you to see your schedule, but the software can be synced with Google calendars so that you can view your day at a glance on your cell.
- Reporting. I can pull up commissions for a specific employee within seconds for payroll. I use Paychex for payroll, email them every two weeks with my employees’ wages and the commission report is always spot on.
- Sticky notes. Who doesn’t love a good ole’ sticky note? We often use these notes to write patients’ Brilliant Distinctions log in/password. We also use these notes to document anything we need to remember about the patient that I don’t necessarily want to chart in the medical record.
- Surface Pro. We have two desktops and two Surface Pros linked to the system. I am a Mac girl, but the Surface Pro is slim and easy to use.
There are many other reasons why I love PatientNow but I won’t get into all of them on this blog. Of course, there are things I wish could be improved or just easier to use.
- Inventory. PatientNow will keep up with inventory, such as Botox units, but you have to input the number of units you have on hand versus the number of vials. The system will alert you when the inventory is low, which is nice.
- Server based. I will say that the server isn’t necessarily a bad thing…it’s just a bulky, huge thing in the back of my office hallway. The server is big, heavy and must be considered if you have a small office space.
- Photos using the Surface Pro. I am not savvy enough with the Surface Pro to use the function of capturing photos with the laptop camera, then transferring it over to PatientNow software. You can’t take pictures within the system; you must upload them from the Surface Pro camera/photo album. It’s completely doable but very cumbersome to me. When it comes to time, I found that taking pictures with an ipad and housing all my patient photos on an ipad that is used exclusively for the practice is far more efficient.
- Treatment pathways. Treatment pathways are a big reason why I bought the system, however, they are not easy to customize. In fact, we aren’t using them currently because of the time it takes to customize and optimize the pathway for each procedure. This is on my to-do list no doubt.
- On-line booking. To be honest, we purchased this feature as an add-on, and then cancelled. It was very cumbersome to incorporate into our practice. It needs some tweaking on customization before I will buy into again.
Well, I hope this helps you have greater insight into PatientNow, or at least know what to look for when searching the perfect system. Good luck!