When the Greenbelt Family Medical Team in Ottawa’s suburb of Nepean opened its doors in 2011, the clinic had eight physicians. Today, the busy practice serves 23,000 patients and has not only doubled its number of doctors, it has also added a psychologist, social worker and dietician to its multi-disciplinary team.
The future-forward clinic is an academic site for medical students and residents, and is about to become a primary research location to conduct clinical research on new drugs entering the Canadian market. Cleary, Greenbelt is committed to advancing healthcare delivery in Canada – starting with high-touch patient care in its own clinic.
The choice was simple: it had to be PS Suite
Since day one, the Greenbelt Team has counted on a PS Suite EMR to streamline its workflow, allow patients to be involved in their own care, and aim to improve the healthcare experience overall.
For Dr. Roozbeh Matin, one of the founding physicians, PS Suite was “the only choice for the Greenbelt clinic.” As a medical resident, Dr. Matin saw first-hand the benefits of the platform – then called Practice Solutions.
“During my training, I discovered that not all EMRs are equal. Many have truncated tasks requiring a lot of clicking to get data sets such as lab results, family history and medications. It’s supposed to be more intuitive, but it is actually the opposite. That’s where PS Suite excels. PS Suite logically looks like a patient chart as it is a chronological entry of medical notes. Simply scroll up to see what was discussed during the last visit to contextualize the current one,” says Dr. Matin.
TELUS Health brings continuous improvements to PS Suite
Considered a good EMR option during Dr. Matin’s residency, Practice Solutions still had some user frustrations. “Client services and support was poor. Updates were buggy and caused the system to shut down at times, which is unnerving when you depend on your EMR to run your clinic.”
When TELUS Health purchased Practice Solutions in 2013, the EMR name was changed to PS Suite and TELUS began to work out the wrinkles. “The functionality improved. Communication and customer service support are also better,” says Dr. Matin.
One of the biggest improvements is the controlled release of updates. “Now updates are tested before they are rolled out, and they are released in frequent, small change increments – as opposed to large changes all at once. That’s made the stability of the EMR better and for us – far less anxiety-provoking,” says Dr. Matin.
EMR Mobile keeps doctors in touch with patients when they’re out of the office
Dr. Matin and other physicians at Greenbelt were among the first to try TELUS EMR Mobile, a free mobile app that syncs with PS Suite. The results didn’t disappoint the clinic.
“The mobile app is great at retrieving data. I can see lab results and patient prescriptions, read previous notes, and reply to messages,” says Dr. Matin. “If I’m away from the office and there’s an emergency, I can usually address a patient’s problem from wherever I am at the time.”
Health Myself connects patients to the clinic and saves valuable time
Four years ago, the Greenbelt Family Medical Team introduced the Health Myself portal to its patients. Today, 80% of its patients use the online portal and find it an “indispensable tool” to stay in touch with the clinic and manage their own appointment bookings. For the Greenbelt Team, Health Myself helps to decrease patient no-shows and allows clinic staff to focus on other administrative tasks.
“Health Myself is an incredible extension of the functionality of PS Suite,” states Dr. Matin. “We directly communicate with our patients through that portal. We have the ability to send prescriptions and lab requisitions without our patients having to come in. They can book their own appointments online, which has improved patient satisfaction and assisted in alleviating our internal workload.”
The next step is to introduce patients to the Health Myself mobile app, which will allow them to check-in from their mobile phone when they arrive at the clinic.
Dr. Matin considers that part of delivering a positive patient experience is being supported by a streamlined and digitized workflow platform. As the Greenbelt Family Medical Team continues to evolve, they will continue to rely on PS Suite as the foundation to help deliver new innovations, and aim to improve patient access and the healthcare experience.