Having a life-threatening allergy or immune system disorder can be frightening. That’s why the NL Allergy & Immunology clinic in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador makes every effort to provide high-touch service to its patients.
While there are other medical clinics in the city that offer allergy testing, NL Allergy & Immunology is the only one with board-certified immunologists on staff. The clinic is dedicated to the assessment and treatment of adults and children with food, medicine and environmental allergies, chronic hives, asthma and immunodeficiencies.
Office manager and self-titled “Lord of the Files”, Jerry Arsenault, says NL Allergy & Immunology prides itself on being easily accessible to their patients. “It can be challenging to get in to see doctors in the city who are not allergy specialists. We do what we can to help our patients. When they call in, they talk to a real person. If they have questions, we find the answers.”
Seized the opportunity to replace “administratively taxing” EMR.
When the clinic opened its doors in 2014, there weren’t many EMR options available. Jerry describes their first EMR platform as “administratively taxing.” He rhymes off a list of pain points: unmet administrative needs, poor document control, poor customer support, poor billing management, no integration of patient communications. “I wanted to switch from day one, but we just didn’t have a better choice,” he says.
Then, the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information announced their EMR program called eDOCSNL featuring Med Access EMR from TELUS Health, and Jerry’s wish was granted.
Designed for primary care physicians and specialists, Med Access is a highly configurable, web-based EMR that adapts to the clinic’s workflow needs. Med Access offers robust reporting, powerful task management, point-of-care decision support and convenient remote access.
Jerry describes the difference as “astonishing” and states, “in my mind, Med Access works exactly as I hoped it would.”
Med Access connects to the province’s EHR (Electronic Health Record) platform to enhance the delivery of care between health professionals throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The EHR keeps an updated digital health record of every patient – accessible at the point of care when and where it’s needed.
Perfect pairing with patient engagement system.
While making the switch to Med Access, NL Allergy & Immunology added the Cliniconex patient engagement system to assist with notifications and communications. “One of the biggest issues we have is a large volume of referrals,’” says Jerry. “It’s just not possible to call everyone individually.”
Jerry says the combination of Med Access and Cliniconex has reduced the clinic’s workload by 25%. “With the previous system, we had to send notifications through a hodgepodge process that took about five minutes per patient. Med Access and Cliniconex work together seamlessly. It’s a clean drag and drop that takes maybe 35 seconds.”
Jerry appreciates the daily report outlining who was notified and how. It shows him how many patients received and opened their messages, and if a contact notification failed.
Another feature that has proven extremely helpful is the ability to send text messages and add information such as the clinic address, phone number and reminders on preparing for appointments. “It has greatly reduced our phone calls from patients with questions. We get only 20 calls a day now instead of the usual 70,” he says.
The clinic’s busy front office is operating like a well-oiled machine with the aid of Med Access and Cliniconex. Occasionally, when help is needed, friendly and knowledgeable people are a direct call away. Should updates or new EMR enhancements be required in the future, Jerry knows with every confidence that the process will be smooth and easy.