Getting patient information right, right from the start

Dr Katayoon Kiani was new to clinical practice when she decided to take part in the Practice Support Program's patient panel assessment process. She considers herself to be very computer literate, and says she has always understood the value of taking extra time to register new patients in order to create highly searchable patient records. “I started my clinical practice one year ago,” says Dr Kiani, “So it was great to participate in the panel assessment process and enter comprehensive patient information in the EMR right from the start, and set everything up for my patients.”

understanding your
patient panel

The PSP's support during the patient panel assessment process provided an important learning opportunity for Dr Kiani and her colleagues. In order to undertake the process, physicians need to be comfortable with computers, and Dr Kiani feels that those who aren’t can truly benefit from the workshops and support offered by PSP. The PSP workshop is one of the best workshops she’s had, she says – she now feels much more comfortable using interventions and functionality in the EMR, making it much easier to call patients in for follow-up appointments when needed. The biggest challenge she and her colleagues identified in the process was the time commitment.

The PSP coordinator who worked with Dr Kiani and her colleagues assisted with their time management concerns by offering a flexible schedule, and plenty of support in adjusting the clinic’s processes—helping clinic staff understand that the time spent collecting more comprehensive information in the patient registration process pays off in the future, with time savings revealed once the EMR is functioning optimally. MOAs can also provide important support in the panel assessment process, says Dr Kiani, depending on the role they have in the office. “I think the role of the MOA is really helpful. I do most of my billing myself, but I’d say [the work split] would usually be 60/40, the doctors being responsible for 60%.”

“Ideally,” she says, “EMR reporting functions will allow me to go back and search my patients’ record—for complex care issues or whatever I want to look for—and I can find it quickly and easily, and efficiently follow up with my patients.” She and the other two physicians intend to keep their patient panels up to date, and Dr Kiani hopes that the time they’ve spent learning to use their EMR more efficiently will continue to benefit the clinic in the future.

“We will definitely maintain our patient panel—keep entering good information from the start, right from patient intake, and use it for follow-up.” About the overall process, she says “It was a great experience for me.”