MedAccess Urgent Care owner Dr. Dan Phillips says one of the worst business decisions he’s made is switching from Practice Velocity to a different EMR provider. “We were looking to the future and had the potential to be doing more primary care and were convinced that [the other EMR provider] was a better product for that.”
MedAccess has three urgent care centers and one occupational medicine clinic in North Carolina. All three urgent care centers see 80-100 patients per day combined, with the busiest clinic seeing 40-50 patients per day, and the newest clinic seeing 10-15 patients per day. The first clinic opened in 2008, and the second opened in 2012. MedAccess initially used Practice Velocity’s PiVoT modified EMR but switched to the VelociDoc urgent care EMR when that product was released later in 2008.
After being with Practice Velocity for eight years, MedAccess Urgent Care switched to a different EMR provider in pursuit of a better occupational medicine module and patient and employer portals. Within less than a year, MedAccess switched right back to Practice Velocity.
“[The other EMR provider] is not an urgent care product,” says Dr. Phillips. “It made a mess of our billing and just wasn’t user friendly for documenting urgent care visits. There were no templates for fractures, x-ray, lacerations. A lot of that stuff we had to build ourselves, so it just wasn’t as efficient as what we’re accustomed to [with Practice Velocity].”
After only 11 months of using another EMR, Dr. Phillips and his team found they were spending twice as much for a service that didn’t even offer the features they were looking for. According to Dr. Phillips, the system wasn’t user-friendly for documenting urgent care visits, so it slowed his team down. Unlike Practice Velocity, the other EMR couldn’t tell his staff whether charts were complete, so many of their charts were sent back from coding. The other EMR also required his team to scan and fax documents into the system, racking up unanticipated costs for toner, copy paper and staff time.
But after the painful experience of transitioning to this other EMR, Dr. Phillips had some trepidation about switching back.
“The switch from PV to [the other EMR provider] in 30 years of medical practice was the most painful thing I’ve ever done. I will retire before switching EMRs again,” says Dr. Phillips. “It was a difficult transition. We had unanticipated cash flow interruption after we switched [to the other EMR], and their billing side wasn’t ready after four months.”
His experience switching back to Practice Velocity? Seamless.
Dr. Phillips says the service he and his team received from Practice Velocity during the transition back was better than they experienced before switching. The practice saw almost no interruption of cash flow, and since all of their providers had already used Practice Velocity, they didn’t require any additional training. And the missing features that made Dr. Phillips switch to a different EMR? In the time Dr. Phillips and his team were using a different EMR provider, Practice Velocity developed and released the features he and his team were looking for. Dr. Phillips now recommends Practice Velocity to those whose focus is urgent care and occupational health because the “product is made for that.” He says Practice Velocity’s products are fast and easy to learn, and his staff is documenting much better from a risk management standpoint because they’re better able to track if patients have been to the hospital or been on a revisit.
“I feel back at home with PV,” says Dr. Phillips. “I’m familiar with the product, I can use it quickly and I’m very, very happy that we made the decision to come back.”