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Never Ending EMR Saga

on December 10th, 2010 | Filed under Optoblog, Reviews

I have previously announced my intention to dump OfficeMate because I didn’t want to spend close to $1000 updating my server software from WSBS2003 to WS2008R2-standard for the version 9 upgrade (and that’s in addition to the painful yearly software agreement fee).

Well, now I’m not so sure. All I need is for something to easily enter data and claims, export an ANSI 837 file, and include a ledger, receipts, and reports system so that I can easily see my accounts recievable.

Well, apparently that’s too much to ask because I have test driven several competitors, and believe it or not, their interfaces are actually worse than OfficeMate’s!. Several of them won’t export a simple ANSI 837 file to upload to a clearing house like Apex. Maybe it’s just because I’m used to the OfficeMate system after four years. I can quickly do all my insurance billing and receipts myself (no paid help) in OM8. Of course, so far this year I only bill insurance for 27% of my exams, which is close to average for my practice profile.

So if I abandon OM for another system, it’s going to take me way more time to process claims and figure out accounts receivable. With Walmart getting into the Medicaid game on glasses, now I’m sure I’ll have even more insurance to bill in 2011. So, as of now, I am leaning towards biting the bullet and doing what it takes to upgrade to OfficeMate 9.

An interesting topic is how many mouse clicks per patient one needs in EHR/PIM software. A doc at EHR Compare forum reports that it takes his office 200 clicks per patient in OfficeMate. Is it any wonder that many docs think EHRs are not ready for prime time? (Example 1, 2, 3)

Why hasn’t someone created a free or cheap, open sourced PIM/EHR that is easily navigable? I tried OpenEMR (which you can install on a windows machine using XAMPP), but it was confusing how to create charges with attached ICD9 and CPT codes, let alone create an ANSI 837 file.

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3 Responses to “Never Ending EMR Saga”

  1. Anonymous User says:

    What is wrong with just sticking with OfficeMate 8?

  2. DKOD says:

    i decided to go with officemate enterprise in september 2010 after i opened second location,and oh my goodness what a nightmare i created for myself and my staff. i was switched from 8.0 version to 2.0 enterprise. schedular does not work properly. it freezes, if you are trying to book two patients at a time and once it freezes you need to turn off the computer and then turn back on to get back into the system. all those claims about VSP interface is just trash talk , nothing works. as simple as scheduling patient from demographic window doesn’t work. to schedulae a new patient ,you have to enter a patient into system as a new patient first. then close the schedular, go to demographics and then put insurance information in demographics. It literally takes 7 minutes to make an appointment..i timed it.making a fee slip is nightmare as well ….15minutes it takes to make a vision fee slip with glasses information. errors will just pop up for no reason. when i complained about errors i was told if i click on it 25-30 times error will go away,this way i do not have to close the computer to get rid of error. LOL . oh another one can not change fee slip once made. God forbid if patient called to change his glasses order,you have to return everything on the slip and recreate new order. you can not simply delete line any more. and so many more problems….. this system needs some serious bug repair. it should not have been launched for doctors offices. i have not even used their exam writer yet..who knows how many bugs are sitting there. my staff is very frustarted with this new system. i will advise everybody to not switch to enterprise from Omate 8.0. 8.0 was not perfect but it was functional.after numerous complaits i was provided a link to convert data to 9.0 enterprise by myself. i contacted a computer company to do the upgrade, and even they are kind of worried about doing it. i wonder why am i paying a monthly fee to officemate when i have to hire an outside computer company to do the upgrade? it is set to upgrade next week. i will post again. i really hope it works. i have invested alot of time and money in this. i will advise my fellow optometrists to not fall in a trap of defer payment enterprise upgrade option. it looks cheaper initially but when it drops your office productivity in half, you loose thousands of dollars. look for other alternatives, and please write back because if this upgrade doesn’t work i am in the market for new EMR system.