If you were going to start your DPC practice again, which EMR and communication tool would you use?


(Dr Rob Lamberts) #21

We are an all Mac office and are on Elation. It works fine.


(Ken Rictor, MD) #22

HI Lissa,

Elation will allow you to modify exam notes and templates for visits. There are a lot of prompts to move repeated information into the chart without recharting. The printouts are great. You can customize headers with your logo and information. You can modify the items that you want to have with an elation note. So you can have summary or detailed reports.

The e-prescribing is great. Very easy to find any pharmacy anywhere and you can default to your normal dosing so that to send a script is a 1-2 min process.

The integration with labs has worked well for us with Quest and HealthNetworks.

SPRUCE would be your communication integration tool so that the patients, when agreeing to secure conversations, can text, call or email. You have the access to send PDF or questionnaire sheets so that the patients symptoms can be assessed without a “20 question” barrage. You can also have a secure Video link connected through Spruce.
You will also be able to have internal communication with staff for needs of the patient.

The two platforms really compliment each other.


(Jack Forbush, DO) #23

Yes, patients can initiate messaging at any time


(Lissa Lubinski) #24

This is very helpful. Elation sounds great. Does Spruce cost extra then?


(Lissa Lubinski) #25

Also, just did a brief demo and had conversation with a rep from Elation. Initial quote “per provider” is $349/month. That seems steep for a low-overhead practice starting out, though the EHR seems great and easy to use. Any ideas if prices have changed recently?


(Robin Dickinson) #26

[quote=“lklubinski, post:25, topic:321”]
That seems steep for a low-overhead practice starting out, though the EHR seems great and easy to use.
[/quote] @lklubinski

If it is easy to use and makes your life better, it may very well be worth it.

Initially I was turned away by price as well (MD-HQ is $250 a month). But then I realized that with everything it did for me, it was well worth it. I save more than $250 a month in my own time (or the staff I don’t need to hire) for my patients to be able to message through the portal instead of call, schedule their own appointment, view lab results on the portal, etc. Even just having the billing integrated saves me tons of time. Or the fact that the faxes are integrated into my workflow so I’m only using one platform for everything instead of logging into separate ones. And that my notes are super fast to type with the chart parts/templates. Anyhow, when deciding, make sure to consider all the time you’re saving.

I used Practice Fusion for about a month before realizing it just wasn’t going to work for me. I used a different EMR for another year or so before realizing how much time I was wasting. That’s when I decided it had to be completely integrated and with a robust portal that all my patients could use on their phones. I posted on a group I belong to for private practice physicians and a non-DPC doc raved about how much time she saved with MD-HQ and since time is money, that made sense to me. I found that it worked how my brain works (very important that you find one that works for YOU). Then I sat down with every patient during an appointment and taught them to use the new portal if they hadn’t figured it out on their own. It was simple and intuitive even for the less-tech-savvy when I did it with them for the first time. And now it more than pays for itself. I had two bad months this year of patients falling apart (apparently) but now I’m back to almost no phone calls, everything goes through the portal.

So yes, it can be pricey getting a good one but if you make the right choice and choose something that saves you a ton of time, it will be worth it.


(Ken Rictor, MD) #27

Hi Lissa The price of anything is always debatable to the value that it brings. My father used to say to me that the most expensive thing you can buy is something cheap. I have found that the price for Elation is worth the cost in quality and ease of use and many time saving features that helps me maximize patient time. The other factor is the willingness of Elation staff to adjust and make modifications based on our requests for services that we would need. Integration to HINT was also important to me and now I will have integration with Spruce.

I have had three electronic record systems but I have found that Elation fits my needs the best.


(Lissa Lubinski) #28

Thank you, Robin and Kenneth, for last posts. Appreciate reminder that what an excellent integrated EHR can do is save time and need for staff, both of which I’m wanting. Grateful for the thoughtfulness in responses!


(Robin Dickinson) #29

@Lissa_Lubinski Always glad to help! I felt so alone when I started and I don’t want anyone else to have to feel that way.


(Dana Sanderson) #30

We signed with Elation in December 2014 and had a Spruce demo two weeks ago but will not be signing up yet. The biggest issue we have with both of them is about the requirement for each patient to use a unique email address for each patient profile they would access. With a family practice including internal medicine and pediatrics, we have many patients who therefore require a separate email address for access to each of their minor children’s charts. Also, if a patient already sees a specialist whose office also uses Elation, that patient has to use different email address to access Passport (Elation’s patient portal) with our office. That’s too complicated.

Other than that, ElationEMR is a huge improvement over eClinicalWorks!


(Ken Rictor, MD) #31

Thanks for the feedback Dana. We haven’t had much of an issue with the email access but I know exactly what you are saying. I think Elation is aware that this is a big barrier for many practices and that this has become an issue. We used eClinicalWorks as well and you are so correct that Elation is a huge jump from eCW.

As I understand, Spruce will have connection to Elation in the next few weeks so that we can have a direct link.


(Robin Dickinson) #32

Oh, that’s really good for people to know. Almost a quarter of my patients are under 10 so don’t even have their own email. Plus a lot of my patients will all use the email address of the family member who actually checks their email. So there may be a mom receiving the emails for both her and dad and all the kids.


(Jack Forbush, DO) #33

I’ve had 5 (Centricity/Logician, SpringCharts, MacPractice, CareCloud, Practice Fusion)…ugh!


(Jack Forbush, DO) #34

What I have recommended to parents is to create an ileus email account for their children, i.e. janedoe+kid@whatever.com as most female providers allow for “wild card” email addresses. So far so good!


(Ken Rictor, MD) #35

That’s a good suggestion Jack . We can try that


(Dana Sanderson) #36

Thanks Jack. Up until now our clientele has balked at creating aliases, but you’ve given me the idea to perhaps write up a simple how-to for Gmail since that’s the most prevalent email provider in our practice.


(Jack Forbush, DO) #37

I had some patients/clients balk to begin with as well as they thought that it would make managing their email more difficult, but after some education about how this works and creating filters, etc…they’ve been on board.


(Ken Rictor, MD) #38

Yes I have found that patients really have their own preference for communication and some are totally foreign. Having a variety but not too many choices is good. It also depends on notification and how the system can get a hold of the Provider without killing your time in the process. Our email tool is good and we have many that use the portal and standard email response.


(Robin Dickinson) #39

Yes, anytime you introduce something new, be prepared for training! I have nearly everyone trained to the portal but it required me taking time during appointments to help them get it all figured out on their phones or tablets.


(Bruce Jung) #40

I am curious as to why people are not using or recommending AtlasMD? It costs ~$300/mo, includes membership management (no extra Hint fee of 1% of all billings), inventory management (no MDScripts $0.05/pill fee or $50/mo min nor Flexscan - just quoted >$80/mo) and no need for Spruce (at $99/user in your clinic/mo). If I add all of these to the cost of Elation (now up to $350/mo) I am way over $750/mo (around $830/mo) and close to 3 times as expensive as AtlasMD. And what about Amazing Charts with an unintegrated Hint? (If you don’t do med dispensing?) I ask all this because I just came out of InLightEHR which was closer to $250/mo and included decent enough membership management with an intuitive, simple, yet quite robust EHR. Thanks for any advice.