Dr. Knight has been using Office Practicum since 2002. At the time of this testimonial, Glencoe Pediatrics was a solo pediatric practice employing one part-time practice manager and one part-time office clerk.
“In searching for an EHR, I wanted to find a package that would help me to increase my efficacy as a physician, to reduce my paperwork, and to eliminate the need for my poor handwriting. I desired efficiency, as I was starting out as a solo practitioner with no office staff. In addition, I was seeking portability and the ability to move from office to office with only a disc or laptop. [Office Practicum is] tailored to handle the particular needs of pediatric practices. In addition, it was simply the best EHR in terms of layout, ease of use and depth of content. I had reviewed other products prior to Office Practicum, and there was no question in my mind as to which would best suit my needs. I felt quite certain that the high quality of the program and the accessibility of the developers’ support would provide great savings in workload and decreased stress.”
Adapting to Office Practicum:
“Connexin Software believes that, ‘Software is a service industry.’ They have been accessible from day one, and gave me the initial training I required when I needed it. Much of the program is intuitive, so more often the issues to resolve were with hardware. Connexin Software paid attention to these problems and worked with me to resolve them expediently. For larger practices … there is a pre-implementation phase. This includes planning for both the hardware and networking, and for the psychological impact of change in an established practice. Connexin Software works with the leaders of the practice to develop strategies for a smooth transition. My system has never gone down in the year and a half of my use of Office Practicum. Support has been excellent, with Connexin Software responding to urgent needs immediately, and non-urgent problems within 24-hours. Use of remote control software (e.g. Symantec’s PC Anywhere) allows Connexin Software staff to view [your] computer and resolve issues quickly.”
Using Office Practicum:
“I appreciate the customizable templates and phrase builders, and, uniquely, the pre-programmed templates [that are] relevant to pediatrics. There is no getting around the need to handle paper. Nonetheless, one can enter the relevant data into the program and then discard or scan. Either way, the actual physical paper is gone, and the information is ‘filed’ in some bytes of memory and easily retrieved. (Scanned items are grouped and categorized within the patient’s file.) The developer of Office Practicum, Fred Pytlak, has repeated his mantra to me several times over the last year and a half that a user should never have to input the same information more than once. The school form report generator is a great example of this: Never again will I have to copy the vaccine dates from one piece of paper to another. [In terms of portability], when I was working alone without staff, I carried my laptop EHR from my home office to my main office and saw patients wherever needed. Now, with a virtual static IP, I will soon be able to call in from any online computer and reach my office server.”
Benefits & Favorite Features:
“There are a few features of this program that are of enormous value to a pediatric office. One is the report generator, which is customizable. This component will print out our Illinois Certificate of Child Health (school form) filling in all the necessary vaccine dates, vitals, labs and latest physical exam. Any form, which requires information from the program can be scanned-in and customized. The second unique and wonderful feature is the vaccine algorithm, based strictly on CDC guidelines. Having entered all prior vaccinations, the program provides current immunization requirements for the child on each visit. Vaccine inventory is tracked, with lot numbers inputted on receipt of the vaccine. When a child is immunized, the lot number is automatically recorded. The user is prompted for the Vaccine Information Statement date and it is recorded with two keystrokes. The third great feature is the growth chart, in which weight, height, head circumference, BMI are all plotted on standard charts. These are more accurate than can be plotted by hand and can be immediately viewed and printed out for the parent. Vital signs can be plotted over time as well, and this plotting is customizable, so that any numerical data can be tracked over time. The visual and structural layout of the program is intuitive, well organized and practical. A lot of thought has been put into this system, and how it might meet the needs of a busy pediatric medical practice. This thought appears in many ways, including new patient input. When a new patient is being entered into the system, the program automatically searches for the name and birth date. If a duplicate, or near duplicate, is found, a message pops up to alert the user.”