Meaningful Use Champion 

Dr. Wilson Dental Practice

“eHealthDC has played a significant role in educating our team on effectively utilizing the patient portal. In turn, we feel more prepared to instruct our patients on using HIE tools, which increases communication, patient satisfaction, and enhances patient care.” – Dr. Tanya Wilson, DDS

Summary

Dr. Tanya Wilson owns a dental practice that serves patients in the District and surrounding areas. Participating in the District’s Promoting Interoperability (PI)/ Meaningful Use EHR Incentive Program (MEIP) has provided many opportunities to streamline care delivery and improve oral care for her patients.

In eHealthDC’s conversation with Dr. Wilson, she explained how she set up patient electronic access to records and the ability to communicate with her directly through a patient portal account. Dr. Wilson shared that eHealthDC helped educate her and her staff about setting up portal access for her patients and methods to meet PI/MEIP Program requirements through in-depth resources, one-on-one support, and on-site training. eHealthDC TA helped Dr. Wilson establish the routine of emailing patients an invitation to their patient portal account during office visits and showing them how to use the portal before they leave the office.

As a dentist, other aspects of the PI program – such as its privacy and security requirements – help Dr. Wilson manage and protect her patients’ health records. She noted that eHealthDC actively provides updates and check-ins to ensure questions are answered and she can use her EHR smoothly and efficiently.

You can read more about our conversation with Dr. Wilson below.

A Conversation with Dr. Wilson Dental Practice

Q: How have you found that using health IT and/or HIE tools has benefited your patients?

A: Before working with eHealthDC, my server was beginning to fail, and it did not have MU module capabilities. My current systems required me to document imagery and dental documentation separately, then transfer notes from one system to another. The eHealthDC team encouraged me to migrate our EHR system to the cloud. Now, whether I am at home or on the road, this enables me to access a patient’s clinical history to provide care anywhere. In addition to health IT providing a platform that allows me to connect with my patients online, I am also able to answer their health questions, and deliver key updates about their care. Each patient who enters my office is informed about the patient portal, invited to the patient portal via email, and educated on how to access it. “Most of my patients are enthusiastic about using the patient portal. They think it’s a helpful tool for interacting online and find it highly convenient.”


Q: What kind of challenges has your practice encountered in its pathway to use these tools?

A: Not all quality measures associated with the PI/MEIP Program apply to dental practices. However, patient portal utilization is a key component to successfully meeting one of the requirements. Although most of my patients are willing and enthusiastic to utilize the patient portal, one challenge has been getting all of them to engage with their portal after leaving my office. There is great opportunity for the District to evaluate and consider including new measures. Additionally, ePrescribing has been challenging since many of my patients’ pharmacies are outside the District and may not always be easily identifiable in the online directory. If we are unable to locate the pharmacy, we must manually search for their information and contact them directly. This can be time-consuming for our patients, and it creates a barrier to meeting PI Program requirements. I believe a more interconnected community between dental providers and physicians would be helpful to understanding the patient’s history and medications. When we are unable to communicate with other providers and request information, our patients have to remember to write their prescriptions down.


Q: Are there any informational sources you would recommend to other providers?

A: eHealthDC provided resources that helped The GW Medical Faculty Associates access the SLR and understand the attestation process. The SLR improved significantly this year compared to prior years, especially in increased user-friendliness.  

Last year, after uploading information to the SLR, I did not receive timely feedback if additional information was needed. If I needed to re-upload documentation, it was a time-consuming process. This year, I only needed to change one thing and eHealth DC proactively noticed what needed to be corrected and reached out immediately. The issue was resolved within a matter of minutes.


Q: Are there best practices you would recommend to other organizations hoping to achieve MU? 

A: Documentation consistency and preparedness has been instrumental. They are powerful habits to adopt and save time in the long run.


Q: How has eHealthDC assisted you with health IT and/or HIE? How has that assistance benefited your organization and/or patients?

A: eHealthDC offers valuable programs and encourages other providers to get on board. At some point, health IT will be valuable to everyone because all providers will be able to coordinate information, benefiting patients in the long run. eHealthDC has played a significant role in educating our team on effectively utilizing the patient portal. In turn, we feel more prepared to instruct our patients on using HIE tools, which increases communication, patient satisfaction, and enhances patient care.