As president of a large independent practice association in Rhode Island, I wanted to let you know of another approach to information-technology adoption by physicians here.
Our group, Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corp., is composed of 165 pure primary-care physicians in the fields of family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology. We are responsible for the medical care of about 340,000 Rhode Island residents.
In early 2002, after viewing 10 to 12 available EHRs, we decided to produce our own system. As a result, our sister company, Polaris Medical Management, embarked on the ambitious task of producing our own EHR. In 2003, we introduced EpiChart which has evolved into a fully functioning EHR system. The system has been completely designed and constantly updated by member physicians along with our IT team. It is currently used by about 100 physicians both from our group as well as doctors outside of our group.
1. Full range of clinical and financial functionality to each practice. It has all the key features of a clinical system plus financial and clinical reporting for each individual physician or for the entire group. We have developed Patient Disease Registries, perform e-prescribing through SureScripts, have electronic lab reporting, vaccination histories, growth charts and many other important clinical features. We enjoy universally high satisfaction ratings from all our users.
2. Polaris EDI Clearinghouse is a powerful SQL Server Web Portal programmed in VB.Net. Physicians can process claims electronically directly to Medicare and the local health insurers. The clearinghouse also provides a powerful messenger service (a custom application) and a translation utility that provides the communication with SureScripts and local clinical labs.
3. A Web portal that supplies physician clients with secure online access to their patient's clinical summary sheet, which lists medical history, medicine lists, problem lists, emergency contacts and allergies. With proper patient authorization, covering physicians, ER physicians and hospitalists can access this important information via our secure Web portal.
4. Local service and support. We can respond in minutes by remote connection and be on-site, when necessary, within 30 minutes.
5. Monthly meetings are held by a committee of physicians to evaluate user suggestions and constantly add functionality only when it will improve the ease of use and improve the functionality.
We feel that our uniqueness lies in the fact that our system is constantly improved and updated through the input of current user physicians, providing a highly user-friendly system.
Albert J. Puerini Jr., M.D.
President and CEO
R.I. Primary Care Physicians Corp.
Polaris Medical Management
What do you think? Write us with your comments at [email protected].