Today we are launching “Tuesday Testimonials,” our new monthly blog series that gives a glimpse into a user’s experience with the Hello Health EHR. Stefanie Fine, practice manager at Dr. Fine and Associates in Atlanta, recently discussed with us the process of implementing the Hello Health platform and how it is working out for their practice.
What was your process when choosing an EHR for your practice?
When we began thinking of transitioning to an EHR, we looked at many different companies. This went on for years. We really tried to compare the benefits of each to the practice, and to the patients. We knew that the trend in healthcare was toward more patient involvement and engagement in their own healthcare. So, the patient portal aspect, we knew, was very important.
What made you lean toward Hello Health?
What stood out about Hello Health, for us, was that it was very pro-physician and pro-practice, but also pro-patient. It’s set up so that practices can fully utilize the EHR components, including education, communication with patients and lab integration. We are also using it to meet Meaningful Use requirements. The web-based functionality is great for us — as a smaller practice, not having to look at adding all the hardware and server components was an important business decision.
What was the deciding factor?
We realized that Hello Health wanted to partner with practices. It was extremely important to Hello Health that we succeed, and that the implementation of the system went smoothly. It was the first vendor I had encountered that truly wanted to work with us, rather than sell us a system and move on to the next customer.
What components of the Hello Health EHR do you value the most?
The patient portal has really increased our ability to communicate quickly with our patients, and for them to communicate with us. We’ve found that it’s cut down on our call volume while expediting and increasing communication with our patients. It’s been incredibly important for us.
Making a change like this can be daunting. How did the implementation go?
The implementation process was, quite honestly, the one portion of this whole process that we, as an entire practice, were dreading. You hear horror stories out there about vendors, and anytime you make any major change in your back office workflow, it’s a scary prospect. What was very different about Hello Health was that the training took place in our office and that they held our hands step by step. It was actual practice support, not just technical support. We broke it down into several phases to make it an easy transition for us and our patients.
Did you feel like the training met your needs?
With other EHRs, you have to buy blocks of training time. This training was customized to our practice, so it went above and beyond our expectations. They were able to look at our workflow and decide how to best implement the transition. The important thing was, we had some control of how that took place. It fit around how we work.
How do you feel about the future of your relationship with Hello Health?
The product is also growing. It’s not only meeting our needs, but it’s setting the path on how we want our practice to grow. There are several examples of new functionality we’re already using: We’re able to have video conferencing visits with our patients. Or, if a family member who lives remotely wants to be involved with a patient’s in-office visit, they can join us through Hello Health. We also have the new iPad check-in system. Hello Health provided us with both the iPad and the necessary training for this process. So, again, there is more efficiency in our practice and that benefits everyone.
How have your patients reacted to the new system and the enrollment fee?
We’ve been very upfront with our patients about the enrollment fee. We explain what they’re getting for the fee and the inherent value of the Hello Health system. It’s all very straightforward.
Our patient feedback, thus far, has been positive. There are a few patients who just don’t like change, which is not surprising. But, they realize that all of these changes are being put in place to improve their quality of care. Patients expect technology to drive so many parts of their lives – healthcare is no different. So, they like the electronic aspect and feel connected to their physician with just one click.
Editor’s note: Like our new Tuesday Testimonials feature? Be sure to check back on the first Tuesday of each month to hear from more Hello Health users about their experiences.