Pulmonary Associates of Mobile, AL has integrated a new EHR documentation solution into their practice, leading to monthly savings of roughly $1,000 per physician. The solution, iScribe, is a mobile EHR app that acts as a plug-in for existing EHR software. Pulmonary Associates uses Prime Suite from Greenway Health as their underlying EHR system, but found that using Prime Suite presented some productivity issues for practice staff. Physicians were instead opting to rely on dictation services, with some doctors requiring upwards of $1,400 in service every month. After a seamless implementation of iScribe to their existing system, utilization of iScribe’s built-in speech-to-text tools and simple user interface contained those dictation costs to within $400.
iScribe was initially introduced to Pulmonary Associates after one of the practice’s technology consultants witnessed a demonstration of the software while abroad at a convention. He reported back to Joe Zurfluh, CEO of Pulmonary Associates, and shared his optimism about the impact the app could have on the practice. Zurfluh recalled, “One of our consultants… was explaining that he had seen this new technology that was a game-changer, in his opinion.” Although iScribe seemed able to address many of the productivity concerns for his staff, Zurfluh did have his doubts. “I’ve seen so many physicians try different software products, but then they give up on it because a physician’s time is so valuable.” His outlook changed, however, when he realized iScribe would take very little effort to implement. “This software worked right out of the box, and I’ve never seen anything like that.”
Dr. Brian Sumrall, the resident power user of iScribe at Pulmonary Associates, was also doubtful prior to using the software, but quickly changed his tune. “About halfway through my first clinic using iScribe, I realized this was different,” explained Dr. Sumrall. “It was extraordinarily user friendly, and I spun through my first clinic using it… by the end of my clinic, I knew exactly how it worked and there were almost no issues. [That] includes the speech-to-text.”
Benefits of Using iScribe
The rapid onboarding and the cost savings that came with iScribe’s adoption were clear benefits to the business aspect of Pulmonary Associates’ operation, but the staff experienced a refreshing improvement in the delivery of patient care, as well. Dr. Sumrall described his exam room usage of iScribe, saying, “It [keeps] everything right in front of me when I’m dealing with the patient.” He explained that it is a much better alternative to “having to do my patient evaluation and then do my dictation and EMR work once the patient is gone… I’m probably done with my clinic about 30-33% faster than I was previously, and that’s a huge number. It’s streamlined the whole operation and got it back more to the way it should be, which is allowing me to take care of patients as opposed to a clerk.”
Since adopting iScribe with an initial three users, Pulmonary Associates has scaled up and now has a total of twenty staff members using the software. Zurfluh remarked that he expects the entire practice, a total of thirty healthcare personnel, to get on board with iScribe soon.
iScribe was developed to quickly provide doctors with the tools and user experience that they’ve struggled to find with their existing EHR software. Setup and training can be successfully completed within a day, and practitioners can get back to delivering patient care more efficiently and accurately. All of this is possible while still meeting MACRA and MIPS requirements for documentation.