Arthritis Consultants Inc.
St. Louis, Missouri
Established in 1974, Arthritis Consultants, Inc. is a rheumatology practice with three locations in the St. Louis area. The firm is the oldest rheumatology practice in operation in St. Louis.
As medical practices continue to mature in their use of Electronic Health Records, many are looking for more functionality and integration between systems. In addition, Meaningful Use Stage 2 requires that specific integrations be in place for the sharing of information. One example is lab device integration with the electronic health record. Practices are turning to technology partners to help them design and implement these interfaces.
The Client's Need
Arthritis Consultants operates with two lab devices, Beckman Coulter and ACE Alera, and uses eClinicalWorks® as their EHR. The practice had implemented a rudimentary device interface between their devices and eClinicalWorks®. Unfortunately, their interface software was unreliable. It was also inflexible and lacked a reconciliation utility for managing and resending results that could not be matched to patients in their eClinicalWorks® system. The interface computer recently crashed and they were faced with having to not only replace the unit, but also rebuild the interface which could not be recovered.
Ero Health worked closely with Arthritis Consultants to design the new lab device interface that would operate similar to what they had before, but that was more stable and a lower cost to maintain. Through the implementation and testing process, Ero Health identified additional modifications they could make that would better fit Arthritis Consultants’ workflow. The interface also includes a user interface for assisting the practice in reconciling results when there is a data entry problem on the device side.
As a safeguard, Ero Health also implemented off-site backup of the configuration and interface so that if there ever was a problem with the computer again, they could easily restore the interface.
Ero Health was able to install the new interface in just a couple weeks time, and has helped Arthritis Consultants gain greater efficiency in their workflow while providing a better, more functional environment for the lab device interface. In fact, the new system functions so well that, to date, Arthritis Consultants has made only one support call to Ero Health, who quickly discovered an issue not with the interface, but with the lab device itself which required a simple restart.