Can EHR Be Cost Effective?

One of the biggest buzzwords in the aesthetic industry is EHR (Electronic Health Records). With so many systems on the market, some of which were designed for large hospital-like medical institutions, many aesthetic doctors are feeling overwhelmed by the size of the systems and their cost. This interview with Dr. Michael Kluska, a cosmetic surgeon at The Greenbrier Cosmetic Surgery Center and Med Spa in Greensburg, PA, discusses the importance of EHR to the aesthetic practice, as well as the system that most suits this busy cosmetic surgery center. Dr. Kluska’s choice in EHR and critical practice software solutions is AestheticLink a cloud-based integrated patient engagement and practice management technology. Board certified in both Plastic/Reconstructive and General Surgery, Dr. Kluska offers patients an array of cosmetic procedures and he is a fellow in the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (FAACS) and the American College of Osteopathic Surgery (FACOS), a member of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, and the American Osteopathic Association. Learn more at: www.greenbrier.com.

CONSIDERING EHR FOR YOUR PRACTICE?
Technological advancements have changed how aesthetic surgeons manage their practice and the recent introduction of Electronic Health Record management is the next step for total practice automation. As Medical Director of The Greenbrier Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Med Spa, board certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon Michael S. Kluska, D.O., FAACS, FACOS is excited about how easily he had been able to incorporate EHR via AestheticLink into his busy practice.

How Important is EHR software to your practice?
I’ve been in practice for over fifteen years. During that time my practice has grown and I am now Medical Director at The Greenbrier Center for Cosmetic Surgery and MedSpa which has become a world class location destination medical facility. We’ve established a great practice in terms of creating concierge destination aesthetic services. As this practice has grown our need for faster access to patient health charts has never been greater. The incorporation of the AestheticLink EHR program has definitely improved how we manage data, as well as how we communicate with patients.

Is Destination Aesthetic Surgery A Growing Trend?
Yes, it is at The Greenbrier Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Med Spa. Many of our patients plan a vacation around their surgery. Not only do they look as though they’ve been on vacation after surgery, but they actually have been on a vacation at The Greenbrier full service resort. Our patients generally look more rested after surgery but combining that with the luxury resort experience seems to take extra years off of their appearance. Also, because The Greenbrier offers full service medical with a full service resort experience, patients can find everything they need under one roof so they don’t have to travel for extra services or for post-operative follow up. And if they forget their bikini, they can easily find one at the resort shop.

How Does EHR Help The Patient Experience?
The EHR program is a good segue into an aesthetic consultation. We are able to concierge the patient prior to surgery from any location in the world, and it helps us concierge the patient after surgery during the post-operative recovery period once they’ve left the hotel. We have a link to AestheticLink on our website which is a private HIPAA compliant fully private portal where patients can interact with our practice 24/7. This allows me to intimately interact with the patient who can send me photos, ask pre- and post-operative questions, etc. all of which is kept within their own private electronic chart. This is really important in the digital age of medicine as many patients want access to their charts, but also want to maintain privacy. The AestheticLink portal is HIPAA compliant which is of utmost importance to a patient, and it has also been endorsed by many of the leading malpractice insurance companies which is very important to an aesthetic practitioner.

Have You Been Able To Reduce Paper Charts?
Almost. We are completely digital. That said, however, in today’s times with all of the patient records and information, and acquiring information from other physicians, referral physicians, etc., there is still some paper involved, but my electronic health record for each and every individual patient is completely electronic. The information that we are given paper-wise is scanned into the system and stored within their chart. To be honest with you there is a lot of ease of use with this program now. I had a previous electronic health record program in the past which was much more cumbersome and less agile than the AestheticLink program.

Does This System Prove To Be Cost Effective?
Yes it has been as most electronic systems available for private practices range anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 dollars just to institute a program into the office. Not only the technology of the EHR, but also the hardware, the computers and the iPads, etc. Also, most of these programs don’t have a secure cloud based storage system either so you have to have some type of server on site. All of that can be extremely costly and needs to be continually updated. The AestheticLink program costs significantly less than these other systems and is all cloud based. It’s extremely efficient to use and from a financial standpoint does not require near the investment, especially the upfront cost that these other programs require.

Is The AestheticLink EHR System Easy To Use?
The program itself is so user-friendly that even my staff that are not that computer savvy can’t believe how easy it is use compared to our previous EHR. We have a very busy practice and one that requires a lot of detail about patients, especially those traveling from far away. My staff and I have found that we have been able to save a lot of time searching for documents and information because all of the documentation can be kept in one easy-to-access place that is accessible from anywhere we are.

What Is Your Favorite Feature Of This EHR System?
I would say versatility and the ease of use. It certainly allows me to interact with the patient just about anywhere. I can pull up AestheticLink on any remote device or portable device such as an iPad or iPhone. I have even met a patient interested in doing a consultation in the hallway at the hospital and I have been able to start the process right there and then. I can simply enter in their information, take a photo and place it immediately into a chart. From there my staff can take over and schedule an appointment. I would also say that the digital photography is also a big plus for me. Photo documentation is a big thing in my industry and being able to have many pre-and post-operative photos is very important to compare results. But more importantly, being able to easily put a face with the name of a patient helps me form a more personal relationship with them. We always want our patients to return and the better a relationship we develop, the more chance we have of them returning in the future.

Learn more: www.aestheticlink.com

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To listen to Dr. Michael Kluska on Aesthetic Insider Radio CLICK HERE!