Beverly Primeau, RN, MBA, is administrator for Concord Ambulatory Surgery Center in Concord, N.H. Concord Ambulatory Surgery Center is a multi-specialty ASC providing procedures in ENT; orthopedics; plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries; pain management; and general surgery. The ASC has been an AmkaiSolutions partner since late 2012, when it went live with both AmkaiCharts and AmkaiOffice.
Q: Why was your ASC in the market for an electronic medical records system and administrative system?
Beverly Primeau: We had been talking for awhile about switching to an EMR because we wanted to try to stay ahead of any mandatory requirements and not wait for the last minute to make the transition.
As for the administrative system, we had a practice management system in place but we experienced significant trouble with the customer support we were receiving from its company. There were constant frustrations, and the company wasn't staying on top of any of the regulatory changes for ASCs. They were more of a physician practice software company and not really geared toward ASCs, so we were wanted to make a change there as well.
Q: How did you learn about AmkaiSolutions, and why did choose AmkaiSolutions as your EMR and administrative system software provider?
BP: When we started doing our research, I knew I wanted something that was ASC-specific. I didn't want to use something just because that's what the local hospital uses or our physician practices use. I wanted something that would really work for us here in the ASC. We went to a number of ASC conferences and went through many system demos. AmkaiSolutions' software had the most comprehensive system that encompassed everything we currently do in our setting.
Q: What made AmkaiSolutions stand out above other systems you considered and demoed?
BP: One of the things I particularly liked about AmkaiSolutions was its readiness for the many regulatory changes that are occurring. They're definitely on top of the changes.
A significant challenge we had faced with the old system was with reporting requirements. Despite the fact that we were entering data into the system, we couldn't generate reports to match our needs. One of the great things about AmkaiSolutions is their systems' many reporting capabilities and our ability to customize the reports to fit our parameters.
For example, with our old system, putting together the reports for our accounting department would take us an hour and half. When we first ran our month-end reports with AmkaiSolutions, it took less than five minutes and the reports had all of the information we needed.
As another example, we used to have separate surgical implant logs and separate reporting requirements so we could meet our state-required infection reporting. With our old system, we were tracking all of that manually with Excel spreadsheets. We had little pieces of paper that would follow patients around to make sure we captured the specific data and information we needed to enter into the spreadsheet. AmkaiSolutions has all of that built into their system. It's incredible.
Q: How else does AmkaiOffice help you and your ASC?
BP: It is a huge system that we've only touched the tip of so far, but we are really enjoying it. One day, when I was fooling around with the report options, I found new reports I didn't know were in there. It was exciting. Such extensive reporting capabilities open up a whole new basket of quality improvement and performance measurement activities. It will definitely help with our benchmarking. The system has the ASC quality indicators already built in. That was one of the reports that would take me forever to do before, but now I can run a report off of the system in just a few minutes. It's wonderful.
Q: What has been your experience partnering and working with the AmkaiSolutions team?
BP: I have been thoroughly, thoroughly impressed with the quality of the staff. They're responsive and patient; there's nothing that seems to faze them. If we have a question, they know their resources and immediately put us in touch with the person who can address our needs. They never leave you hanging. Every time we had to call customer service for our old system , we'd put in a call and maybe 3-4 days later somebody might call us back, but by then we had usually resolved the issue on our own since we couldn't wait that long for them to find the time to help us. But every time we've called AmkaiSolutions' customer service with a question, they jump on our system and fix it. I don't have to wait for resolutions to issues or concerns. They take care of it right away. We are really impressed with that.
Q: As you continue to use and learn the systems, what are you looking forward to doing with them?
BP: I'm looking forward to the day when we are utilizing the system to its fullest capabilities as far as the case costing/materials management features. We also haven't gone live with AmkaiAnesthesia yet. We're just waiting for an interface between our OR monitors and the software to finish being built. Once that's done, it will be even more fun.