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Alicia Snipes Taylor testimonial

Alicia Snipes Taylor is Electronic Health Record Department Manager at Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center.

alicia-taylor-circle-webTell me a little bit about Nevada Orthopedic and Spine Center.
We currently have 22 providers with two PAs, three nurse practitioners and 17 doctors. We have 40 exam rooms and two procedure rooms in this office, and 16 exam rooms in our Henderson location. We treat everything orthopedics, head to toe. All of our doctors have sub-specialties that include upper extremity, lower extremity, spine and pediatrics.

How did the need for an EHR manager come about?
We slowly realized we needed someone who was clinical to funnel all the processes through. We saw that we were going to have many interfaces and processes to manage. It was more than just “oh we need a super user in the office”, especially with this many providers and employees. I was doing this and heading diagnostics until about three years ago, when it became far more than a part-time job.

What convinced the company to go electronic?
Saving on space. Saving on paper. Also, there was no way we were going to meet the new health care initiatives guidelines without it.

Talk about your internal conversations with colleagues prior to joining HealtHIE Nevada (HIE).
When we saw the benefits, there was no way we weren’t going to join. We saw HealtHIE Nevada had connections to facilities with whom we did business and eventually were going to request a connection. So, why not connect to many different facilities through one connection?

It saved us from having to set up those interfaces ourselves, as well as, from having to log into 10 different sites and/or apps to get the information we need. It’s all in one place.

Can you speak to that a little more? Some providers say, “We’re already connected to them.”
A direct connection is great if you’re sending and receiving electronic orders and results. But how many of the facilities do you really need that connection with? Not many. It’s logging into 20 apps or sites versus logging into one, and then maybe another two. Going to the HIE is a no-brainer. It’s not a decision at all, especially now that you’re upgrading your platform. We loved having access to images, and now they’re supposed to be even better, so we’re looking forward to that.

What do you love about having access to the images?
It really helps because, let’s be honest, you send patients reminders, you call them and say, “Please bring these films” and they still show up without them. Instead of having to reschedule them, we have the option of checking to see if the films are accessible electronically. Most of the time, they are there. From my understanding, once the new platform upgrade is complete, the images will have a better quality and higher availability rate.

Can you describe that process? If the patient doesn’t have his/her films, what’s the next step?
If they don’t have the films, the front desk asks where they had the films done. The front desk knows who we have access to in the HIE. They inform the patient that if he/she signs a consent form, we can go on and check to see if the films are on the exchange. It saves us from having to reschedule the patient’s appointment. If they’re coming in after being discharged from the hospital, and have been consented, we can access the information prior to their appointment.

Do you experience any provider pushback?
Not at all. I think it’s a go-to – “Go see if it’s on the HIE.”

What would you say to a specialty practice? Why does it make sense to join the HIE?
To have direct access to many of the items you need all in one place. It just makes sense. You select what does and does not come into your system. You choose to see just your providers information or all information. You have a lot of choices and it’s automatic. Very minimal extra work is involved. If you have the adequate training, you know what’s available to you.

So education is a key component to that. Is that a burden?
The initial phase was the best part, because HealtHIE Nevada did half of it. They came in and gave staff the basics. From there it’s just continuing education. It’s just like getting on a new phone or computer, or learning a new operating system. We’re all having to move forward, in every aspect of our lives. If you’re moving forward with your personal technology, why not move forward professionally with the exchange?

Concerns about privacy or security?
Not at all, because we have one main manager of our HIE access, which is myself. I’m the one who has ownership for our practice. Access is granted only after the practice’s approved manager sends the request to the HIE staff, who then builds and assigns the credentials.

Other benefits?
The HIE is a big help when our doctors are on call. Instead of having the nurses calling around for information the doctors need, the doctors can log into the HIE when the staff’s not here to assist them. If the information has been transmitted, it’s a time-saver for everyone.

Another benefit is keeping us from repeating an order. The patient may not know what has been done. You go in and verify prior to ordering any testing.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I would just say why not? Why wouldn’t you join the HIE?