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Health IT Success Stories

Electronic Health Records Inspire Dr. Fleur Sack to Reestablish Her Practice

Dr. Sack quote: 'Electronic health records are the answer to improving patient care.'

Electronic Health Records Inspire Dr. Fleur Sack to Reestablish Her Practice

In 2003, Dr. Fleur Sack, a family practitioner, closed the doors of her Miami, Florida medical practice due to increasing costs. While she knew electronic health records (EHRs) could help her reduce costs, improve health care quality, and keep her practice in business, the time was not right. At the time, EHRs “were expensive and complicated and there were very few sources for advice,” said Dr. Sack.

Leveraging the Regional Extension Center Program

Fast forward to 2012 – with an unprecedented amount of help available through the Regional Extension Center (REC) program and EHR Incentive Programs, the time for EHR implementation was right. Dr. Sack saw the opportunity to return to the Miami community she served for two decades and in early 2012, Dr. Sack began the process of opening a new medical practice. She knew that adopting, implementing, and meaningfully using an EHR would be a critical factor in making her practice successful. EHRs would mean “no more time wasted turning page after page in a paper record looking for information and no more repeating the same test.”

To get started with EHR implementation, Dr. Sack joined the South Florida Regional Extension Center and began learning more about the different EHR systems available and the EHR Incentive Programs. With guidance from her REC, Dr. Sack selected a certified EHR and installed the system in her practice.

In the EHR Incentive Programs, Dr. Sack found the financial help she needed to adopt an EHR and return to practicing in the Miami neighborhood she had served for twenty years. In the South Florida REC , Dr. Sack found the EHR implementation advice she needed to successfully implement her EHR system and improve health care quality in her practice. According to Dr. Sack, “The South Florida Regional Extension Center was a big help.”

In May 2012, Dr. Sack proudly opened the doors of her new medical practice. Dr. Sack is using her EHR for record keeping, sharing and receiving clinical lab test results, communicating with patients, and e-prescribing.

Improving Health Care Quality & Practice Efficiency

Dr. Sack says her EHR is helping her improve health care quality for her patients. With her EHR, Dr. Sack can generate lists of patients for proactive patient outreach. For example, Dr. Sack uses her EHR to generate lists of her patients with diabetes who are due for eye exams so her staff can call and remind the patients to schedule eye appointments. Using her EHR to generate and meaningfully use patient lists, Dr. Sack is improving health care quality in her community.

For Dr. Sack, “running a practice with electronic records is much easier and much smoother.” Dr. Sack’s EHR enables her “to communicate with patients through the patient portal and secure email.” With open lines of communication, Dr. Sack and her staff are receiving prescription refill requests and communicating laboratory results to patients more efficiently, helping the practice reduce costs and provide better health care to its patients.

Achieving Meaningful Use

Dr. Sack also counts achieving meaningful use among her successes, and she recently received her first EHR incentive payments. For Dr. Sack, the decision to adopt EHRs was simple. EHRs allow Dr. Sack to care for patients in her familiar Miami neighborhood and “to practice medicine the way it should be practiced.”