Client: KA Medical PC, Queens Borough, New York City
Scope: Paper-based medical office to EHR based modernized medical establishment conversion
Role: IT consultant, network administrator, vendor liaison, and project manager
Network outlet installation, cabling, patch panels, router/switches installation, wireless and VPN configuration, security and compliance, eClinicalWorks installation support, eClinicalWorks server based to hosted SaaS conversion, and vendor liaison
KA Medical PC is a solo-physician practice by Dr. Aung of Queens, New York. Due to the substantial incentive offerings of New York City Department of Health (NYCDOH) and Mental Hygiene's Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), Dr. Aung got interested in this push for digitizing his clinic. Therefore, he went to dozens of seminars by EHR software vendors and evaluated various solutions. Dr. Aung found that eClinicalWorks (eCW), one of the preferred vendors of (NYCDOH) will meet his needs nicely. There was just one little caveat. With only one wireless router, a laptop and absolutely no infrastructure to support this EHR in his clinic, how would he get everything up and running smoothly without getting stuck in the IT mud?, Dr. Aung wondered.
Both NYCDOH and eClinicalWorks require an IT consultant to help see through all the IT related tasks from the beginning through the end. Therefore, the need for Dr. Aung to find a great IT partner who will hold his hands throughout this entire process becomes essential.
What we did
We went in and worked with both NYCDOH and eClinicalWorks. NYCDOH requires documented justification such as the clinic's physical blueprint (number of exam rooms, reception area, etc), intended number of workstations and their uses, and the required hardware specifications (amount of memory, the hard disk, and processor) included for all the hardware equipment that will be provided by them as incentive. Even during this initial phase, there was understandably incredible amount of communication and interaction process involved among all parties. For instance, requested equipment specification request to NYCDOH could not be made up. Sure, who wouldn't want the fastest workstation possible. It needs to be inferred from eClinicalWorks' recommended specs and justify by the IT consultant to NYCDOH.
We then received all the equipment from NYCDOH, namely an ID scanner, fax server, database server, workstations, VPN router, Ethernet switch, backup device, backup media, and other miscellaneous peripherals. This is where we the IT took the helm. Then followed router and switch installation. We did all the cabling inside the clinic, complete with patch panels and outlet installations. All cables ran through drop ceilings and behind the drywall.
After that, came all the setups and configurations. Router setup, workstation setups, server setups, wireless setups, and security setups, all with the need to meet how eCW wants it. Afterwards, we coordinated with eCW to provide on-site and off-site IT support when they install their eCW EHR software. Lots of late night and a couple of midnight calls during off hours as a small few of the eCW technicians seem to be located in the exact opposite timezone from us. After running on this self-hosted setup for about a year, Dr. Aung decided that he would prefer eCW's SaaS (Software as a Service) solution. Therefore, we worked with eCW in exporting the existing data and went through the conversion. All in all, the entire process stretched out to a couple of years.
Today, Dr. Aung is fruitfully, productively, and gladly using the SaaS solution hosted by eCW. Patient care and satisfaction have also increased due to a more efficient process of sending prescriptions and getting lab data digitally.
Our experience from this engagement
Since we were quite involved with the entire project, we found that working with eCW is enjoyable. All the parties involved are very professional in their conduct and technically very capable, including project managers at NYCDOH and eCW. This is undoubtedly a great success for everyone involved.
Need something like this done?
Please be sure to contact us. We would be happy to help your clinic.