Marianas Eye Institute, in partnership with Medicaid CNMI and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., has become the first clinic in the Pacific region to register its doctors as eligible providers under the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services website for National Level Repository Electronic Health Records Incentive.
Marianas Eye Institute has always had electronic health records, or EHR's. Electronic records, as opposed to paper charts, provides patients easy access to their records, alleviates the possibility of lost charts, and eliminates illegible handwriting errors, all while helping waiting times in the clinic.
Dr. David Khorram, director of Marianas Eye Institute, states: “When we were preparing to open our clinic in 1997, our co-founder, who had a background in Health Information Administration, saw the clear benefits of implementing electronic health records from the very beginning. Because of this foresight, now at a time when many other clinics around the country are struggling to meet federal requirements, we have 16 years' experience with efficiencies and the improvement in care that EHR provides.”
President Obama's new Health Care Reform Act has been a catalyst to encouraging all medical facilities to upgrade their medial records to EHR's. This is being done in several phases that allow clinics to ease into the world of EHR's.
Marianas Eye Institute's CEO, Russ Quinn, states: “We have always pushed to be on the leading edge of care and innovation, whether it is state-of-the-art equipment, U.S. certified technical staff or participating in diabetic research programs. If fact, we recently were the first clinic to connect to both local pharmacies with ePrescribe, which allows doctors to send prescriptions directly to the pharmacy so that patients' medications are waiting for them when they arrive at the pharmacy. EHR is just another part of our goal to provide patients with quality care.”
Helen Sablan of the CNMI Medicaid office says: “Marianas Eye Institute became the first eligible provider to register for the CNMI Medicaid EHR Incentive program.” Marianas Eye Institute has worked hand in hand with the Medicaid office to ensure that local providers were able to meet the federal deadlines.
The registration of both Khorram and Dr. Mark Robertson is the first step in showing that the Marianas Eye Institute is meeting federal requirements and thus eligible to receive EHR incentive funds. The registration of the doctors with the system is the first of 28 requirements that the clinic is poised to fulfill. Among the benefits of the certified software is that secure data can be used to improve patient care as the patient moves from provider to provider or to new locations.
Marianas Eye Institute upgraded its software a little over a year ago in anticipation of these new federal guidelines. Quinn states, “We could see the writing on the wall of where EHR was going and we wanted to be in front of it. The new software upgrades were challenging at first, but now that we have a year's worth of experience, it is much smoother for our patients and staff alike.”
Over the next couple of months, Medicaid and Marianas Eye Institute will be working together to complete the final steps of becoming a Medicaid-certified meaningful use provider. This should pave the way for other clinics in the region to see not only that it can be done but that collaborative efforts between government agencies and private practices can benefit the overall care of patients.
Marianas Eye Institute provides complete family eye care. It's doctors, Mark Robertson, O.D., and David Khorram, M.D., have received national recognition for their work in eye care. Marianas Eye Institute is also home to the Center for Advanced Diabetic Eye Care. It is located across the street from the 13 Fishermen's Monument on Beach Road in Garapan. Call 235‐9090 for an appointment. For more information, visit www.MarianasEye.com. (MEI)