This article appears in the June 2012 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
Managing 500 patients with a 1.6 full-time-equivalent support staff after only 10 months in private practice sounds easy for Kara Nance, MD, FACP.
Nance is a self-described "health IT trailblazer" and internal medicine physician in Rolling Meadows, Ill. "I definitely think that the small practices can more easily navigate the challenges associated with" IT adoption, Nance says. "With any large organization, there's going to be so many different levels that need to be addressed before change can be implemented, and you're also working with so many different personalities, many of which are averse to change."
That was Nance's experience at a 10-provider medical group prior to striking out on her own. "I think I am successful because I am good at Web-based thinking," she says. "I am able to see the challenges associated with the front office, the mid-office, and the back office, and come up with one unified electronic healthcare solution."
By utilizing an electronic medical record that makes standard forms electronic, and has a user-friendly patient portal and both lab and diagnostic interfaces, Nance has been able to dispense with almost all paper in her practice. But not everything gets outsourced. "The use of technology has enabled us to keep control over our billing and to have more transparency into our outcomes to know we are providing high-quality care," she says.