Dermatology World November 2011 : Page 36

accolades Dermatologist testifies before Congress about EHR burden hen dermatologist Sasha Kramer, M.D., of Olympia, Wash., started her own practice in May 2009, she adopted an electronic health record (EHR) system because she’d had a good experience with one during her residency and be-lieved it was the prudent choice for a young physician. She could hardly have guessed that two years later she’d be adopting a second system after her first vendor was purchased by a company that stopped supporting her first system — or that she would be telling Congress about her experience. But on June 2, Dr. Kramer testified before the House Small Busi-ness Subcommittee on Health and Technology as part of the panel, “Not What the Doctor Ordered: Health IT Barriers to Small Medical Practices.” She told the panel she’d spent $73,000 on EHR adoption, suffering practice disruptions during two implementations that created unacceptable wait times for patients. “In my community, there is a six-month waiting period for new patients to see a dermatologist. During these implementations, I’ve had to shut my practice down for several days, after which I had to bring my fast-paced practice to a grinding halt, seeing as many patients in a week as I normally see in a day. This creates even more frustration for patients in my community who are already underserved in regards to dermatology services.” Still, Dr. Kramer said, she believes that widespread EHR use will have benefits down the road, including improved patient safety and care thanks to tracking of medication refills and drug interactions, increased practice efficiency, simplified communication with other providers, and a more efficient revenue stream. “As a physician early in my career, I do believe that EHRs are the way of the future and 10 years from now, I think most of us will be using them. However I think that practices should prepare for significant disruption to office flow and patient care along the way.” – RichARd nelson celebrating members Members Making A Difference:  david biro, m.d., Ph.d. DeRMATologIST TeACheS pATIeNT-  foCuSeD CARe soon AFTeR FinishinG his deRmAToloGy Residency, New W York dermatologist David Biro, M.D., Ph.D., was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening blood disease, for which he eventually underwent a bone marrow transplant. The anxiety-filled experience, paired with the loss of one of his close friends due to cancer, led him to focus his teaching and volunteer efforts on providing support systems for patients with serious illness. As a founding board member of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation — a nonprofit named after his late friend — Dr. Biro helps to provide grants for relatives of cancer patients to cover their travel, accommodations, and related expenses so they can provide emotional support during treatment. Dr. Biro has written about his transplant in the New York Times Magazine , as well as in a memoir, One Hundred Days: My Unexpected Journey from Doctor to Patient . He has also written two books about empa-thizing with patient suffering. His work has received glowing reviews from Publisher’s Weekly , the New York Times Book Review , and the Chicago Tribune . • In addition to his practice and nonprofit duties, Dr. Biro lectures first-year medical students at SUNY Downstate on the importance of patient-centered care, and also teaches a course on humanistic medicine to fourth-year students. media highlight In  Redbook’s article (circ. 2,226,536), “The  anti-aging plan for your exact skin tone,”  dermatologists  wendy Roberts, m.d. ,  Ranella hirsch, m.d. ,  maritza Perez, m.d. ,  Jessie cheung, m.d. , and  kavita mariwalla, m.d. , discussed the role of skin color in ag-ing. They also recommended skin care and  treatments based on skin color. To read this  article and other dermatology news, visit  the Academy’s Media Relations Toolkit at  www.aad.org/member-tools-and-benefits/ media-relations-toolkit.  -Rose PAsowicz    “The most important thing you can do is in some way personalize the situation. Think back to when you were a patient. Remember the feelings of anxiety and embarrassment.” • “Today, we have a lot of diseases that aren’t solvable. Even cancer can be a chronic disease for some people. If that’s the case, there’s got to be more that we can offer patients,” he said. “That’s where being more attuned, more receptive to the needs of patients, over and above the physical issues or the narrow needs of the specific disease, are very important. It can make us better doctors.” dw –John cARRuTheRs 36   Dermatology WorlD  // November 2011  // November 2011 www.aad.org

accolades

JOHN CARRUTHERS

<br /> Dermatologist testifies before Congress about EHR burden<br /> <br /> When dermatologist Sasha Kramer, M.D., of Olympia, Wash., started her own practice in May 2009, she adopted an electronic health record (EHR) system because she’d had a good experience with one during her residency and believed it was the prudent choice for a young physician. She could hardly have guessed that two years later she’d be adopting a second system after her first vendor was purchased by a company that stopped supporting her first system — or that she would be telling Congress about her experience.<br /> <br /> But on June 2, Dr. Kramer testified before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology as part of the panel, “Not What the Doctor Ordered: Health IT Barriers to Small Medical Practices.” She told the panel she’d spent $73,000 on EHR adoption, suffering practice disruptions during two implementations that created unacceptable wait times for patients. “In my community, there is a six-month waiting period for new patients to see a dermatologist. During these implementations, I’ve had to shut my practice down for several days, after which I had to bring my fast-paced practice to a grinding halt, seeing as many patients in a week as I normally see in a day. This creates even more frustration for patients in my community who are already underserved in regards to dermatology services.”<br /> <br /> Still, Dr. Kramer said, she believes that widespread EHR use will have benefits down the road, including improved patient safety and care thanks to tracking of medication refills and drug interactions, increased practice efficiency, simplified communication with other providers, and a more efficient revenue stream. “As a physician early in my career, I do believe that EHRs are the way of the future and 10 years from now, I think most of us will be using them. However I think that practices should prepare for significant disruption to office flow and patient care along the way.” <br /> – RICHARD NELSON<br /> <br /> SOON AFTER FINISHING HIS DERMATOLOGY RESIDENCY, New York dermatologist David Biro, M.D., Ph.D., was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening blood disease, for which he eventually underwent a bone marrow transplant. The anxiety-filled experience, paired with the loss of one of his close friends due to cancer, led him to focus his teaching and volunteer efforts on providing support systems for patients with serious illness. As a founding board member of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation — a nonprofit named after his late friend — Dr. Biro helps to provide grants for relatives of cancer patients to cover their travel, accommodations, and related expenses so they can provide emotional support during treatment.<br /> <br /> Dr. Biro has written about his transplant in the New York Times Magazine, as well as in a memoir, One Hundred Days: My Unexpected Journey from Doctor to Patient. He has also written two books about empathizing with patient suffering. His work has received glowing reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, the New York Times Book Review, and the Chicago Tribune.<br /> <br /> • In addition to his practice and nonprofit duties, Dr. Biro lectures first-year medical students at SUNY Downstate on the importance of patient-centered care, and also teaches a course on humanistic medicine to fourth-year students.<br /> • “Today, we have a lot of diseases that aren’t solvable. Even cancer can be a chronic disease for some people. If that’s the case, there’s got to be more that we can offer patients,” he said. “That’s where being more attuned, more receptive to the needs of patients, over and above the physical issues or the narrow needs of the specific disease, are very important. It can make us better doctors.”

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