"A template program might work for somebody in one specialty who only sees 30 or 40 diagnoses, but in family practice we see hundreds of diagnoses. I can't even imagine another program that could come near to Praxis in terms of its flexibility."
I'm board certified in family practice and I have three people working in my office - a receptionist, a medical assistant, and an office manager who takes care of billing and organizing the office in a better way. I have been using Praxis for a very long time - ten years, maybe more.
I'm not a computer person and I know very little about computers - at that time, I knew practically nothing. I had a brother-in-law who was an attorney and he kept saying, you ought to check out computers! I took a computer class and a doctor presented a computer program that he had written using macros. I thought, wow, how many times do I write "heart normal, lungs clear, abdomen fine"? So I started looking into programs and I paid $25 to examine a program. I probably spent a month on it and thought, this is ridiculous - I can't use this thing.
Then I tried another program for a month, and again I had the same reaction, that this was useless for me. It had certain nice features, but as far as trying to write a progress note, I found it totally useless. I had pretty much given up when I read an article about Praxis and the Concept Processor. I called and they gave me 3 months to try it with a refund if I wasn't happy with it. After 3 months I was totally hooked!
I'm not sure there is a typical case in family practice! One of the greatest advantages is with a patient with multiple chronic illnesses, like a patient with diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and maybe even asthma. When the patient comes in, I ask them about each area and how they’re doing with their meds, and then I take some little notes. Then I can bring in most of the information that I need automatically by clicking on their different diagnoses. If there's anything different today, I can just bring it up and make a change there. For instance, let’s say maybe they have a cold and a runny nose. I can just go to "nose" and make a change to that. And then I just click on all their meds to refill them, and they either go immediately electronically, or if the patient prefers paper, I can print it out for them.
In general, I usually take a few notes on paper, talk to the patient, and put some information in the HPI while I'm just sitting there talking about the history. Then I do the exam and sit down with the patient and complete the chart. When I was very new with it I completed the chart after being with the patient. Then, when I got used to Praxis – well, it's very rare that a patient walks out of the room and I haven’t completed the chart.
The feature I like most is being able to bring back all those chronic illnesses - with a few clicks, there they are! But there are other features I like a lot; for instance, if there's something I don't see often, like a red eye, I put information into the agents as to what things I should look for that are red flags, and different medications (which I maybe use three times a year, so I don't remember them) I can use to treat a certain eye condition. I can bring that up and it’s right there in front of me.
The more complicated the patient, the more time it usually saves me. So if I have a patient with 10 prescriptions, wow. It's with the complicated patient with multiple diagnoses where Praxis is the most beneficial on saving time. As far as financials, the government reimbursement for Meaningful Use has been very nice. We've been able to qualify for that, so that has helped a lot with the expenses. Praxis really makes practicing medicine easier and more pleasurable.
It's particularly useful for a family practitioner because it is so flexible. You can do anything you want to do with it. You can make any different diagnoses, any different treatment - you can apply it in many ways. A template program might work for somebody in one specialty who only sees 30 or 40 diagnoses, but in family practice we see hundreds of diagnoses. I can't even imagine another program that could come near to Praxis in terms of its flexibility. My advice to any family physician is that they ought to check out Praxis first, because to me it's very superior to any of the others.
It's great. When I have something that is pressing, they've been great at it.
I don't know if there's anything else to say - just try it!