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When David and Goliath work together: On the call with Dr. Peter Barrett

The one word that most in healthcare would never associate with HIMSS: small. The conference’s immense scope of educational sessions and solution demonstrations can be staggering especially for those in attendance representing independent or solo practices. That being said, it would be a tremendous error to assume that smaller healthcare organizations do not have as much to gain in attending HIMSS as their larger counterparts as there are countless opportunities for strong vendor partnerships to be created in the lecture hallways and on exhibitor floor. 

As part of our “Countdown to HIMSS’16” series, we spoke with Dr. Peter Barrett, practice owner of Penn Ankle & Foot Care, Reading, PA. Our hope was to learn more about the life of a solo practice, as well as how he worked on the ICD-10 transition with Cerner, one of the largest players in the healthcare industry.  

Some of the subjects we discussed included:

  • his reasoning behind creating his practice;
  • his lack of initial concerns regarding ICD-10;
  • Cerner’s comprehensive efforts to assist his practice with the ICD-10 transition;
  • the confusion around ICD-10 that persists today within the industry.

(Editor’s note: To hear audio excerpts of this interview, click on the media player buttons that run throughout this article.)

I. Background

Barrett explains why he choose to create a solo practice rather than participate within a larger group.

 

II. The first ICD-10 deadlines

Barrett explains how electronic medial records dominated much of his time early on in his practice’s development. It was only within the last two years that ICD-10 finally got his attention.  

 

III. Early ICD-10 preparation and Cerner

Barrett describes how the industry suffered a lack of general knowledge relative to the ICD-10 transition. It was Cerner, according to Barrett, and its team who helped him to become more involved and more comfortable as the ICD-10 deadline approached. 

 

IV. His practice’s pre-existing relationship with Cerner

Barrett explains how a natural progression of software implementations led to his long-standing working relationship with Cerner.  

 

V. Cerner and ICD-10 training

Cerner’s effective training, Barrett says, is the key to his practice’s successful transition to ICD-10. He goes on to explain how the company’s vast experience around the world and within multiple specialties is a tremendous value to its partners.  

 

VI. Industy-wide EMR frustrations prevented ICD-10 preparations  

Barrett outlines how the industry’s frustrations with EMR became so overwhelming that ICD-10 had to be delayed. He goes on to claim that those organizations with a higher level of comfort with EMR experienced fewer problems when making the ICD-10 transition.

 

VII. Cerner’s work prior to the ICD-10 deadline

Due to Cerner’s proactive and thorough preparations with his staff leading up to the ICD-10 deadline, Barrett explains how October 1, 2015 was just a regular day at the office.

 

VIII. Confusion remains in the field 

Barrett states confusion around ICD-10 remains in the industry. He believes that those few practitioners who are still without adequate EMR experience are having a great deal of difficulty with the change even today. 

 

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