The problem with current optometric software

on February 23rd, 2005 | Filed under Optoblog

I recently received in the mail a free audio CD from The Williams Group which goes over important features for optometric practice software. Of course, their product, Enterprise Solutions by OD Professional, has all of these. Actually, I was fairly impressed, and their software doesn’t have the silly restriction that MaximEyes has of an 800×600 pixel display.
On the whole, though, I feel that the EMR features of all current optometry software fall short.
My goal is to have a paperless office. How can I do that if my visual field machine tests and corneal topography maps aren’t automatically imported into the record? There is no software vendor on the market with the capability to import a Humphrey visual field into the EMR. This is my biggest beef. Why is it so hard for the software companies to import the hardware data? Proprietary interests I suppose. DVD, JPEG and other formats where defined by different companies in the industry coming together in a work group to sort out the details. Software vendors and ophthalmic instrument companies need to make standards for exporting data or at least an image of the reports. I would prefer data import to allow database searching and reports.
Also, I would expect from my practice software true website integration (while maintaining HIPAA compliance). The main website feature I would like is a contact lens re-order system that doesn’t require my staff to manually look up patient file to see if the CL Rx has expired. I definitely don’t want patients to schedule themselves online, but it would be nice to have them fill out patient information and history forms online (of course using encryption to be HIPAA compliant) that would automatically import into the software so my receptionist doesn’t have to type anything, just verify the information is correct when the patients comes in.
Also, the optometric software/hardware working group should come up with standards for optometric EMR database rules to allow easy conversion from one software suite to another. It would also allow an office to use (if desired) one brand of software for scheduling, one brand for EMR, and another for billing and financials. The standards group could also facilitate the format for ordering via web to any lab and billing to any insurance or clearing house.
Since Ziess Humphrey is the main perpetrator of not allowing data/report exportation, I suggest they become the leader in the proposed work group to devise these standards. Of course, Topcon, Marco, Tomey, Nidek, Optos, OD Professional, maximEyes, VersaSuite, RLIsys, and others should get involved as well.

6 Comments

6 Responses to “The problem with current optometric software”

  1. Another feature I want is the ability to give to patients a CD-ROM with a read-only copy of every test and chart note. Of course, the patient will have to complete a chart request form which would be signed on a digital pen like at the check-out stand of a big box store.

  2. Never mind what I said about contact lens re-order. Apparently major contact lens distributers already can do this for you. (See Optometric Management)
    Still, the billing software would have to integrate with contact lens ordering for the managed care patients.

  3. David says:

    Apparently the Maximeyes 800×600 display is only a minimum requirement. (Please see a comment left by the CEO of First Insight.) I think it should be a little more clear on their specs sheet, for example say the word “minimum.”

  4. Maximeyes Software User says:

    I have been told by Maximeyes that I would be able to upgrade our software system to a new version that they have out now. I believe this is version 6.0. However, in spite of my hopes to have been upgraded this year to version 6.0, during which time I have kept my yearly annual fees current (to the tune of over 2400 dollars a year), they are now telling me that I cannot upgrade to this new version until next year. This has come as a great disappointment since we have been told since 2004 that the upgrade is almost ready and they never delivered on the promise. I can honestly say that myself and a few of my acquaintences who are using Maximeyes are seriously looking at other software packages that may fit our needs. As a side note, I know of two practices that did get to upgrade this year to version 6.0 and they said that it sometimes took weeks to get a reply from their techs who handle the upgrades. Hardly a good indication of what I could expect next year when, or IF, they ever re-release version 6.0.

  5. Michelle says:

    Please believe me when I say consider yourself lucky your upgrade to 6.0 has been put on the back burner until next year. Our office received the upgrade back in July of this year and it has been very unpleasant to say the least. Both staff members and doctors have found it lacking, and yes tech support has been slow in responding to all requests. Also, the VSP integration is terrible. Nothing works right. This is a disappointment to us because we really thought this company would be better then our last software company, which it was until the upgrade.

  6. Jason says:

    VersaSutie does intergrate with the Ziess Humphrey machine, it is elegant and it works. I saw a demo in a office last week. Has anyone heard anything else about VersaSuite?