Q&A with Robert A. Ruggiero, Sr., M.D., F.A.C.S.
Meet Dr. Robert A. Ruggiero, father, grandfather, top orthopaedic surgeon, lifelong athlete and avid competitive runner, going the distance in over 50 races per year. His favorite race is the one he founded in 2002, the annual "Race Against Arthritis" 5K Run/Walk, which later became the annual Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis. He also founded Ruggiero Orthopaedic Associates, now known as the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Center (PAOC) with four office locations and three physical therapy facilities to serve the entire Delaware Valley. Dr. Ruggiero is an affiliated physician on the active staff of the Main Line Health Hospitals.
Robert A. Ruggiero, Sr., M.D., F.A.C.S
Main Line Health
Q: Does the MobileMD feed enhance your EMR?
A: When Harm (Harm Scherpbier, MD, vice president and chief medical officer at Main Line Health) presented the hospital's interfaces to our practice, its extraction of data was almost magical. It wasn't magic, of course, but in the sense that an electronic transfer of information ended up in the patient's record without having to hire someone to scan and put it there. The interface with the hospital definitely enhances our EMR, because it provides us with a single portal for all of our patients' records delivered in chronological order. Another great feature of the MobileMD feed is the ability to virtually remove the element of human error during filing or scanning.
Q: Has the MobileMD connection made it easier for physicians to work with Main Line Health?
A: It has made it easier to work with MLH, because all the information flows into the patient's record. I try to direct all of my studies, such as radiology and lab, to Main Line Health, because I can count on having the reports delivered electronically right in the patients' electronic medical record. I can be sure that after the patient completes his or her study at the hospital, the report will be waiting for me when I log into my EMR. No waiting for a telephone call, fax or the mail. I would say that it made the entire process more efficient.
Q: Would you recommend the MobileMD connection to other physicians?
A: I just can't rave enough about it. I always recommend it to others because it makes our treatment better. We have access to the records very easily. It has improved our quality of care; we don't have a lot papers; it's the way to go with records in this day and age.
There's nothing like having a good record available. We saved at least one full-time employee, maybe two, who would be filling and putting all the charts together. Now we can do things in half the time, and we save a lot of trees in the process.
Q: What's your history been with MobileMD?
A: We started using the system in May of 2008, so we are well over a year into it, and it has made a huge impact in the use of our EMR.
Q: What are a few of the clinical benefits?
A: You are able to provide a higher level of patient care, improve patient safety and greater access to the tools you need to be more efficient. If you order a study and it's not there for you to review, you have a problem, and it sometimes ends up falling through the cracks. It is great to have everything you need to make a competent medical decision for your patient at your fingertips. The power of access to a system like this can't be stressed enough. This system allows all of our physicians and support staff the ability to access a complete medical record 24x7 from any location in the world with an Internet connection.