OCI Implements Electronic Health Records (EHR)

What are Electronic Health Records?

Electronic health records are a computerized way of managing health information and communication in health care. Electronic vs. paper records improve documentation and the safety of a patient’s pertinent records. Experts say they reduce errors, carelessness and frustration.

Why Are We Converting to This Now? 

President Obama signed into law Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) with a goal of having Americans have access to electronic health records by 2014.  You may have heard that physicians receive “incentives” from the government to do this…. this is true, and it is also true that the cost to do this is about double what physicians receive from the government.  In addition, if physicians do not comply, the government will begin to cut their Medicare payments more than they have already, in the year 2014.

What Can We, As Patients, Expect?

As a result of our embracing this regulation, you will notice that we are asking more questions on our Patient Registration and Health History forms.  We are required to collect this information by the 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.  For example, we are required to ask your ethnicity and race.  If you feel the questions are too invasive then please use the “Patient Declined” or “Unknown”.

You may also notice that some questions may not be directly related to your orthopaedic, podiatric or musculoskeletal system. The majority of your health history is pertinent to your orthopaedic condition. A few questions may not appear applicable to your care. Again, we are required to at least ask you these questions and to collect the information. Please feel free to answer the questions with “Patient Declined” or similar answer if you object to the question.

Now for the good news!  

Our Electronic Health Record (EHR) has many new features including patient portal access, electronic medication prescribing, allergy alerts and other patient protection features.

•  We will soon be offering you the ability to see your electronic medical record summary via the internet. This is why we are collecting your email address.

•  Electronic Prescribing – sends non-narcotic prescriptions directly to your pharmacy of choice.  Your prescription should be waiting for you at the pharmacy.

•  Medication and Allergy Alerts – if you have a known allergy or medication allergy our EHR will check your new prescriptions against your known allergies and notify your doctor or pharmacist so your prescription can be changed to a safer alternative.

•  Thanks for your patience during the implementation of these new mandates and changes.

Golf injuries: Play it safe with these tips

golferdreamstime_m_24619735Golf injuries are common but avoidable. Learn how to protect yourself.
By Mayo Clinic staff

Many golfing-related injuries are a result of poor mechanics or overuse, particularly in golfers who are new to the game or play infrequently. Although golf isn’t a contact sport, it puts significant demands on your body — which can easily lead to golf injuries. Follow these tips to stay in shape on the course.

Adjust your swing
Understanding the mechanics behind your golf swing can help you prevent golf injuries:

• Use proper posture. Think about your posture before and during your swing. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and distribute your weight equally on both feet. Avoid hunching over the ball, which may contribute to neck and back strain.

•  Stay smooth. The power of a golf swing comes from force transferred smoothly through all the muscle groups, from your ankles to your wrists. If you depend on one part of your body for your hitting power, you may be more prone to injuries. For example, overemphasizing your wrists during your swing can lead to golfer’s elbow — a strain of the muscles on the inside of the forearm.

•  Don’t overswing. If you swing the club too hard or too fast, you may stress your joints. Relax and take a nice, easy swing at the ball. The best golfers have consistent — not necessarily fast — swing tempos.

If you want to reduce the risk of golf injuries, consider taking lessons. What you learn about your golf swing may even help you shave strokes from your score.

Other tips to keep you on the course

There’s more to golf than your golf swing. Consider other ways to lower your risk of golf injuries:

•  Warm up. Before you practice your golf swing or play a round of golf, warm up with a brisk walk or a set of jumping jacks. Stretch your hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, spine and pelvis. Swing your golf club a few times, gradually increasing your range of motion.

•  Start slowly. You might practice your swing for hours, believing it’s helping your game — but if your body isn’t conditioned for the strain, practicing your golf swing may do more harm than good. Work up to your desired level of activity instead.

•  Strengthen your muscles. You don’t need bulging muscles to hit a long drive — but the stronger your muscles, the greater your club speed. Better yet, stronger muscles are less prone to golf injuries. For best results, do strength training exercises year-round.

•  Build up your endurance. Regular aerobic activity can give you staying power on the course. Try walking, jogging, bicycling or swimming.

•  Choose proper footwear. Dress for comfort and protection from the
elements. Wear golf shoes with short cleats. Long cleats dig into the sod
and hold your feet planted as you swing, which may strain your knees
or ankles.

Meet Dr. Senica

Kari Senica, M.D.

kms•  Graduated from Southern Illinois University School of  Medicine, Springfield, Illinois
•  Internship, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine affiliated hospitals
•  Residency, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine affiliated hospitals
•  Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
•  Fellow, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
•  Member, Illinois Orthopaedic Society
•  Member, Illinois State Medical Society
•  Member, Sangamon County Medical Society
•  Member, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

Why did you decide to go into Orthopedic Surgery?
I chose orthopedics because I wanted to see and treat patients of all ages.  I also like seeing both acute injuries and chronic problems.  The most rewarding part of this discipline is seeing patients have positive outcomes and actually “fixing” patient problems.

Why did you choose your specialization?
I chose general orthopedics because I enjoy seeing a variety of joint and tendon problems.  In my practice I see everything from fractures to osteoarthritis.  This spectrum of problems pushes me to stay current on the latest treatments of orthopedic injuries and conditions.

What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Seeing a patient come back after treatment or an injection and having them tell me they are improved. 

What do you do to relax when you’re not in the office?
I enjoy walking my five rescue dogs, exercising, bicycling, martial arts, weight lifting, and kickboxing.  I also enjoy doing volunteer work for my church and spending time with my family and friends.