Mastered it in two weeks

Leonard Mennen, DO

Internal Medicine

Dr. Leonard Mennen has been practicing medicine for more than 40 years. Prior to joining South Tampa Medical, he served as Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Development at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois, and has been a Dean of two medical schools.

Dr. Mennen and his staff were meticulous and thorough in their review of electronic medical records systems before purchasing Aprima from DAS. “In our review of 4-5 systems Aprima was the best for us,” says Dr. Mennen, “It was the easiest for everyone to use.”

“Most of the doctors who are older complain it takes too much time to learn EMR systems. Some say they can’t learn it. That’s false... A myth,” says Dr. Mennen.

“Most journals say the older doctors don’t want to use EHR because it’s too hard for them. It’s a figment of their imagination that it’s too difficult.” After the first week of training, Dr. Mennen was charting half his patients on the computer and dictating the other half. In the second week he was using Aprima for all patients. “I don’t think you’ll find many doctors older than me practicing, and I managed to master it in two weeks,” says Dr. Mennen.

The ability to customize the chart was very important in creating an efficient process. With the help of DAS’ Implementation Specialists, Dr. Mennen customized the system to minimize the amount of time he spends doing each note. For him, “The key is efficiency of time.” After each patient he sees, Dr. Mennen spends 3-5 minutes charting the visit in the system. “The morning charts are done before I eat lunch and the afternoon charts are done before I leave,” says Dr. Mennen. He never has charts waiting for him.

The benefits go beyond having an easy, efficient charting process. “The benefit now is I can look someone up at home and pull up any information I want,” says Dr. Mennen, “If I want to check my messages on the days I don’t work, I can just go on to the system. You could even do your charting at home if you want.”

Further efficiencies come from not having to search through paper charts to hunt down information. “A great advantage to the system is when you are in the patients room, if you want to know the test you did last year, you can pull it right up, see it and compare it,” says Dr. Mennen. Things like going over cholesterol levels with his patients - he can quickly pull up both today’s and last year’s results and easily compare them. Dr. Mennen also shows patients their lab work on the computer as he’s discussing results with them. “They look at it with you and feel like they are involved. They are seeing it with their own eyes, it makes more sense than when you just tell them a bunch of information and hope they will remember it,” says Dr. Mennen. It’s a better experience for his patients.

Dr. Mennen’s final words of advice to those looking at buying an EHR for their practice? “Look at 3 to 4 systems. Make sure the one you choose accommodates all your needs. If you get the wrong system, you’ll be frustrated. If you get the right system, it’s very simple. Aprima was perfect for me.”

South Tampa Medical was converted to Aprima from Greenway EMR and Practice Management.