Phoenix Ortho EHR is an orthopedic-specific electronic health record system that can be used by practices of all sizes, from solo physicians to large orthopedic centers. The software automates all practices areas, including documentation, image integration, patient messaging and e-prescribing. Phoenix Ortho is ONC-ATCB Certified and, because it is specifically designed for orthopedics, there is no need for templates.
One unique feature of Phoenix Ortho EHR is the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) technology. OMR enables your medical staff to quickly capture a patient’s history, family history, and social habits without staff data entry. Also, we like that the system is designed for multiple modes of entry such as point and click, voice dictation, or traditional transcription and it easily integrates with digital x-rays and MRIs.
Phoenix Ortho EHR is an intelligent system that adapts to the unique preferences of each user. It generates “smart lists” that are configured to show a physician’s most common selections during a patient encounter, including medications, diagnoses, and orders. The more you use this system, the more specific the suggestions become.
The EHR is sold on a stand-alone basis and Phoenix Ortho also offers an integrated RIS and PACS. The company is committed to successful deployments and delivering superior levels of customer service. Their “AAA” implementation plan focuses on assessment, adoption and adaptation and their world-class help desk is on hand to quickly resolve any issues. Phoenix Ortho is a smart choice for orthopedic practices looking to improve patient care and overall office efficiency.
Christopher from Orthopedic Specialists, PLLC
Specialty: Orthopedics / sports medicine
Phoenix Ortho ensures that you are very comfortable with the product by ensuring you have staff on-hand for deployment. Unlike larger EMR packages, Phoenix is perfectly suited to an Orthopedic Practice and allows for easy customization. Creating templates, pick lists, and setting up for visits takes a minute to sink in and is a breeze. Of course, if you ever run into issues, tech support is very easy to get a hold of.
I have nothing bad to say. Anytime we run into issues, we are quickly supported and can even offer suggestions for the next versions coming out. Phoenix Ortho listens to their clients' needs and does the best they can to implement changes that will improve their product.
If you're with an Ortho practice, take a moment to schedule a demo. Phoenix isn't as large as some of the competitors, but what they lack in size, they make up for in quality.
Kenneth from LSO
Specialty: Orthopedics / sports medicine
I have to say that due to problems with the software, my staff and I had several calls and emails into support, and they did respond relatively fast. Sadly, their response was usually that the software couldn't do what we asked and that we should try and find some workaround.
Although one could never expect any one piece of software to be a perfect fit for everyone, I believe that my experience would be typical, because I have a general orthopedic practice. The opinions held within this review were based on my use of the software for almost a year (I have since discontinued use of the software and returned to paper charts. I have also resumed my shopping for an EHR).
My first main complaint is that although the software can handle a patient encounter with more than one body part, when you do have more than one body part, the software becomes much harder to use and errors get easily introduced into the record (mostly right <--> left). When entering the diagnosis, the side defaults to the body part selected on the "main" page. So if you want to enter a diagnosis for the right shoulder, left knee, right radiculopathy, etc., you either have to click back to the main page and select the body part or you have to make sure you change the side. On a followup visit, I asked them why the computer doesn't already know that the shoulder diagnosis is on the right, they said that I have to fix that each time. In addition, my surgery scheduler tells me that if a patient has a bilateral problem (such as bilateral shoulder injuries), when surgery is recommended, there was no obvious indication in the reports or order as to which side upon which I desired to operate.
We had many complaints regarding the way the software handled patients with multiple problems at a single visit. For example, you couldn't post a surgery on a knee and a shoulder at the same visit. You can't order physical therapy on more than one area without editing the prescription each time. There were many problems with right/left when a patient came in with bilateral problems. When we would call for support, they would tell us that most of their users saw patients with only one problem. In my practice, I see a lot of major injuries. My patients rarely have one problem. It isn't uncommon for a patient to have a neck, back, knee and shoulder injury (as an example); this software was very difficult to use in that situation. Also, one odd problem with the software was that if the same exam applied to two body parts, sometimes the final report who show two different findings for the same exam. This is extremely embarrassing, especially when you have to explain this in a deposition. For example: if a patient has a cervical injury and a wrist injury with medial nerve numbness. In the cervical exam section, normal sensation will be documented; however, in the wrist exam, there will be numbness along a median nerve distribution.
As far as documenting and reporting of the physical exam, there were several flaws with the software. With the cervical exam, it was difficult to document myelopathy. That had to be typed in the comment section each time. The physical exam section was minimally modifiable. In addition, if I saw a patient with a neck injury, it was awkward to document abdominal or lower extremity reflexes. Those are documented in the lower extremity or lumbar exam screens. As a result, you would have to add the lumbar as a problem (even if it wasn't) in order to document those areas. When I suggested various modifications to the exam the developers created, support told me that I had to use the exam as they had it and add anything else in the comment section.
Also, many of my patients' diagnoses are associated with a particular date of onset (or date of injury). I need that in the history (especially in work comp charts). To have a date of injury in the history, you have to "click" on their data entry tree. This is a problem if the injury was in another decade (such as 2009). When entering the date, you click on "Onset of Symptoms" then click on "Acute with Injury" then click on "On Date." Then you are defaulted to a calendar of this month and year. So you click on "Year," and it shows you a list of years in this decade (i.e.. 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 etc.) so then you click on "Decade". Then you click on the 2000-2009 decade, then click "2009," then click the month, and then click the day. I asked them why the computer can't remember that the patient fractured their forearm in 2009. Why do I have to remind the computer of that each visit? Things like date of onset and side should be associated with the diagnosis so they don't have to be entered each time.
Another issue is that to use some of the functions of the software, you have to give the user local admin rights on the computer. This is lazy programming. Check with your IT guy; he won't like that at all! They should have set up the software so that it only required specific privileges, not Admin privileges. Another major problem was that the reports had major formatting issues and they were not customizable by the end user. So the office notes generated looked amateur. Chiropractor software was generating more professional reports than mine. I was so embarrassed, especially if my report was being used as evidence in a personal injury case.
Another problem was that each time I set up a surgery, I needed to send that "task" to a specific employee. So each time I'd have to select that person out of a 15 person pull-down list. Why can't the software remember that all surgery requests should go to employee A for scheduling? This may seem minor, but it is an example of how amateur this software feels. It is a generally accepted standard that when entering username and password, the cursor starts in the username field. You type the username, hit the Tab key, then type the password and then press the Return key - not with Phoenix Ortho. After entering the username, the first Tab takes you to a useless checkbox, and the second TAB takes you to the password field. So you have to be cognizant of that when you are working in Phoenix Ortho, because it is different than all other software.
Also, there was no internal consistency in the software. Certain activities had contextual pull-down menus, whereas others had pop-up dialog boxes. As a result, the software was very annoying to use on a large screen, because in many cases where a contextual menu would work great, they'd use a pop-up, and I found that my mouse was chasing down pop-up boxes all over my screen. It is true that you can scan in documents (such as imaging reports), but there was no way to search for them; there was no way to add keywords; you couldn't even sort them alphabetically or by date. So results were in random order, and it took forever to get information out of the software.
Before buying an EHR, try using it for an actual patient encounter you would normally have. I didn't do this, because all this software requires a bit of configuring to customize it to your practice, so I figured that using unconfigured software would be a poor example. However, I think I would have noticed many of my later complaints. By then, it is too late, because you have a signed sales contract. It increases the time needed for an office visit, more time is spent on the computer than evaluating the patient, plus, this doesn't decrease errors, but in fact, increases the number of errors in the chart.
Response: Micah, Phoenix Ortho
Date: January 2014
Obviously, we’re disappointed that our system was not a perfect fit for this client. Perhaps we should have recognized this during the sales process. The vast majority of the issues outlined above are, in fact, not issues with the software but rather with use of the system. We have unlimited access to training videos, help documents, a user’s community, no extra cost live one-on-one training (on-site or web-based), and phone/email/online support. As is the case with all software, tasks have to be performed the way the software is designed to handle them. Sometimes a user thinks that software should be able to generate an expected result when using a process he/she wants to use rather than the documented process.
While I do not feel the need to rebut everything in the review above, here are few items that stand out as especially erroneous:
- The system does remember dates of injury and this is a perfect example of user error.
- The system is singularly distinguished by our robust handling of multi-body region orthopaedic encounters
- Local administrative access on the workstation is not required.
- Our reports are fully customizable and feedback we receive is that we have one of the best reporting systems in the industry.
- The notes generated by the system have been praised and appreciated by our many Orthopaedic clients.
While it may seem trite to say that “no system is perfect”, it is, nevertheless, true. We take solace in the fact that of all the systems that attempt to address the needs of orthopaedics in EHRs, we are without equal. Yet, we do not rest on our past accomplishments as we constantly strive for higher functionality with each release. Our client base receives several releases each year which provide new functionality and fixes to this end. We even provide an ideas forum where our users can post suggestions and vote on each other’s ideas. We then use those high ranking ideas to find useful enhancements to the software and incorporate them in future versions.
We have hundreds of satisfied and happy customers that know we stand behind our product 100%.
Rory from Orthopedics Administrator
Specialty: Orthopedics / sports medicine
Premier focus on orthopedics. Ease of setup and maintenance. Appears to follow (flow with) most routine and focused injury/disease exams. Technical support is five stars. I love how the program compiles the computer-generated exam into a concise, problem-specific patient encounter.
All EHR's are most certainly "a work in progress." They have to be with the constant government changes. This company is constantly modifying the program to keep up with reporting regulations and technical procedural changes. As far as the vendor goes, if they promise something, they deliver. Trust is an issue in today's EHR marketplace, but not here.
I read the previous rating of this product (by what appears to be a an orthopedic spine surgeon). As an orthopedic administrator I cannot make a medical judgement as to the clinical ease of use of the product; however, I've spoken with many orthopedic surgeons who have evaluated the product or are currently using it. Their reviews are the same: a rock solid EHR and most certainly "Best in Class" (Orthopedic Only).
No software program is everything to everybody. Spine is simply one component of several (i.e. Sports Medicine, Foot & Ankle, Joint Replacement, Hand, Trauma, Upper Extremity, etc.). Call for references. I think you'll like what you find.