Riverbend Healthcare tracks glaucoma screenings

Sharon Geimer, M.D.

Sharon Geimer, M.D., is a solo practitioner at Riverbend Healthcare and a big believer in preventive care. She attributes her orientation to the fact she is both a pediatrician and an internist. "What I want to do is provide the best care possible. Certain preventive screenings are really important," she says.

Dr. Geimer talks to patient Michelle Baumeister

Although the HEDIS measure recommends glaucoma screenings for all patients 65 and over, Dr. Geimer says she believes it's important for all her patients over 40 to get screened. Dr. Geimer considers the patient's age and family history in making a recommendation.

"I remind my patients of vision changes that we discussed at their last visit, and stress the importance of glaucoma screenings," she says.

Riverbend Healthcare has used electronic records since 2003, but didn't have a place to specifically highlight glaucoma screenings. So Dr. Geimer started tracking patients by chronic condition. Patients with diabetes and hypertension and those with family history of glaucoma were flagged in her medical records. "We scanned the results of our diabetic patients and labeled it "eye exam". So we know where to find the results in the electronic record," explains Dr. Geimer.

What started as a system that tracked patients by chronic condition has become a routine that is in place for all the practice's patients.

Chart review is important to keeping track of patients to make sure they get the right screenings. The practice also uses a registry to track patients and works with several ophthalmologists who participate in the registry so the information is easily accessible.

"Our staff double checks the registry information during chart review time," says Dr. Geimer. "The staff is looking at patients who have recently been in the office as well as upcoming appointments to see if eye exams were completed. So we do track patients both proactively and retroactively," she explains.

Dr. Geimer recommends her patients to ophthalmologists with whom she has a good rapport. Her professional relationship with ophthalmologists helps Dr. Geimer to understand her patients' conditions and coordinate to provide better care. "The ophthalmologists send me reports and don't mind if I call to ask questions to understand a patient's condition and how to help them," she says.