“Take this with you and show it to your significant other” – A Conversation with Sal Volpe, MD

A little bit behind on blogging this week, and a little out of order because we’re back in New York City, working with some of the stars we began our journey with.

The quote comes from a conversation I had with one of those individuals, Sal Volpe, MD, who now as part of his process of care, regularly prints his full progress notes and gives them to every single patient. Sal’s board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Geriatrics, and is running the eClinicalWorks EHR in tandem with its patient portal. And this is how we got connected.

When I knew we were coming up, I learned from fellow blogger (on here) Melinda Jenkins, that there was a physician who had the eCW portal up and running. I of course asked if I could visit, meet, or talk to them, and Sal is him. His practice is located in Staten Island, New York.

Sal has about 50 patients up on the patient portal, out of a panel of about 1,700, so he’s just starting out. But he’s not worried about it – he would be happy with 1,000 patients online. He’s currently running a half-time practice, and prior to his work on the eClinicalWorks project, he’s had experience across a breadth of health plan administration and other physician leadership roles. He’s got a blog (of course), which is at http://ehrphrpatientportal.blogspot.com/.

So I asked him about the case for an EHR, and the case for a patient portal. He talks to a lot of medical groups about this. Given his health plan experience, he has a good understanding of how the benefits accrue in terms of quality, billing, and service, and he’s got optimism for the future.

The quote above says something about small practices’ ability to innovate. Sal told me that he can use the tool of the transparent progress note to communicate about needed prevention or testing not just to the patient but to their families. He knows I’m going to blog about this because I think it is a big deal.

We continue to find a lot of good things happening in New York around health information technology and patient access. More posts on the way…..

Ted Eytan, MD