Pain management practice needed a specialty-specific EHR.


PainCare Health Records™ from ITelagen


  • Customized pain management EHR
  • Pain-specific content and templates
  • Improved workflow
  • Fast, accurate documentation

Southern Pain and Neurological (Southern Pain) is an interventional pain management practice with three facilities in Louisiana. Founded in 1996, Southern Pain uses state-of-the-art healthcare to improve patients’ quality of life. Doctors, nurses and physician assistants provide a full range of services including implanted nerve stimulators and drug delivery systems, epidural steroid injections, diagnostic nerve blocks and therapeutic joint injections.

Melanie Mire joined Southern Pain as a Physician Assistant 15 years ago. Lara Morris has worked with her as an X-ray Technician and Medical Assistant for 13 years. Together, Melanie and Lara ensure that Southern Pain maximizes the potential of healthcare technology to efficiently provide the highest quality care.

Southern Pain used a generic Electronic Health Record (EHR) for several years. The generic EHR templates weren’t designed for pain management, which impacted usability and created additional work for the practice. Southern Pain started to search for a pain management EHR in 2015, but few options existed. The practice selected ITelagen’s new PainCare Health Records solution, which offered a robust core EHR and the potential to customize templates and other content for pain management.

“Pain management practices have unique requirements that other specialties don’t have to think about,” says Melanie Mire. “With ITelagen, we were able to start from scratch and customize the EHR to reflect what we do on a day-to-day basis and expedite the flow of work.”

Tailored to Pain Management

ITelagen worked closely with Southern Pain to tailor PainCare Health Records to its unique environment:

  • Fast, accurate documentation. Using PainCare Health Records, Southern Pain accurately documents procedures like implantable stimulators and pain pumps with just a few clicks.
  • Customized templates. PainCare Health Records templates are highly specific to pain management. For example, there are templates for pump implants, and confirmation of depression screening is included in relevant templates.
  • Tracking response to treatment over time. After a device, like a pump, is present in the patient as an active implant, clinicians can easily graph, chart and maintain patient response to the treatment over time.
  • Controlled Substance Agreement documentation. Practice staff can document and confirm that a signed, current Controlled Substance Agreement is in place.
  • Post-Op notes for pain management. PainCare Health Records has post-op notes for common pain management procedures, such as implants.
  • Pharmacy Board verification. Staff can quickly check the status of a Board of Pharmacy License.
  • State-level terminology. PainCare Health Records contains customized phrases for interventional pain management procedures as required for insurance authorizations.

“With the earlier generic EHR, everything seemed foreign. It was tedious to move around the system and document properly,” says Lara Morris. “PainCare Health Records significantly improved our workflow by including specific terminology and phrases for pain management.”

ITelagen uses its deep knowledge of pain management workflows to continually enhance PainCare Health Records for Southern Pain. “We call ITelagen with a question or an issue, and the support team is able to conceptualize the problem and quickly share a solution that we start using immediately,” says Melanie Mire. “They have an outstanding ability to really listen to our challenges and provide an answer that works for us.”

Communication and collaboration are hallmarks of the successful partnership between ITelagen and Southern Pain. Many discussions take place via videoconference. “Seeing something is always better than just hearing it, so ITelagen does a lot of WebEx sessions with us,” says Lara Morris. “It adds depth to the discussion and shows their commitment to understand the issue and come up with the best solution.”

New Chronic Pain Solutions

ITelagen continues to develop new functionality for common pain management treatment areas. These solutions for chronic pain have been particularly helpful for Southern Pain:

  • History of Present Illness Tab. Discussions with chronic pain patients are usually about a specific area of pain (for example, lower back) and how it changes over time. In PainCare Health Records, clinicians can use the History of Present Illness tab to do a lookback across all previous discussions about that area of pain. This allows the clinician to better manage the conversation about the chronic condition over time – by carrying the conversation forward in the same direction, or quickly pulling in additional data to change the conversation as needed.
  • Chronic Conditions Template. Accurate E/M coding is essential to getting paid for services provided. The Chronic Conditions template in PainCare Health Records gives clinicians an easy way to pull in data on chronic conditions that are being monitored – like blood pressure or diabetes, which can influence potential interventional treatments. By using this template to pull data forward into a current encounter, Southern Pain has improved how E/M coding for chronic conditions is represented in the EHR.
Automated, Accurate Billing

Southern Pain will soon expand its PainCare Health Records usage by phasing in the integrated revenue cycle management functionality. Their goal is to improve billing accuracy and timeliness, with better reporting.  “By integrating clinical and financial data within the PainCare Health Records solution, our billing will more accurately reflect the services that we provide,” said Lara Morris. “And having automated reporting will enable our financial team to look back at charges, submissions and denials to identify areas for improvement.”

“The way that insurance companies want to see things and have data represented changes constantly. We appreciate having ITelagen as our partner to create solutions that help us keep up with the new requirements as they evolve.” adds Melissa Mire. “The less we have to think about it, the better.”