Plastic Surgeon Lauds PatientNOW


Plastic Surgeon Lauds PatientNOW for Cleaning Up Office, Saving Time

John M. Hilinski, MD Plastic Surgeon Lauds
John M. Hilinski, MD

“I’m in the aesthetics business. So I want an office that looks clean, with a modern edge to it,” says facial plastic surgeon John M. Hilinski, MD, owner and medical director of San Diego Face & Neck Specialties (

With PatientNOW’s electronic medical record (EMR) system, hesays he doesn’t need racks of paper charts. “Around the office, we have big computer screens,” plus iPads used by staff members – and by patients for signing informed consent documents.”

Dr. Hilinski says that when he chose PatientNOW, he wanted a comprehensive system that would allow him to grow into it – not lock him down in terms of capabilities. “And PatientNOW certainly met this need.

Along with streamlining his daily duties, PatientNOW enables Dr. Hilinski to create his own personalized templates for documents such as consultation notes or operative reports. PatientNOW also has allowed him to create several automated text snippets that spare him from typing frequently used comments.

“I can just click them into the content on the fly.” Regarding informed consent, for example, once he discusses the risks and benefits of a procedure with a patient, “I can right-click, paste, and bam! It’s documented.”

Similarly, PatientNOW allows Dr. Hilinski to develop a consultation note or surgical plan – and forward it to the appropriate people – in a fraction of the time these tasks used to take.

Before implementing PatientNOW, “I had to pull out four or five sheets of paper, write down what I was doing on each one, and probably label it to specify which patient it was for. Now, I can click one button, and four different documents pop up.” Once he assigns them to staff members, another click sends each one to the right person’s computer screen – no more walking to the front office or using the intercom to tell staff members what he needs done.

Documenting aesthetic treatments also took more effort with pen and paper. “Now, I have these beautiful templates of an anatomical face that pop up on PatientNOW. I just make a mark to indicate precisely what I did where with Botox.” The system stores and categorizes these records so that if the patient wants to change the injection pattern, “I know exactly how to do that, because I’ve got a record of their last 10 visits.”

Additionally, PatientNOW makes it easier to manage the approximately 30 percent of his business that involves insurance. In this regard, says Dr. Hilinski, “PatientNOW makes it very easy to keep track of a patient’s visit on a certain date – and whether it was an insurance case, a cosmetic case, or both,” as well as whether the associated insurance superbill has been paid.

“In that sense, I can follow my reconstructive and insurance business much more closely than I used to. The bottom line is it has added about 20 percent additional revenue for the practice. It’s always about working smarter, not harder. And PatientNOW allows me to do that.”

PatientNOW brings similar advantages to Dr. Hilinski’s inhouse ambulatory surgery center, which uses completely different documents, such as preauthorization forms.

“They need an entirely different set of numbers and assessments. There are deductibles, co-pays and daily maximums that you never have to account for” in aesthetic surgery. And PatientNOW handles them all with ease.

“Nowadays, it’s rare that I don’t complete my documentation immediately after I see the patient. At the end of the day, I don’t have to go back and remember that clinic visit from 9 a.m. As a result, I get out of the office earlier. This helps me trim at least an hour off of my day compared to the days of using paper charts. That translates into more time at home with my family and less stress in general.”

Overall, “It’s made my day-to-day office routine a lot easier than having paper charts around. And PatientNOW cleans up the clutter. I don’t have a lot of space to expand or store paper charts.”

Back when he was evaluating EMR systems, he says there was only one other option suitable for a practice like his – a very popular product backed by countless testimonials and referrals.

“Unfortunately, it was very expensive, comparatively speaking.” After doing his homework, Dr. Hilinski says he discovered that PatientNOW did everything the other system did and he said he got a lot more for his money.
“In choosing PatientNOW,” says Dr. Hilinski, “I went out on a limb a little, but it turned out to be one of the best practice decisions I’ve ever made.” Now San Diego Face & Neck Specialties is a leader in plastic surgery. ANT

Reprinted with permission from Aesthetics News Today, a PCI Publication.