How Cloud-Based Software Helped Make One Practice More Efficient


With eye care professionals (ECPs) working their way back to ‘normal’ while the COVID-19 pandemic continues and uncertainty remains for all businesses, one optometrist is glad he made the switch to a more efficient practice management tool when he did.

The Eyefinity Team recently caught up with Shane Fontenot, O.D. of Advanced Family Eyecare to hear about his transition from Officemate/ExamWRITER to Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR from VSP Global®. Here’s what he had to say about his experience:

“I purchased Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR in May 2019 and went live with the cloud-based system about five months later in November 2019,” said Dr. Fontenot. “With all the craziness that began in 2020, I’m so glad I made the switch over to Eyefinity when I did. The change has allowed my team to increase our efficiency and see and treat patients safely and effectively throughout the pandemic.”

But how is this increased efficiency possible with a cloud-based system, and what exactly is the ‘cloud?’

At its core, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet, instead of a computer hard drive in your practice.

Server-based EHR and practice management solutions require a practice to purchase and install software on a server (hardware). All data is stored locally and the practice is responsible for any backups, updates, and bug fixes. A server-based solution often requires more IT resources and staff time to install updates and perform maintenance.

Contrastingly, a cloud-based EHR and practice management solution does not require a server or installing software on a hard drive. Data is securely stored in an online location, aka the “cloud,” not on your computer. Because of automatic updates and backups, cloud-based solutions require minimal IT resources, and let practice staff access the information anytime, anywhere.

“There was a lot of uncertainty in the eye care industry when COVID-19 first hit the US. In fact, our offices were closed for a short time to be on the safe side. Nonetheless, in the 12 years since I’ve been an optometrist, I have never been as busy as I have been in these past few months,” said Dr. Fontenot. “There has actually been a surge in patients now that we are open again for business.”

At his two-doctor practice in Jennings, Louisiana, Dr. Fontenot and his team see nearly 50 patients per day, many of whom are on fixed incomes and using Medicaid to cover both their vision and medical needs. As ECPs know, running an optometric practice involves more than just patient exams, for each patient there are numerous behind the scenes operational tasks that need to happen, including billing, ordering, working with benefits companies, updating patients charts and more. Dr. Fontenot found that Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR make the entire patient care journey smoother and more efficient.

“As a self-proclaimed I.T. nerd, I love all the bells and whistles of the Eyefinity systems and how smooth and seamless they are to use. The cloud-based technology is amazing and saves so much time,” Dr. Fontenot said.

Eyefinity Practice Management, combined with Eyefinity EHR, is a complete cloud software solution that enables the front office staff, doctor, and optician to stay connected in real time—providing ECPs the freedom to handle critical tasks whether at the office, at home, or on the go. With cloud-based optometric software, practices can store unlimited patient health information securely on HIPAA-compliant cloud storage and can access patient health information from any location in real-time, even from home. Another benefit of a cloud-based system is that ECPs can be sure they have the most current offerings in their practices including regulatory changes, compliance requirements, new frames and lens catalogs, and data security.

“No system is perfect, but what I love about Eyefinity Practice Management are the regular and automatic updates to the system. Even when there is a glitch, it is usually resolved very quickly because the software is cloud-based and the patches can be fixed on demand. It’s nice not to have to think about maintenance, updates, and security. I know the Eyefinity team is doing that for me,” Dr. Fontenot said.

“There are so many great features it’s hard to name just one!” he added.

Here is a list of Dr. Fontenot’s favorite features:

  • Eyefinity Practice Management’s integration with my other equipment.
  • Copy Forward that allows my team to quickly document a new exam by pulling information from past exams.
  • Unlike other systems, Eyefinity Practice Management doesn’t require a lot of typing. I love that most actions can be completed with the tap of a finger on the iPad.
  • We can easily review, save, and annotate images from diagnostic equipment within a patient’s chart using Image Management.
  • Multiple tabs can be open at once, saving time when seeing patients for both vision and medical.
  • More than one person can access a chart or file at the same time meaning my entire team can access the most up-to-date patient information.
  • SureScript allows my staff to grab all a patient’s prescription information with one-click.

Setting your practice up for success is much easier to do when you have the right technology lined up to get you to where you want to be. Eyefinity Practice Management is intuitively designed for the entire patient journey to go smoothly from start to finish.