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EMR Connectivity Drives Success For Teleretinal Program


Mercy Community Healthcare Uses The WELCH ALLYN RETINAVUE Care Delivery Model To Close Diabetes Care Gaps


Mercy Community Healthcare (Mercy) provides care to the uninsured, underinsured and insured through pediatric and adult primary care, mental and behavioral health services, and coordination of patient support services. With locations in Franklin and Lewisburg, Tennessee, Mercy is known for its integrated, compassionate treatment and is committed to improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of both its patients and the community.


Leading up to spring of 2023, Mercy was challenged with making sure patients living with diabetes had easy access to annual diabetic retinal screenings. “We found that most patients were not following through on referrals to an eye specialist to complete their diabetic retinopathy screening,” said Beth Ann Wilmore, M.S.N., R.N., Director of Nursing, Mercy Community Healthcare. “It was time for our organization to find a new way to close this important diabetes care gap.”


Leadership at Mercy implemented the RetinaVue care delivery model in March 2023. The two main reasons for selecting the RetinaVue solution were ease of use and the ability to integrate the solution with its athenahealth EMR.

With an EMR-assisted workflow, Mercy has successfully screened over 100 patients in the first three months.

If a patient qualifies for a diabetic retinal screening, the provider places an order in athenahealth.

Nursing staff completes the screening on the patient during their appointment. Mercy uses the Welch Allyn RetinaVue, P.C. overread services and sends images via the secure, online Welch Allyn RetinaVue Network.

Results are available in 1 business day and the report and images are sent directly back into the EMR, attached to the order.

The provider accesses the report and images within the patient’s record and sends additional follow-up tasks to the nursing team as needed.


"Our providers and staff have been very enthusiastic about our teleretinal program. The RetinaVue care delivery model makes it fast and easy for providers to place orders and see patient reports. The entire team can truly see the difference they are making for our patients by increasing access to retinal screening in our office."

— Beth Ann Wilmore, M.S.N, R.N. Director of Nursing Mercy Community Healthcare


Having an EMR integration with the teleretinal program was important for three reasons:

  • Help decrease transcribing errors — As orders are placed and reports and images are generated, Mercy does not have to worry about manual processes that can lead to keystroke errors, mismatched patient identity and the wrong data being loaded into a patient’s chart
  • Less time-consuming for staff — Like many healthcare providers, Mercy leadership faces significant staffing challenges. The team felt a solution that integrated with its athenahealth EMR was truly better for their staff as it allows for a more streamlined workflow using the EMR tools they are used to.
  • Maximize the value of its EMR investment — Mercy has already made a considerable investment in building out an EMR solution for its practices with athenahealth. By leveraging the capabilities within the EMR platform to place orders and securely transfer data and images into a patient’s chart, Mercy can more fully recognize the value of that existing investment.

The Baxter Customer Success team worked with Mercy’s EMR specialist to prepare for the implementation of the RetinaVue care delivery model through workflow planning meetings. Customer Success also provided training sessions for staff in preparation for going live. Now that the program is live, quality reports are provided regularly to keep providers and staff engaged with the program.

"Using a teleretinal solution that integrated with our EMR was critical. Not only are we able to provide a much-needed screening for our patients with diabetes, but we do it in a way that is seamless for our clinical team. It really was the best option for our providers and staff."

— Beth Ann Wilmore, M.S.N, R.N. Director of Nursing Mercy Community Healthcare

* Baxter, Hillrom, RetinaVue and Welch Allyn are trademarks of Baxter International Inc. or its subsidiaries.

athenahealth is a trademark of AthenaHealth, Inc.
Any other trademarks, product names or brand images appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

US-FLC147-230092 (V1.0) 10/2023