Last week we discussed the loss in productivity that many medical practices face upon implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system. According to a recent MGMA survey, among practices that have “allowed enough time after implementation for physicians and staff to become familiar with the EHR”, over 73% experienced decreased or stagnant productivity levels.
What this really means is decreased profitability levels for your practice. At a time when strengthening and growing the bottom line of your practice is necessary to survive, don’t underestimate the Profitability Gap—the financial impact that varying productivity levels will have on your practice.
As the graphic below illustrates, right out of the starting gate, most EHRs will have a substantially negative impact on productivity levels. However, as a practice gears up for its “go-live” date, a productivity-focused EHR distinguishes itself by gradually increasing physician productivity levels. Once the go-live date is reached, a productivity-focused product like the SRS EHR will continue to steadily increase physician productivity and efficiency levels throughout all stages of implementation; other EHRs, meanwhile, create a painful struggle as the practice tries to recoup lost time, lost efficiencies, and lost productivity.
Furthermore, as data suggests, many practices never reach their original levels of productivity. The difference in productivity levels is depicted in the pink shaded area and has a quantitative value that directly impacts the practice’s bottom line.
A physician’s productivity level dictates his or her ability to generate revenue and affects the profitability of the practice. (It also affects quality of care, since efficient physicians are able to provide better care.) In the graphic above, the gap between the productivity-focused SRS EHR and other EHRs is conservatively estimated at 10%. For a 15-physician practice in which each provider generates revenue of $1 million per year, the Profitability Gap—the revenue that the practice risks losing by selecting the wrong EHR—totals $7.5 million over 5 years.
Concentrating on finding an EHR that is usable and productivity-focused is of paramount importance for your medical practice. Investing time and money into an EHR that will slow down your physicians and exert financial strain on your bottom-line should be avoided at all costs. Don’t fall into the productivity-diminishing side of the profitability gap. Perform your due diligence and find the right productivity-focused EHR solution for your medical practice.