Even with the governmentâ€™s EHR incentives (and eventual penalties for not implementing a certified EHR), many doctors across the country remain undecided about going down the EHR path. But there are more and more reasons to get off the fence and onto the bandwagon, since so many improvements come with implementing the right EHR in your practice.
Here are 10 benefits that should get your doctors on the EHR bandwagonâ€”as long as you make sure your EHR delivers them:
1. Safer prescribing: Electronic prescribing eliminates errors caused by illegible handwriting, alerts physicians of harmful drug interactions, and monitors drug usage.
2. Data and reporting capabilities: Collecting data with an EHR enables physicians to create reports and publish research on treatments, procedures, and outcomes. It also allows physicians to qualify for the governmentâ€™s EHR incentive bonuses if using a certified EHR system.
3. Automated practice workflow: Previously tedious and time-consuming tasks such as “filing” diagnostic test results and transcriptions are automated and require far less time to complete. Ordering diagnostic tests, including MRIs, and tracking physical therapy and surgeries is seamless and documented. Alerts warn staff of patients with outstanding test results, which helps close the loop on patient care. Multiple employees can access patient charts simultaneously, increasing practice efficiency.
4. Decreased overhead and increased revenue generation: Overtime is eliminated and medical records staff is reduced though attrition or repositioning. Chart rooms are converted to revenue-generating spaces.
5. Empowered revenue management: Digital chart prepping is minimal and efficientâ€”patient information is monitored to make sure each patient is scheduled to return only when all tests are fulfilled. This maximizes physiciansâ€™ valuable office time and increases revenue generation.
6. Organized digital chart: Access to chart notes is immediateâ€”finding any note, diagnostic test, or message by date is quick and easy. The digital chart mirrors the paper chart, providing familiarity and comfort to physicians. All records are backed up and securely storedâ€”worrying about lost chart notes is a thing of the past.
7. Electronic clinical summary: Each patientâ€™s procedures, surgeries, injections, problems, vitals and outstanding diagnostic tests are clearly presented on one screen for easy review. Assessing the patientâ€™s clinical data is simple and organized so physicians can focus more on treating the patient and less on the computer and navigating the technology.
8. Unrestrained freedom: Physicians access patient information from anywhere with an Internet connection. After reviewing the full clinical history, physicians quickly and confidently respond to questions or emergency situations.
9. Increased patient satisfaction: Patients receive immediate answers to their questions. Medical staff and physicians instantly review patient charts and familiarize themselves with the last visit; they answer all questions with confidence putting the patients at ease.
10. Integration of office technologies: EHR, PM, digital imaging equipment, and other medical technologies are all accessed from within one platform, making physician workflow smoother and quicker.
Benefits like these make it sensible to look further into implementing an EHR in your practice. The challenge is identifying an EHR that will deliver on its promises and bring these benefits to your practice. Once you find the EHR that makes your physicians more productive and less stressed, and helps them to enhance their workflow, theyâ€™ll jump right on the bandwagon.
If you have additional suggestions to add to the above benefits, please comment and help add to the list of ways to get doctors on-board!