EHR Implementation Hacks

This is an implementation hack for physicians who are in, or are soon to be in the process of implementing a new EHR at their practice. It is a list of things you can do, to make the whole process easier, as well as more productive for you.

One of the worst experiences that a physician can go through is to have to go through a highly unplanned, disorganized and quick implementations session where the physician does not even know what’s going on.5 secrest of smart EHR

After you have made the tough decision of selecting an EHR vendor. It’s time to put on your thinking cap and direct the implementation process. You know your specialty. You know your workflows. You know what everyone does, and how capable everyone is. You know what the daily workflow is, and you can figure out how the workflow can be channelized through software.

You need to prepare everyone for change. Tell them what’s coming. What will be required? What will they need to do? How are you going to go about it. How things are going to change. How their workflow is going to change.

It is prudent if you perform a cost/benefit analysis. Make a list of all the pros against the cons of a new system at the workplace. Decide if the pros are worth the effort. That if the cons can be forgotten about.

Sometimes, it is also extremely important to formally document your plan for the implementations process. It gives the whole plan more credibility.

Stick to your objectives. We often forget what we initially wanted and what we set out to achieve. Know and remember your objectives. What you had hoped to gain from an EHR. How you thought it would help. How you had planned for the implementation, and the changes in advance.

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Major Benefits of Electronic Health Record (EHR) Software

Electronic Health Records have changed the way healthcare works. Every new law and regulation is now based on modern technologies that are rolling out year by year.

Here are the major benefits of EHR Software that will get you started:

  1. Higher Productivity
  2. Better Accessibility
  3. Time Saving
  4. Greater returns
  5. Overall Structure

With EHR Software on the rise, providers can now feel the engines working in full swing, and not worry about trivial administrative technicalities that act as rust in the way their system works.

When everything is accessible on software; such as the patient records, lab results, and administrative healthcare documentation, providers are going realize that they and everyone else at the practice will save a lot of time that can be utilized more other productive tasks.

With all the documentation stored in the server, providers now have a higher and more easier accessibility of whatever they wish to view. Previously, these documents were stored in piles of files and folders which were susceptible to wear and tear. Now, providers only have to search In the patient name in their EHR Software and get the required information in an instant.

All quality EHR Software come with integrated Medical Billing services that streamline the cash flows of the practice and work on claims. This results in a better financial system and yields greater profits for the practice.

With all-in-one integrated EHR Software fully functional at the practice, the overall day-to-day process is automated, with defined tasks, and interoperable systems ready to interact with other entities such as laboratories, making the EHR Software a harbinger of better and quality structure.

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3 EHR habits hurting your practice workflows

Some of the most common problems facing physicians when adopting to EHRs include IT issues, staff training and attesting for Meaningful Use. However, while these may be some of the common ones, there are several other less talked about issues that may be affecting your practice.

Let’s discuss.

Not using pre-populated fields

A recent study by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority shows troubling news for providers who rely exclusively on automatically populated default fields. According to the study, 40% of EHR prescription errors are caused by providers failing to change the default value of a medication order.

These fields are meant to save time during data entry but users often forget to change default values. This can lead to serious medication errors that can harm patients.

Make sure your staff double-checks the information in pre-populated fields to avoid potentially disastrous mistakes.

Paper-based workarounds

A recent JAMA study shows a lot of primary care practices resort to paper workarounds rather than properly using their EHR features. They must remember paper-based workarounds lead to more medical errors, decreased productivity and financial losses. During the implementation of an EHR system, hybrid solutions are generally necessary, the idea is to get away from paper as quickly as possible. Shifting entirely to electronic-based system will help you avoid duplication of tasks and will reduce the time needed to perform your daily operations.

Alert fatigue

EHR alarm fatigue is caused by an excessive frequency of alarms going off for abnormal test results, diagnosis prompts, and other alerts within an EHR. This results in irritated providers adjusting alarm settings beyond the recommended limits or ignoring alerts all together. Doing so can lead to adverse health outcomes for patients.

Overall, EHRs are superior, as the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. However, misuse can hurt your practice in multiple ways. Pay attention to these potential complications and your practice will avoid costly mistakes down the road.

Want to discover benefits of EHR switch today? Click here to register for a free webinar.

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The right measures for Meaningful Use Stage 2 compliance

While Stage 1 of the Meaningful Use program was all about data capturing and sharing, Stage 2 focuses on advanced clinical processes and builds upon information derived from Stage 1. However, they are pretty tough and are not easy to meet.

Once you’ve selected your baseline Meaningful Use Stage 2 measures and corresponding decision support interventions, you can begin to measure the effectiveness of process or workflow changes in your office.ehr

These are some of the measures due to which medical practices may not get the desired results in Stage 2.

  1. Choosing the wrong measures for your practice: It is very important that you read the measures carefully and implement only those which apply to your practice. For example, the patient reminder metric measures the number of unique patients within the past 24 months who appear to have an unmet preventive care or chronic care need.
  2. Using the EHR beyond its capabilities: One Stage 2 measure requires doctors to provide patient-specific educational resources for 10% or more of unique patients seen during the reporting period. That seems like a reasonable level, but note that an EHR must identify the need for the materials. Is your EHR able to generate educational material based on information in the problem or medication lists?
  3. You don’t have the resources to make a measure work: As providers scramble to implement technology in 2014, they also have to make sure that either they or their vendors have implemented these electronic communication protocols. The summary-of-care record measure, states that more than 10% of transitions and referrals must be transmitted electronically using either the Direct or Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) protocols.

These are some of the techniques you need to keep in mind in order to make sure Meaningful Use Stage 2 measures are met and exceeded. Here’s a helpful white paper, “Guide to Meaningful Use Stage 2” which can further assist you in ensuring compliance with regulatory measures.

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Building a Successful ACO‎

Are you aware of the concept of Accountable Care Organizations? ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers, who voluntarily agree to deliver high quality coordinated care to Medicare patients.

Coordinated care helps ensure that patients, especially the chronically ill, get the right care at the right time, with the goal of avoiding unnecessary duplication of services and avoiding medical errors.

When an ACO succeeds in both delivering high-quality care and spending healthcare budget more wisely, it will share in the savings it achieves for the Medicare program.

Learn how you can be part of an ACO with CureMD.

(http://www.curemd.com/aco.asp)

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5 EHR myths that hold you back

It is not uncommon for practices operating on paper-based systems to think that they will not be able to save the same amount of money with electronic health records. However, fact of the matter is, EHRs actually help practices improve their bottom line and generate more revenue. Let’s bust 5 EHR myths that may be holding you back.

Existing paper-charts save more

This is absolutely wrong. Paper-charts actually cost as much as $40,000 annually for a practice that sees 10-15 patients every day. Imagine the costs of creating new charts, replacing charts, mailing records, faxing records, storing charts, etc. that all accumulate to pull you down financially.

Paper charge slips improve efficiency

Another EHR myth that is not true at all. In fact, paper charge slips are often lost, require manual entering of data and are sometimes incomplete. Through an EHR system, electronic charge slips are created efficiently and usually contain complete data. Charge capture from CureMD has customizable templates for physicians to quickly enter charges while engaging with the patient.

Lost charts are unavoidable

Most practice managers believe lost charts, orders and notes are an unavoidable aspect of a healthcare setting. However, this is something that is totally avoidable through an integrated Electronic Health Record software that is interoperable and able to connect simultaneously with various providers. Incomplete medical records can be costly for both the patient and the physician. Physicians who have complete and accurate documentation provide better care for patients.

EHRs are not secure

This is another EHR myth that does not hold any substance. In fact, EHRs are even more secure compared to paper-based records since they cannot be accessed without a user name or password.

Paper records are more portable

Some large physician practices believe paper records are more portable and hence stick to the old method of recording patient data. Fact of the matter is, EHRs are more mobile and allow better access to physician data anywhere around the world.

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EHR or EMR? Which one is for you?

A lot of US physicians, healthcare centers and hospitals are using Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) for their practices, but they still need to have separate practice management and billing software in order to manage their practice workflows.

However, having multiple health IT vendors consumes a lot of time to process patient data and ensure that the information is reliable, accurate and error-free.

Recently, the concept of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) software has emerged which enables practices to manage their entire businesses with the help of just one software. Its single-most important feature, Interoperability, allows for easy exchange and usage of patient data, lab reports, invoices, lab orders and other important data between one and more networks that would otherwise take ages to process.

Imagine having to scan, fax or email hundreds of thousands of paper charts everyday at your practice to various entities involved in the healthcare industry. Not only will this take countless hours to process, it will mean that you are spending less time on patients and more time doing manual labor.

An EHR software helps you process this information efficiently, allowing you to save not only more time, but also focus on patients, thereby improving quality of care delivered. Additional benefits of using an EHR software also include payment incentives that you receive from the government if you are demonstrating meaningful use of data, improving patient engagement through patient portals and reporting on clinical quality measures.

Another added feature of a well-integrated EHR software is that it allows you to manage your receivables with ease and improve your cash flow through its built-in billing software.

In more than one ways, an EHR software is better than an EMR software. However, it really comes down to your practice size, number of providers, workflow requirements and other factors to determine which one is for you.

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