Electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) have an enormous impact on medical practices. They streamline the daily patient process by quickly giving providers the information they need to provide the best care. Other aspects of these systems improve billing and lessen waiting times, which leads to a more efficient and profitable practice.
EHR systems also improve the patient experience, making it more effective, less intrusive, and more convenient. Patients benefit the most from this technology, which, in turn, improves the financial health of the medical practice. In short, everyone wins. Medical providers with advanced EHR programs are in the best position to thrive.
EHR Impact on Comprehensive Medical Care
Before EHR, providers had to acquire hard copies of patient files that might be scattered among several providers, including a patient’s PCP, cardiologist, ophthalmologist, etc. The delay in receiving all the records from various sources hampered provider care. Sometimes, doctors had to proceed without getting a patient’s full medical history, which compromised their care. It was an inefficient and dangerous method.
The first rudimentary EHR systems appeared in the 60s and 70s, but some providers relied on hard copies of notes, tests, and other data until recently. Now, EHR technology has advanced so much that few providers still rely on hard copies. An EHR system simply makes patient diagnosis and treatment better, faster, and easier. Patients can be assured that their doctors are making decisions based on all their medical data.
EHR Impact on Safer Prescriptions
EHR systems also protect patients and pharmacists during the prescription process. Handwritten prescriptions have caused many problems since they are often hard to read. Pharmacists are more likely to make mistakes when presented with pieces of paper that are hard to verify. These prescriptions are also easy to alter, which affected patient health and harmed the industry.
Most importantly, EHR systems make it easy to monitor patients’ drug intake and eliminate the over-prescription of some medications, especially when multiple doctors are involved. Without careful monitoring, patients can get multiple prescriptions of addictive drugs such as opioids. EHR systems combined with SureScripts and a PDMP are important tools in combatting the opioid crisis.
Also, patients with several doctors sometimes receive prescriptions that react badly with each other, further harming their health. EHR makes it easy to spot this problem and alter harmful prescription practices.
HIPAA laws were put in place to protect patients from having their medical information made public. Nothing is more personal and privileged than these records. In the past, some experts worried that online records were vulnerable and could be hacked and the information shared. A robust EHR system, such as a NextGen product, has enhanced security, which means a patient’s file contents are better protected than they are when stored as hard copies or in an older electronic system. These records can be easily retrieved and shared with providers and other healthcare workers who are covered entities under HIPAA. EHR is by far a safer way to store highly-sensitive information.
Improved Billing and Insurance Reimbursement
EHR simplifies claims and other billing issues since all appointments, treatment, and test results can be promptly retrieved. Staff members can quickly and accurately gather the data they need and submit claims in a timely fashion. This process limits errors and ensures that patients won’t see claims denied unnecessarily and that they won’t receive incorrect bills for their balances. Patients understandably become upset when they receive a huge bill that they didn’t expect or deserve. Excellent EHR software means that providers spend less time on billing, get their reimbursements faster, and, more importantly, keep their patients happier.
EHR Impact on Convenience
Convenience matters to patients who dread appointments that last for hours, with staff often keeping them waiting unnecessarily due to poor scheduling. EHR means that staff members have the information they need to process a patient at check-in and get them to the doctor faster. When combined with appointment scheduling software, EHR systems significantly reduce the amount of time that patients spend in the office. And currently, reducing patient exposure to others is particularly important. Patients are more satisfied when they feel the staff values their time. Advanced practice software helps providers to deliver this respect.
Experts also note that EHR strengthens the patient/provider relationship. Electronic health records eliminate many misunderstandings and even treatment mistakes. The providers and the patients start their relationship on the same page, which means that medical outcomes are better. Patients are freed from lengthy explanations about their care, providers don’t have to ask unnecessary questions, and communication is strengthened. This process builds trust and makes for better patient experience.
The TempDev Difference
The TempDev team is among the most knowledgeable in the healthcare industry. Partnering with NextGen Healthcare, another leader in the industry, they are able to customize and support an excellent line of medical practice software. In addition, TempDev offers highly trained consultants who help providers assess their practice’s needs and then recommend the software, training, and other services that will improve your business operations. EHR streamlines your medical practice and helps you generate more revenue.
Most importantly, TempDev assists providers in improving the patient experience. EHR is meant to enhance patient outcomes and satisfaction. Easy access to up-to-date medical records is one of the best ways to maintain a high level of medical care. Plus, EHR safeguards patient privacy and makes adhering to HIPAA requirements easier.
Medical practice management is more challenging than ever before and new problems are on the horizon. Contact the TempDev team to help you improve your medical practice during these difficult times.