Having an EHR system benefits your practice in several ways. Unlike paper medical records, your EHR does more than store data. It can help you improve patient care while making your practice more efficient. With engaged patients, coordinated care, and better diagnosis tools, you can treat patients more effectively for less cost.
Here are five ways your EHR system benefits your practice.
EHR System Benefit 1: Better Patient Care
With an EHR, your patients’ clinical data are always legible and available. Having a complete medical history at your fingertips can help your practice provide better care. For example, EHRs can help prevent duplicative testing, reduce prescribing errors, and improve diagnosing patients. By providing better patient care, you can improve patient satisfaction and health outcomes.
Your EHR system can reduce paperwork for both your providers and patients. You can eliminate duplicative intake paperwork for patients. And their providers will have immediate access to complete records during the visit. This reduces the need for patients to remind their providers of symptoms, assessment, plans, and progress from prior visits.
EHRs also interface with other systems to ease and streamline patient care. Electronic referrals to specialists or other providers help patients get the care they need more quickly. Electronic prescribing makes it easy for patients to get the right prescription at the right pharmacy without paperwork delays. Your practice can also share clinical data with other providers, improving patient care through better care coordination.
EHR System Benefit 2: More Engaged Patients
Many EHR systems allow patients to access their data remotely. For example, the NextGen Patient Portal lets patients review their medical information and educate themselves about their condition. Patients can also see lab results and message their providers. Sharing information openly with patients through tools like the NextGen Patient Portal can help engage them in their care. Researchers have found that EHR patient portals improve health knowledge, self-efficacy, medication adherence, and the use of preventive services.
EHRs can also improve the patient experience. With patient portals, your patients can schedule their own appointments at their convenience. Self-check-in kiosks linked to your EHR can speed up check-in processes and help ensure patient data is accurate and up-to-date. You can also use your EHR system to streamline office visit workflows. When you do not need to pull paper records or manually check in patients, you can reduce wait times and total visit time.
EHR System Benefit 3: Care Coordination
Your EHR can help you share information with other practices and providers. For patients with chronic conditions, sharing data between primary care and specialty providers reduces duplicative efforts and improves diagnosis and treatment. It can also decrease medication interaction and adherence issues typically experienced by patients. By sharing data, you can save your providers time and improve clinical outcomes.
EHRs also let you exchange secure Direct Messages with other providers. This real-time coordination helps you collaborate on diagnoses and share lab and test results. You can also exchange messages with patients to help them manage their care between visits.
EHR System Benefit 4: Better Diagnosis and Patient Outcomes
EHRs have capabilities far beyond paper records. With access to a complete, digital medical history, your providers can make diagnoses more quickly. EHRs also give physicians and other clinical staff access to lab results, test results, medical history, and medications in one place. This makes it easier for providers to treat the whole patient.
EHRs also reduce medical errors. For example, your EHR can automatically flag potential prescribing errors. These include possible drug interactions, allergies, or dosing errors. Your EHR will flag these problems before the provider submits the prescription to a pharmacy, helping the provider correct the mistake before it harms the patient.
EHR systems like NextGen include Clinical Decision Support Tools to help your providers make accurate diagnoses and develop guidelines-based treatment plans. These tools include both simple flags and complex algorithms to support diagnosis and treatment. For example, your EHR can alert providers to prescribing errors, improving patient outcomes. It can also flag overdue preventive services automatically so providers can address them during office visits. More complex tools can help providers aggregate symptoms and academic literature to arrive at diagnoses. Clinical Decision Support can also guide your providers to adhere to guidelines-based care. With better diagnosis and treatment, your practice will improve patient outcomes without increasing costs.
EHR System Benefit 5: Improved Efficiency
Research has found that EHRs have a positive return on investment, even in primary care practices and solo or small practices. If you redesign your workflows to take advantage of your EHR system, you can see more patients in less time.
Your EHR can also help you improve your billing practices. If your providers enter coding and documentation during or soon after patient visits, you can capture reimbursable procedure and diagnosis codes more accurately. You can also ensure that payer-required documentation is built into your EHR workflows. This helps prevent claims denials, saving you time and money.
Your EHR can also improve your quality reporting efficiency. With tools like TempDev’s NextGen EHR Quality Dashboard, you can see your performance on key quality metrics in real-time. These tools ease quality reporting and help you maximize your quality scores. With Medicare and other payers increasingly focused on value-based payment, improving quality scores can increase your revenue.
How TempDev Can Help Your Practice Realize These EHR System Benefits
TempDev’s team of expert NextGen consultants and developers can help you get more out of your EHR system. TempDev can help you customize your NextGen EHR system to fit your practice. If your EHR system is not providing the benefits you expected, TempDev can help.
Call us at 888.TEMP.DEV or contact us here to get started improving and integrating your NextGen EHR.
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