5 EHR Infographics that every provider must read


EHRs are an important element of the healthcare market. It is vital to realize the importance of EHRs and the direction the entire industry is headed in. With the help of info-graphics it is easier to show marketing trends, the following article will show you some of the best info-graphics relating to healthcare, ranging from subjects like; when to get a new EHR? What share do different vendors in the market hold? Does technology really improve the way a practice is run? Find out with below amongst many other important subjects.

1) Electronic Health Records Infographic

How do electronic health records (EHRs) connect you and your doctor? In the past, medical data was only stored on paper, making it difficult for your health care providers to share your information. Read more

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2) The 20 Most Popular EHR Software Solutions

As the deadline for implementation in the U.S. draws near, talk of electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) software is a hot topic at the doctor’s office lately. These systems assist medical practitioners in the creation, storage, and organization of electronic medical records, including patient charts, electronic prescriptions, lab orders, and evaluations (just to name a few common features).  Read more

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3) Why are EHR users replacing EHR SOFTWARE?

 This infographic created for Honeywell depicts the top reasons why hospitals and medical practices are replacing their EHR software. See more

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4) 11 indicators that you need a new EHR

Often so deeply immersed in looking for ways to make their practice more efficient, physicians sometimes fail to see the most obvious hurdle preventing this very process from occurring; their EHR. If your Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution is not up to the mark, you might be losing out on precious profits, and incurring costs that you can easily overcome. Read more

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5) The Convergence of Big Data and EHR Infographic

“In the next 10 years, data science and software will do more for medicine than all of the biological sciences together,” said venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. Data science holds great promise for patient health, but patient data is only actionable in so far as it is digital. Read more

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Why EHR customer satisfaction is the highest among big groups?


The health IT market is flooded with government certified EHRs to meet the Meaningful Use program. The task is to find out the right medical vendor that fulfills practice requirements. This is particularly difficult for small to medium practices, as it appears vendors pay more attention to providing flawless services to large practices. According to Black Book Rankings 2014 Survey, practices having 25 or more physicians are more satisfied with vendor customer support than practices catering to small/medium groups.(2-5, 6-25). Among the respondents, 90.2% of physicians from large practices reported satisfaction with their vendors as compared to 72.5% of physicians from small or medium sized practices.

One of the major reasons is the vendor resources that do not allow them to give proper attention to small practices. Health IT is a competitive market where large practices and hospitals are major buyers of technology. They drive the health IT market by creating technology demand for huge infrastructures. With sufficient financial backup to implement an EHR system, they partner with vendors for a long period. Similarly, vendors prefer to utilize their limited resources on big projects that promise maximum revenue. By doing so, they usually miss the opportunity to create loyal customers among small practices and provide most of their customer support to physicians in large practices, as highlighted by the Black Book Rankings 2014

Another reason for dissatisfaction among small practices is related to their efforts in vendor search and implementation of EHR. It’s fair to suggest that part of the blame is on the physicians with small practices. Instead of conducting a thorough research of the market, they rush into buying the first EHR they come across [EHR buyer tips]. On the contrary, large practices take their time in understanding the market, the products they offer, strengths and reputation of vendors and demands of their practice before selecting the right vendor. For them, it’s a business partnership that can only work when the vendor fulfills its side of bargain with impeccable technology and customer support.

However, one cannot blame small practices entirely for lack of customer support on the vendor’s part. Ideally, it’s the vendor’s responsibility to provide customer support during the implementation and post implementation phase of EHR. Before signing a contract with a new practice, vendors should make analysis of their available resources and capabilities, so that the customer does not have to suffer in the long run.

Meaningful Use criteria for Eligible Professionals (EPs)


In order to avail government incentives for Meaningful Use program, eligible professionals (EPs) would have to demonstrate that they have been using their electronic health records (EHRs) according to the criteria of meaningful use program. Physicians would have to successfully attest to the program in order to qualify for government incentives program, administered by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

EPs who have just adopted EHRs would not have to attest for meaningful use program in their first year of implementation, but without later attestation they won’t be eligible for government incentives.

Meaningful Use criteria

The first criterion to fulfill in order to achieve meaningful use is to adopt a government certified EHR system. The certified software should be interoperable and have ICD-10 coding system. The software should have a patient portal to engage patients for informed and improved healthcare. This is required under the Medicare EHR Incentive Programs, which is run under by the CMS.

The objectives and criteria for the meaningful use program have been divided into three different stages that will span over five years period. The objectives are further divided into core and menu, of which core objectives should be fulfilled. However, there is option for EPs to meet any criteria in the menu set.

In meaningful use stage 1, EPs should have certified EHRs, use it to record clinical and non-clinical data of patients, share information with necessary stakeholders and patients. The meaningful use stage 2  [whitepaper] requires EPs to be more rigorous about health information data, while the third stage focuses on the efficiency and quality of data shared and improved patient care.

Is BYOD going to improve coordinated care?


Bring your own device (BYOD) is going to revolutionize the way technology is looked upon, but what is BYOD? It refers to rules and procedures set by the practice allowing employees to use their personal mobile gadgets to access company data. It can improve coordinated care because it reflects future of the healthcare industry.

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Mobile devices are becoming common by every passing day. Mobile revolution is by all means is here and roaring. Practices’ use of smartphones and other gadgets is a common practice now.

A recent global survey conducted by PEW research of companies all around the world found that 28% of their workforce uses personal devices for work related tasks. The research further stated that this percentage is expected to rise to 35% in 2013. In general as of May 2013, 91% of American adults have a cell phone, 56% of American adults have a smartphone. This boils down to the fact that technological gadgets are extremely common, and using them in a work environment can not only be useful, but may very well generate a new market for employees in a work environment.

It can improve coordinated care because providers, nurses, healthcare staff and patients are generally more comfortable with their own devices as they have more control over it. Think of it like this, if a provider uses a mobile EHR device on his own smartphone, isn’t it convenient? It is way more efficient since he can take his device anywhere he likes and keep his practice in check.

BYOD can increase patient safety and reduce the risk of medical errors. Personal devices can patch the critical communication gaps and allow for easy access of clinical information at the point of care with other clinicians for coordinating care of the patient.

To provide security for all personal gadgets of the employees can become a huge challenge for the IT department of the healthcare facility but at the end of the day, standardization is also an issue. But look at this way, new rules, regulations and structures that are being formed will pave the way for innovation. It will provide coordinated care to their patients by allowing wide and convenient access to the patients. Apart from that, the sooner the challenges met in terms of diverse use of mobile devices the better it is, because in the future more and more unique personal devices will be produced.

Personal devices do not need to be set up in a certain way to function, instead the devices allows limited functionality. Downloading healthcare mobile EHR app from the store or accessing company’s email from your email browser doesn’t require using company services that are set up in a restrictive way. It essentially saves the setup cost.

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How to change physician perceptions about EHRs?


The usage of technology for physicians has always been a challenge. This old myth is not a myth but a fact that physicians do not necessarily like technology. For them it is too clunky, to say the least, shoddy! But hold on, jumping to conclusions isn’t always right. Maybe, they are over thinking too much. Maybe, they do not know that technology in healthcare is the only way forward, all other ways, if any, are now defunct. The use of Electronic Health Records is the way for future healthcare providers. Let’s have a look into some of the steps that could be taken to change the outlook of physicians about EHRs.

Seeing the good side: Providers can earn financial incentives by showing Meaningful Use of EHR software as directed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Why would government force the use of software that isn’t any good for providers? The answer is it is a common misconception that EHRs will slow down their practices’ output. Well over, $7 billion have been issued by CMS to professionals and hospitals, and an estimated $22.5 billion will be paid from 2011 – 2022 to eligible providers who adopt EHR technology. Considering providers can earn huge incentives, they should start using EHR as soon as possible.

Interoperability: Healthcare providers, hospitals, labs, pharmacies, patients and their families through the use of EHRs can be fed with real-time data. EHRs allow for the transfer of patient related data in different file formats too. One key feature of an interoperable system is the ability to provide patient data wherever the patient travels, that is, data across states can be accessed in real time along with the patient.

Cost effective: As a provider, what if you become stagnant? Will you be saving cost? These plethoras of questions rely on this very fact that data cannot be paper-based in the world of technology. It is an outdated way of maintaining patient medical records. With the use of EHR the practice saves storage space by maintaining all records on web. No need to open file cabinets upon cabinets to track a certain patient record. Paper cost money, while managing data electronically costs close to nothing. The staff needed to maintain records is multifold less than what a paper-based practice will require.

Lastly, providers are valid in fearing the fast pace of government in introducing EHRs. But to think it clearly will make them realize that there is no other way, the world has moved ahead in healthcare IT and we have to catch-up now. Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark is leading the way in EHR use. So, why should America remain at the back seat? The perception of the providers can change when they logically evaluate the points discussed above.

 

5 EHR workflow flaws to watch out for


Many US physicians have shifted to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) with others joining them at a rapid pace. However, usability and decrease in efficiency are some of the reasons for physicians’ dissatisfaction with the technology. As a matter of fact, providers need to play a pivotal role in fixing the issues for physicians and making their products more user-friendly.solution

Here are some of the workflow flaws which providers need to iron out in order to improve physician satisfaction through technology.

Unnatural: Most EHRs are built in a way that they do not match practices’ workflow. Instead of allowing physicians to customize the product in a way that it suits their needs, physicians complain that they are required to change their workflows to match technology. This is something that is leading to frustration and inefficiency.

Inconsistent: EHRs are built with a structure that is largely inconsistent. If physicians are looking to access similar information within one system, there may be two or more ways to do it based on which module is being used. This inconsistency is only adding to physicians’ problems.

Irrelevant: One of the most commonly faced problems by physicians is the interface. In most of the modules, only some information is mandatory while the other ones can be skipped. This results in overwhelming screens with aplenty tiny check boxes – sometimes almost unnecessarily.

Unsupportive: Many modern day EHRs fail to support user-shared mental models of workflow. One of the very few benefits of paper-based workflow is that documents and forms can clearly represent a workflow. If something is missing in a chart, it needs to be filled out by the person holding the document. Compare this to EHRs and we find that workflow state is hidden in databases and complex screens.

Inflexible: One of the biggest problems EHR users face is the lack of the software ability to be flexible. Users of the system have to make do with the inbuilt workflow or rely on the way it was installed when being deployed. They cannot easily be changed to become more flexible, natural, consistent and supportive.

 

Why healthcare staff should be better connected


According to a research, nearly 50% of US hospitals are allowing their staff to bring their own devices to work. Without any doubt, it is helping in easy access to medical records which lead to improved safety, efficiency and patient confidence.healthcare

Especially in practices which specialize in pediatrics, mobile and tablet devices can be a source of a lot of interest for children and can help them be more attentive towards their physicians. As the healthcare industry continues to progress forward, mobile access to health records and information would become of crucial importance. More and more vendors are now offering mobile solutions to their electronic health records (EHRs) and are making technology available for users. One such vendor is CureMD, which is offering mobile solution for its EHR users. Click here to learn more about it.

Remote access to information has boosted the confidence of front end staff working in practices. It allows them to check drugs, see patient schedules, view insurances, etc. conveniently. This technology is also taking the industry towards a completely paper-less environment where there is no need to maintain multiple sets of records which require frequent updates. Mobile patient records also mean different clinicians can view them simultaneously and use them as per their needs. It also improves accuracy of records and clinicians do not need to travel back to the office all the time.connecteed

However, despite the benefits, connectivity remains a tough challenge in the way of mobile healthcare. It is one aspect the healthcare industry needs to address soon. Having a secure connection to the internet is not possible at all times and thus, the data becomes vulnerable to intruders. Patient information can never be risked at this level and is subject to strict punishments from HIPAA.

Despite the shortcomings, there is absolutely no doubt mobile healthcare is the future of the industry and helps a lot in improving patient-physician coordination. It also reduces cost of healthcare delivery and improves efficiency to a great extent.