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.

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 questions to ask in the EHR market

It is absolutely important to select the right Electronic Health Record (EHR) system for your practice. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive solution out there in the market, nor the biggest vendor that is offering the solution. Selecting the ‘right’ EHR solution is crucial to the success of technology working the way it has been designed. Sometimes, a small EMR vendor with a clear path to development, innovation and vision for the future can be more beneficial for your practice rather than a big corporation which is not doing enough to keep up pace with the industry challenges.Question Mark

One such vendor which excels in terms of leadership, innovation and design is CureMD. Click here to schedule a free, LIVE demo and see how the product works.

So what are the questions you should ask from vendors when you are in the market looking to buy an EHR system? Let’s give you some.

How will it work with existing scheduling, practice management and lab systems?

One of the first and foremost questions is how well the EHR you are looking to buy will integrate with your current scheduler, practice management, billing and lab order systems. If the technology you are buying does not integrate with your current software or does not offer you better alternatives, then you should keep on looking for another one.

What is the amount of training and support offered by default?

Most EHR vendors promise training and support for free with their EHR systems. However, it is limited in nature and once the system is implemented, the free training and support runs out. Make sure you ask the vendor about the amount of training and support offered when you purchase an EHR system.

Who will customize the system to work with existing workflow?

Another important question that you should be looking to ask the EHR vendor is who will take responsibility of customizing the system to work with current workflows. It is important for the EHR vendor to understand the time constraints you may have and be able to deploy it effectively.

What is the typical response time?

Check with the EHR vendor about their typical response time should you develop any issues after the implementation of the system.

Can the provider show a demo for a similar sized specialty?

Most important of all, you must ask the EHR vendor to give you a live demo of the product, possibly with a same sized practice and specialty as yours. This will be crucial as it will give you an indication of how good or bad the system is when put to use in real life.


EHR – Usability, functionality or price?

To find the best EHR software out there, is undoubtedly a challenging task or is it? The end users of the software are physicians that have difficulty in handling the complicated software-side. Let’s find out the key features of software that are important to consider when choosing EHR that works for you.

Usability: Is the system usable? How easy is it to move around and do simple functions as setting up an appointment? The answer lies in the designing of the interface. It should be simple and made in a way that makes you feel that you are familiar with the software. User friendliness is a key feature of any software, and EHRs are no exception.

Functionality: Building software requires rethinking of the functionality repeatedly for developers so that they meet the demand of the buyer. Buy software that allows flexibility. Find one that provides customizable templates; and you should look for this feature first and foremost, before buying EHR software. The demands from Government may increase in terms of care, quality and safety in the coming years. You should always be ready to make the change. Apart from that, is your software ICD-10 and Meaningful Use Stage 1 & 2 compliant and ready to be used? should always be in your mind when finding an EHR for practice.

Price: When it comes to the price factor of EHR software, don’t be fooled by the price. Pricy doesn’t mean quality. A research done on the company and the quality of the service they are providing will make you money.

You should choose a customizable-template driven, ICD-10 and Meaningful Use ready, HIPAA compliant software that when integrated into your practice feels like facilitating rather than halting the flow of your work. You should be able to provide quality service and earn money from the software you choose.


What is it that makes the perfect EMR software, perfect?

A perfect Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software allows you to personalize your quality care delivery, improve your overall quality, improve patient safety and optimize your workflows. The seamless integration of all these systems in your practice and the manner in which they work flawlessly together is what makes a good EMR software perfect.

An ideal EMR software does not only allow you to shift your practice to an IT-based solution, it also allows you to manage your practice with its built-in practice management software. What it does is, it enables you to give more attention and time towards improving patient care and delivery, and reduces your focus on managing every micro-level issue at your practice.

Another great feature of a perfect EMR software is that it enables you to access the system from anywhere. Gone are the days when you had to sit in front of your bulky, space-occupying desktop computer. These days, you can move around in your practice with just a laptop or a tablet and still be able to make decisions through your web-based EMR software as if you were sitting in your office. Even when you are at home, you can literally have access to everything at your practice. This allows you to make sure everything runs flawlessly with your EMR even in your absence.

In addition to these, an ideal EMR software has the ability to interact with all the major laboratories across the country, thereby allowing you to order tests, view results, patient reports, etc. with ease.

Since the time demands superior healthcare services for all and sundry, a perfect EMR software is the one in which you can always rely on patient data that is error-free, updated, and contains everything you need to make decisions about your patient’s health.

It is important not to get carried away with many EMR software in the market which may look good from the outset, but can cause you more problems rather than solving them.


Declining PC Sales and what it means for the Healthcare Industry?

Witnessing the worst drop in sales in the last 19 years, PC sales have declined 14% in the first quarter of this year. Industry experts see the increased use of smart phones and tablets as the main reason, along with negative reviews of Windows 8 contributing to the decline in shipments.

The first quarter of 2013 saw a decrease in market share for all major vendors including HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer Group and ASUS. Compared to the first quarter of 2012, the first quarter of this year has seen a staggering 14% decrease in overall market share. On the other hand, tablet and mobile phone sales continued to increase and are forecasted to grow consistently in the upcoming years.

What does this mean for Healthcare IT?

A reduction in PC sales means that consumers are now buying alternative devices such as smart phones, tablets and ultra-thin laptops. The increase in usage and availability of these alternate devices suggests that PCs are on the road to becoming obsolete. It means that the next generation of consumers will have portable computer systems instead of personal computers.

This rise in portability gives credence to the fact that we are in an age where information sharing is constant and holds no geographical boundaries. Consumers thoroughly review any product or service they are about to purchase on the internet using their portable computer systems. Consumers share their location with others while they are travelling. They also use these computers to search for and consult doctors; and find out possible treatment options.

Healthcare as an industry is trending towards increased patient engagement, which entails better accessibility of medical records, increase in accountability so that patients have more say in the use of their personal information, safety and sharing of information in an interoperable manner. This trend has lead to the emergence and usage of electronic devices as a means to gain access and share information by patients and doctors alike.

A decline in the sales of PCs will lead to patients using alternative devices to access their electronic medical records. Patients will use features of Patient Portals to have constant access to personal health information, be reminded about important dates through warnings and alerts; detailed medication instructions and access to lab results, radiology reports and procedural information.

Doctors will use their tablets to look at and update Electronic Health Records. They will use that information to send claims to insurance companies. Through Remote Patient Monitoring Technologies, doctors will effectively be able to care for patients without having to monitor them in the same room just like patients will be able to view their lab results at home.

Even though the news of declining PC sales does not bode well for computer technology vendors, it certainly shows us the way in which healthcare information technology is going forward. It is instrumental for the healthcare community to move side by side with trends in technology and avail its benefits which can lead to quality care provision and patient safety.


EMRs – Keeping Healthcare Green

We talk a lot about the benefits of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). We accept that EMRs promote patient safety, encourage care quality, save cost and time, allow for accountability in the healthcare industry, but we forget to mention the benefits of EMR adoption in regards to the sustainability of our environment.

Doctors at George Washington University have estimated that complete conversion to Electronic Medical Records saves around 2000 pieces of paper per physician on an annual basis. If we assume that this figure is accurate and 100,000 practicing doctors have completely converted to Electronic Medical Records, then around 0.2 billion pieces of paper are being saved each year. According to research, An average tree provides around 80,000 sheets of paper. This essentially means that if every doctor in the United States uses EMRs, the country could save thousands of trees every year.

We can therefore extrapolate from the above information that apart from obvious benefits such as improving patient safety, care quality and cost optimization, usage of EMR also reduces paper and hence saves trees which are valuable for the health of our planet.

Research according to ‘Globodox’ states, that there are 8 million physicians, 200,000 dentists, 5000 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes and 200,000 laboratories present in the United States today. Most of these use a medical records system based on paper. On average, a single patient needs 11 sheets of paper and the care provider sees between 75 to 100 patients in a week. This means that each week, one thousand to fifteen hundred sheets of paper are used.

The research also found out that around 3 in 10 tests are re-conducted just because the information was lost. The use of Electronic Medical Records saves the amount of paper used on a daily basis. It also saves time for the staff that does not have to rely on hand written notes for every single procedure and minimizes the risk of data loss.

Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare provider committed to keeping the environment healthy, conducted an audit after its conversion to Electronic Health Records and found out that by shifting to Electronic Health Records it had approximately eliminated 1000 tons of paper records, 68 tons of x-ray film, 38 tons of toxic chemical used to process x-ray films, saving 71.5 million gallons of water per year and by reducing medical visits, saved 3 million gallons of gasoline.

Kathy Gerwig, VP for Workplace Safety and Environmental Stewardship says, “There is a strong correlation between environmental health and the health of our communities. As health care providers, it is our responsibility to reduce our negative impact on the environment and ‘do no harm.” She added, “The results of this study show that the healthcare sector is on the way to improving our environment through the broader adoption of Electronic Health Records.”

Terhilda Garrido, VP of HIT Transformation and Analytics said, “Prior to this study, the benefits of electronic health records were categorized primarily by their impact on the quality of care and potential to improve efficiency. As the country increases its ‘meaningful use’ of HIT, we should consider other macro impacts as well.”

The report also highlighted the fact that transition to Electronic Health Records in the United States could result in reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by at least 1.7 million tons across the country. This leaves no doubt that usage of Electronic Medical Records is not only beneficial for population health; it is also beneficial for the health of our planet and enables environment sustainability.

Play your Part in keeping healthcare green by reducing the use of paper at your medical practice, Get EMR Solution from the most trusted vendor Request Free EMR Demo today.