Are Electronic Health Records Saving Time for your Practice and Patients?


Although deadlines for adopting Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems are fast approaching, a cloud of uncertainty over these cloud-based systems still looms large. Here’s how EHR systems would save would save time for both your patients and you:

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With just a laptop and an internet connection, you can view your entire clinical data in addition to connecting with patients, hospitals, other providers, labs, payers and etc.

To guide you through the automation-process, consider a patient Alex, for example. Alex sets up an appointment and comes to your practice complaining of a stomach ache. After the nurse completes the objective portion of the visit, which includes his taking his vitals and other basic information, you assess this objective and subjective data and give your diagnosis before recommending what needs to be done next.

EHR systems allow you to document this entire process online, and readily forward relevant information to labs, pharmacies, etc. Moreover, With all your patient records safely stored on the password protected cloud EHR, a few clicks and you’ll know Alex’s entire patient history; what he’s is allergic to, the results of his last test and the ones before that, his previous pharmacy visits, and virtually every specification you require. The result, improved accuracy and enhanced patient care, readily available and accessible information which saves valuable time and money for both Alex and his physician and an exponential drop in duplicate tests and faulty prescription-based allergic reactions and accidents.

Furthermore, patient portals on EHR systems allow for increased interaction and patient engagement, by which you can respond to Alex’s medical queries online, and allow him to view lab results, prescriptions and other information via the portal, depending on the access you allow.

Read more on Patient Portals.

Accelerated revenue cycle, productivity and compliance are some other benefits of EHR systems.

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.

 

Three things to minimize challenges of Meaningful Use


Most physicians are using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in the country to help them meet regulatory requirements, achieve Meaningful Use and improve quality of care delivered. However, the second objective, Meaningful Use, has been a tricky concept and with the introduction of Stage 2, it is becoming even more complex for providers.mu

One such product which is ready for Meaningful Use is “All-in-One” Cloud by CureMD.

While achievement of Meaningful Use may be a challenge, it can be an opportunity to improve business and enrich patient relationships. We are enlisting three things that you can do to minimize the challenges Meaningful Use presents.

1.       Evaluate your situation: First and foremost, each practice has its own varied challenges and the readiness to achieve Meaningful Use is different from one another. Each practice needs to know the requirements for Stages 1, 2 and 3 and how does achievement of those objectives align with the practice goals.

2.       Develop a plan: After analyzing practice objectives with regards to achievement of Meaningful Use, there needs to be a concrete plan as to how they will be achieved. Practices need to know their workflow from patient recruitment to examination and retention. They also need to be aware why achievement of patient engagement is important to them. When you make a comprehensive plan, it will be easier to implement throughout your practice and get you ready to achieve Meaningful Use.

3.       Use a certified EHR system: One of the most important things to achieving Meaningful Use is to use a certified Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. In case you are not using one, you need to make a very careful EHR adoption decision. Some of the vendors out there will not help you achieve MU while others may not have support for future stages of the system.

While achievement of Meaningful Use is a challenge, it is largely an opportunity to reinvigorate practice business opportunities. 

 

Ideal features for the next generation EHR


Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are shaping the future of the healthcare industry in more than one way. They allow physicians to improve their workflows, reduce inefficiency and save time while on the other hand, help improve patient satisfaction, engagement and promote self-service. EHRs also make it really easy for government authorities to keep a close check on the industry and exercise better control over it. They allow for better data reporting, more streamlined analytics and better reporting for those who are managing large practices.

One of the industry leaders when it comes to Electronic Health Records is CureMD.

Let’s take a look at some of the ideal features for next generation EHRs.

  1. Compliance: Next generation EHRs are able to comply with latest government regulations and requirements. They are able to support the implementation of ICD-10 and help practices meet Meaningful Use requirements.
  2. Ideal support: Most EHR vendors suffer from poor after-sales support. Users of the product are not satisfied with the support and training provided by their vendors. However, an ideal EHR excels in this area and is always willing to help.
  3. No software maintenance: Next generation Electronic Health Record (EHR) software is based on the model of cloud computing and do not require any software maintenance. The EHR vendor automatically updates the software from the back end and no front end changes are required.
  4. Complete security: Modern day EHRs are equipped with state-of-the-art security and encryption features which prevent hackers and intruders from accessing vital patient data.
  5. Electronic prescribing: The most ideal EHRs of present day and age are equipped with the facility of e-Prescribing which makes it easy for physicians to send prescriptions just with a few clicks to any of the supporting pharmacies.

These are some of the features of an ideal, next generation Electronic Health Record software which are transforming the industry in a way like never before.

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Five benefits of EHR integrated Patient Portals


Patient Portals allow information of the patients to be securely transferred all around the year. This information can be accessed by just having an internet connection. Patients, healthcare providers and practices alike can all have access to EHR integrated Patient Portals.medical

Five benefits of an EHR integrated Patient Portals are listed below:

1)      Administrative benefit by preregistration of patients. EHR integrated Patient Portals allow patients to register even before visiting their healthcare provider, allowing the registration process to efficiently execute which saves time for the practitioner. One benefit is that it saves cost which the use of the online patient portal provides by the reduction of staff members needed to fill in the data.

2)      Secure exchange of information is one other administrative benefit. EHR Patient Portals are required to exchange data securely. . Each patient has their own message box and account and can efficiently review and reply on the portal, exchanging information with their providers.

3)      One clinical benefit of a Patient Portal is that it allows patients to request for prescription renewals and refills without going to the practice. It automates the process of prescribing, allowing patients’ to take an active role in the clinical process of prescription and refills.patient port

4)      Lab results are reviewed automatically through the use of an EHR integrated Patient Portals. If the results are abnormal, it then allows automatic appointment scheduling.

5)      Report Generation. With integrated EHR patient portal, the paper version of reports and mailing costs are reduced. Apart from that, all billing questions that are directed towards a biller are asked from the biller online, without the need of the patient to be physically present.

With the healthcare reform movement at its peak and Obamacare giving incentives to healthcare providers who shift to EHRs, Patient Portals are one key feature that can potentially attract many physicians, healthcare providers and hospital facilities. Patients Portals increase the performance outcomes of the practice and have the capacity to integrate patient information and for that reason, they are a step into the future.

 

How do you choose an EHR for your surgery center?


Surgery centers are shifting to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) software but it is not an easy choice to make due to the large variety of vendors available. So how do surgery centers make the right decision? Here are 8 questions that you must ask before selecting an EHR vendor.

1.       Are you single-specialty or multi-specialty?

First of all, you need to analyze your practice requirements. Some EHRs are tailored for single-specialties so you might not be able to use them if you are dealing with multi-specialties. You should then look for a vendor that meets your requirements.

2.       How will you host the EHR?

You need to decide how you are going to run the software; through cloud or locally hosted servers. Server-based systems are costlier and difficult to set up compared to cloud-based ones.

3.       What is the total cost of system?

You need to estimate the total cost of implementation, hardware/software, maintenance, support and other features. This is very important, as you want to have spent large amounts of money on a system, only to find out later that it was not what you needed.

4.       How will your staff access the system?

It is very important to know how your staff is going to access the system. You will need to set user-level access permissions in order to keep your data safe.

5.       How will the new EHR work with your current billing vendor?

The EHR software must work flawlessly with your current billing vendor.

6.       How will you receive support after implementation?

Ample support and training must be provided from the EHR vendor to help your staff fix any issues if they arise.

7.       Who will conduct unit and stress testing?

Unit and stress testing is also very important whenever a new system is deployed in a practice. Unit testing means checking the general usability of the application while stress testing requires using it extensively across your practice in order to check its response time, functionality and reliability.

8.       How will you track your progress with new EHR?

To keep track of your progress, you should be able to measure your performance in the form of graphical illustrations and charts in your new EHR system.

 

US Healthcare System – The Problems Within


Ever since the inception of Electronic Health Records (EHR), we have been hearing the slogans of quality care and improved healthcare system. But the question is that despite spending a large chunk of our federal reserve on healthcare system, why is it difficult to point out prolific outcomes?

This is a clear indication that something is wrong with the US healthcare system. There are various reasons that could be attributed to the failure of healthcare system, let’s divulge into the details of some of the reasons.

One of the major factors obstructing the improvement in healthcare system is the excessive use of paper. This has not only resulted in increasing cost but also led to the loss of patient records. According to reports, as a result of patient information loss, 30% of the patient records have to be rerecorded annually. However, as the number of providers adopting electronic health records would augment, the probability of such occurrences would surely decrease.

This reminds me of an article that I recently read. It explicitly talked about the increased healthcare costs and how difficult it has become for the citizens to afford quality healthcare in the U.S. Well, I couldn’t agree less. No doubt, overtime, through research and development we have come to make revolutionary advances in medical sciences, nevertheless, the expensive nature of these treatments has discouraged citizens from making the most of them.

Another culprit in the continuum is the insurance companies. The concept of co-pays has given insurance companies an opportunity to design policies that would cover a handful amount of charges and throw the remaining financial burden to the citizen. Moreover, in this chain of deteriorating factors, it would be biased to ignore the role of our eating habits. Yes, it is the fast food that I am referring too. Just because it is readily available and cheap, the amount of fast food consumption has been increasing like anything. The eventual results are increasing rate of heart diseases and cholesterol issues amongst citizens.

While the EHR adversaries consider this technology to be a helping hand in deteriorating healthcare situation, being an advocate of Health IT, not elaborating the advantages would be unjustified at my end. Besides facilitating physicians with digitized patient information, EHRs also have the potential to improve the quality of care delivery with the help of built-in preventive care mechanisms and data mining techniques. The former can automatically check for any drug to drug interaction or allergy – eventually enhancing patient safety. Once considered a time consuming and costly technology, the advent of cloud EHRs has made it affordable as well as adaptable for physicians to implement the solutions.

While it is impossible to put an end to the conventional, we spend more on military expenditure than on healthcare, debate. It is more important for us and well as the government to realize that the problems exist and finding a plausible solution is the need of the hour.

Read more: The Physician’s Guide to Patient Portals: Don’t Waste Time, And Get Your Portal Online