We are in the midst of a constantly evolving healthcare landscape and it is becoming necessary to take advantage of every tool at your disposal if your practice is to make money and grow in the future. One of the key tools at the disposal of any practice is the implementation of a EMR (Electronic Medical Records) or EHR (Electronic Health Records).
EMR Software (a.k.a. EHR software) offers many benefits that not only keep medical practices in the 21st century, but keep them apprised of continual changes in health care. Here are the top 10 benefits of using EMR and EHR in your office.
- Space Savings – Paper charts take up space and as they grow they it becomes necessary to find alternate storage facilities for older chart volumes. EHR software replaces paper charts completely. Not only is limited space now usable for another function of the office, but endless office supplies like paper, dividers and chart expenses are eliminated.
- Chart Access – Finding charts can often be a chore. Filing is a human component and sometimes charts can be misfiled. There are times when the chart is in another location for a function of the office restricting flow of work. EMR system eliminates the chance of a misfiled or lost chart, while also increasing office operations by making one chart available electronically to multiple employees at the same time.
- Legibility – Anyone who has ever worked in a fast paced medical practice knows that handwriting can be hard to read. Often the pace is so quick that notes are written in a manner that makes it hard to decipher. EMR software eliminates the legibility issue because notes are no longer written, but typed or picked from multiple choices in a predefined system.
- Staff And Transcription – Often, multiple employees are kept on staff for jobs such as filing or transcribing. The employment cost can deplete revenue. EMR and EHR software are able to eliminate most filing tasks or at least reduce them to a point where staff hours can be reduced. In addition, transcription cost are often lowered as well because the system transcribes predefined notes or notations made by the physician during a patient visit thereby virtually eliminating the need for a staff transcriptionist.
- Recruitment – Technology does make a lot of jobs easier and more efficient. As a practice grows and tries to recruit additional staff and physicians, technology can be an issue that makes the decision. New doctors are looking for a practice to grow with, and the technology offered in an EMR is not only something they have grown accustomed to in residency, but shows them that a practice is progressive and keeping up with industry changes.
- Results – Waiting on radiology or laboratory reports take time. Employees must print the reports and then place the paper chart in a location for the physician to review. Through an interface between external systems and EMR software, the return time on these reports will be reduced and reduce employee hours by placing the report in the respective chart for the physician to review.
- Prescriptions – Most pharmacies offer the option of electronic prescriptions for most pharmaceuticals. EMR software can communicate directly to the pharmacy eliminating the need for a nurse or medical assistant to cal the pharmacy with the prescription, but also reduce call backs from the pharmacy for clarification of quantities or dosage on prescription that are written out quickly or are less than legible.
- Interactions and Allergies – Accidents can happen, and sometimes patients may be prescribed medication that is either contraindicated because of an allergy or because they are on another medication that should not be taken with the new choice. Certified EHR software can catch these issues before they become a problem or health emergency.
- Unforeseen Disasters – We hope they don’t occur, but floods, fires, hurricane or other disasters can destroy patient records. Not only can this shut down a practice, but it can completely disrupt patient treatment. EMR software can be set to back up data daily or weekly to a location onsite or offsite thereby creating a safe duplicate of information.
- Coding – EMR and EHR systems are able to keep up with the ever changing world of billing and coding by updating system data as Medicare, the government and insurance companies make changes. Proper coding speeds up reimbursement, frees the physicians time up to see more patients and also allows the office to properly bill for procedures without duplication.
There are many benefits to implementing the use of an EMR or EHR system. The overall improvement of workflow and reimbursement assure that the initial expense is recuperated quickly and the office runs efficiently.