As healthcare providers across the country implement electronic health record solutions, there's a lot of advice being handed out online and in professional settings. While much of the information circulating about EHR systems is true, there are some myths and bad advice that could put your practice on the wrong road when setting up electronic billing and medical record software.
Just Let IT Teams Handle EHR Implementations
Some providers have been led to believe that EHR implementations are a tech-based job; clinicians step aside to let vendors or IT do the work. Doctors, nurses, and other clinical personnel step back in when it's time for system training. While this system can work in some cases, it's important to remember that EHR implementations are rarely stand-alone technical projects.
An EHR system is ultimately clinical in nature, and letting doctors and nurses in on the planning stages can make a positive difference in outcome. Clinicians have a different vantage point than technical staff; so do front and back office administrative workers. For the best implementation, create a team that represents all areas of your practice; that team can review possible software and design the best solutions for your office.
EHR Makes it Impossible to Create Errors
It's true that electronic records reduce the risk for certain types of errors. However, electronic records won't solve all the healthcare quality issues your organization may face. Errors come from people, and people still treat patients, make decisions, and input data into the system. Medical practices should work with EHR systems to increase quality rather than expecting the system to do all the work.
Some ways to increase quality using electronic medical records and claims software include:
- Designing templates so clinicians don't forget important documentation parameters
- Creating rule sets for data and claims entry to reduce transcription errors, including limited procedure codes to fit diagnoses
- Copying data from one area or screen to another to reduce the need for duplicate entries.
Electronic Medical Records Automate Everything
One of the original selling points of electronic medical claims and record management was automation. While tedious data-entry and billing tasks are reduced, EHR software doesn't automate everything. Infact, there's a tendency to rely too much on automation when EMRs are introduced, especially when it comes to chart notation. EHR templates make it easy to select notes during and after an evaluation, but clinicians should avoid bloating records by checking unnecessary items. It's also important to use manual entries where necessary to clarify important treatment issues for a patient. Every person is unique, and computer-based templates can only offer so much customization.
All Doctors Should Type Their Own Notes
Not all doctors are fast typists, and even those that are shouldn't waste valuable patient treatment time sitting at a computer. While physicians may enter a few short notations via tablets or computers, lengthy transcription is still best left to clerical staff. Doctors can record handwritten notes into electronic records using tablets and styluses, dictate notes into the computer, or write notes on disposable chart pages.
Electronic Records Are Too Risky for Health Information
Though there are risks associated with electronic data, the same can be said about paper. File encryption, HIPAA regulations, and other compliance measures ensure health information is one of the most guarded data types in the country. Cloud servers, physical file security, and vendors that comply with federal data security guidelines all help to keep electronic records secure and safe for offices of any type and size.
To learn more about how electronic medical records can impact your office, contact Revenue XL today.