Createstopbecreative Uncategorized Electronic Health Records – All Aboard?

Electronic Health Records – All Aboard?

The Overdose Risks of Vitamins: Why Proper Dosage Matters – SmartyPants  VitaminsWhether you’re a doctor, nurse, or office administrator, these days, if you don’t utilize a computer on a regular basis, then you’re probably several steps behind the curve Buy Adderall Online. There’s no questioning the fact that despite medical providers’ best intentions, the business of patient care has evolved into a world of diagnosis codes and insurance premiums – and at the center of it all is none other than a blinking icon, or rather, thousands of blinking icons signifying the start of a technological revolution known as EHR implementation.

The electronic health record debate is one that has raged ever since early adapters started singing the praises of provider efficiency and improved patient satisfaction all rolled up into one easy-to-use software package. Whether you were the first person on your block to dial into this craze called the internet or a self-proclaimed technophobe who hears the word “Blackberry” Order Adderall Online and pictures a carton of fruit instead of a handheld electronic device, it’s difficult to deny the fact that EHRs offer some clear-cut benefits for those professionals who choose to use them. From a patient care perspective, the use of electronic health records means faster and more focused service, less waiting time for patients, and fewer errors. After all, doctors aren’t exactly known for their stellar handwriting skills, so the use of electronic records can be truly instrumental in improving patient safety and comfort.

As a physician with a presumably limited budget for technology-related investments outside the realm of actual medical equipment, you may be thinking “What’s in it for me? ” The first point to contemplate is that nothing draws patients to a practice like positive reviews and a squeaky clean record – but that’s not all. The use of EHRs can actually improve productivity within a practice while opening the doors for patient expansion. Imagine trying to increase your patient load by 30 percent without the help of an added support staff? With an EHR, it may be possible.

Also, consider the fact that by implementing an EHR, you can overcome one of the greatest major failures of the still-popular (though perhaps not for long) paper system: billing. According to Roberta Mullin of HITECH Answers, paper billing is something that simply hasn’t worked well for years, and the percentage of rejection on the part of insurance companies can sometimes be enough to run an otherwise thriving practice into the ground. By running your billing through an EHR, however, you can avoid spinning your wheels to correct internal errors and external discrepancies, and, more importantly, improve your statistics on actually getting paid.

So why, then, isn’t everyone jumping on the EHR bandwagon? For many, the resistance towards EHRs stems from a debilitating combination of financial investment and fear. After all, the expense of EHR implementation can be rather significant when you take into account the initial price tag of whatever software package is deemed suitable for your practice coupled with the need for proper employee training – an opportunity cost unto itself. And while the united states government does have financial incentives available under Medicare and Medicaid for those who implement EHR systems starting in 2011, many are concerned about meeting eligibility requirements for what is quickly becoming the primary source of unease among healthcare professionals and software designers alike: meaningful use.

As part of 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, healthcare providers can receive government funding for adopting EHRs into their practices provided that such programs conform to the criteria inherent in meaningful use – standards that, according to many, should really go without saying. Although the guidelines inherent in the term “meaningful use” seem to be continuously evolving, in a nutshell, a qualified system must be certified as capable of maintaining patient records and facilitating efficient patient care in a meaningful manner (i. e. e-prescribing). It must also allow for the electronic exchange of health-related information among multiple providers to improve (and, ideally, expedite) patient care. Finally, to be deemed eligible for reimbursement, an EHR system must be capable of transmitting statistical data that can work to improve the healthcare industry on a whole.

What happens if your EHR system doesn’t meet the criteria for meaningful use? If your program of choice doesn’t end up making the cut, you can essentially kiss those government-issued reimbursement checks goodbye. However, before you get too caught up in the furor over meaningful use, why not shift that burden onto the software developers whose job it is to create these programs in the first place?

As a healthcare provider, your role in all of this is simply to look around, observe the direction in which your industry is headed, and get your piece of the action before it’s too late. The deadline to implement an EHR system in exchange for government incentives is scheduled for 2016, and to add a little juice to the pressure cooker, Medicare plans to reduce reimbursements to late adopters or non-adopters as early as 2015. To avoid getting left out in the cold, you may want to hop aboard this slowly growing trend, albeit in a well-thought out manner.

First, start outlining your specific EHR needs so that when you meet with software vendors, you’ll know what questions to ask. Secondly – and this one’s important – prepare yourself, your partners, and your employees for the notion of in-depth, time-consuming training. Learning a new EHR system isn’t something that happens overnight, and before you start lamenting those lost dollars in the form of decreased productivity, recognize that in the long-run, proper training is the key to successful EHR use and the promise of operational efficiency – in other words, higher profits overall.

In fact, do yourself a favor: The next time you find yourself crunching those numbers and worrying whether your system will qualify for meaningful use, try focusing more on your own personal commitment to EHR training, because at the end of the day, that’s where your return on investment is truly going to come from. And remember, despite the fact that the EHR wildfire hasn’t exactly engulfed the healthcare industry to date, the push toward health technology is slowly, yet steadily, working to improve those statistics. So rather than contemplate the cost of EHR implementation over the next year or two, decide whether you can actually afford to keep things status quo.

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