“An electronic health record (EHR) is more than a digital version of a patient’s paper chart.”
Benefits of EHRs, HealthIT.gov
An EHR, on its face, is a digital version of a patient’s medical chart, but there is so much more that can be accomplished with the use of today’s high-functioning, state-of-the-art EHR. With access to a current and complete healthcare record, a provider can make better care decisions. But, it is also a powerful tool that helps to stream workflow in your independent practice and can often lead to cost savings.
Jumping on the technology bandwagon, the medical world is learning to use EHRs to take advantage of the rich amount of patient and medical data that is available. The streamlined EHR leverages the latest in digital technology to transform the way patient care is delivered. Working in conjunction with an advanced Medical Billing System, the EHR serves to increase compensation for services provided.
Modern independent practice providers are faced with an overwhelming amount of administrative and patient care burdens, which can often lead to feelings of stress and physician burnout. Relying on better tools, such as the EHR, can reduce paperwork and stress, and can allow medical caregivers to:
- Improve the level of patient care provided.
- Simplify the charting and billing process.
- Receive access to more medical information to assist in the diagnosis and treatment process.
- Increase patient interactions and participation.
- Reduce the need for medical transcription services.
- Refine interoperability through improved coordination of care.
- Deliver improved diagnostic scenarios, which can lead to positive patient outcomes.
- Improve provider productivity and enhance practice efficiency.
- Ensure billing and coding information, leading to accurate reimbursements and increased cost savings.
Advanced EHRs Lead to Improved Diagnostics and Patient Outcomes
94 percent of providers report that their EHR makes records readily available at point of care.
88 percent report that their EHR produces clinical benefits for the practice.
75 percent of providers report that their EHR allows them to deliver better patient care.
Improved Diagnostics, HealthIT.gov
An advanced EHR will provide your private practice with accurate medical and patient information. This gives providers the opportunity to keep track of patient data, identify symptoms and health risks, diagnose diseases, and develop individualized treatment plans. The availability of accurate information also reduces the potential for mental and medical mistakes.
EHRs rely on more intuitive and AI capabilities to manipulate information that is helpful to the provider and patient. For example, an EHR can track medications and allergies, and search for any contraindications or interactions when considering new prescriptions. With interoperability capabilities, specialists and emergency providers have access to medical conditions and life-threatening allergies, so they can adjust their care accordingly.
For an independent practice with a significant number of patients in a certain population, an EHR can be used to produce improvements for the group as a whole. Providers can review aggregate information for the population, and search for trends regarding preventive measures and particular medications. The EHR can be used to highlight patterns of potentially adverse events for patients with hypertension, diabetes, and chronic care needs.
EHRs are a vital link in the risk management continuum as they serve to provide alerts and reminders, and help to consider all aspects of a patient’s care. A complete EHR can provide an accurate record of the provider’s thought process and communication stream in the case of a legal challenge. According to Physicians Practice, proper medical charting is critical to protecting against legal risk. Recommended best practices to minimize risk include:
- Complete, accurate, relevant, and timely documentation.
- Minimize overusing the cut-and-paste function, to avoid sending mixed messages to patients.
- Reread and review information before moving to the next chart.
- Educate staff on the importance of proper charting.
- Invest the time needed to learn about your EHR, and use its features to your full advantage.
A side benefit of the EHR is the improved work-life balance providers can experience. Dr. Karen Smith of Raeford, NC, runs a one-physician family medicine practice. She uses remote access to her practice’s EHR to improve her work-life balance. Before EHRs, the doctor frequently worked late into the night. Now she is able to “review labs on a Saturday while doing the laundry and live a balanced life.”
State-of-the-Art EHRs Improve Patient Care and Satisfaction
Increasing patient participation in various aspects of their care can be facilitated through the use of the EHR. HealthIT.gov says EHR features can serve to improve patient satisfaction in terms of safer and more reliable prescription management:
- 92 percent were happy their doctor used e-prescriptions.
- 90 percent reported rarely or only occasionally going to the pharmacy and having a prescription not ready.
- 76 percent reported it made obtaining medication easier.
- 63 percent reported fewer medication errors.
Better prescription communications with patients and pharmacies leads to a reduced rate of after-hours clinic calls to straighten out medication misunderstandings.
For chronic care management, the EHR is used to improve the quality of care screenings for cancer, hypertension, asthma, COPD and diabetes. With greater communication and management, patients show a greater use of prescribed medications and better adherence to treatment plans.
Increased EHR efficiency leads to the dual benefits of improved care for patients and increased convenience for providers. All patient information is in one location, ready to be accessed when needed. Every positive use means less time spent on cumbersome administrative activities:
- Better data management leads to fewer claims rejections and denials.
- Patients need to spend less time filling out the same information during each interaction.
- Easy access to records and results from multiple locations means more coordinated care and less time invested by providers and staff to find critical information.
- The EHR provides enhanced decision support information, as well as clinical alerts, reminders, and medical information to aid in the patient support process.
- Real-time reporting and performance-improving tools add to productivity.
- Legible, complete documentation facilitates more accurate coding and billing management.
- Electronic referrals make the process of obtaining specialist care much easier.
- There is no need for duplicate testing, as all results are in the EHR.
- Use of patient portal communications reduces time wasted playing “phone tag.”
EHRs Reduce Paperwork and Provider Stress
The easier it is to run your private practice, the less stress there will be for you. The paperwork involved in filling out forms, processing billing, and managing insurance claims can overrun your practice, if steps are not taken to manage it more efficiently. Use your EHR to streamline these tasks, make your life easier, and reduce costs. According to HealthIT.gov, EHR-enabled medical practices report:
Improved Medical Practice Management
Integrated scheduling systems link appointments directly to progress notes, automate coding, and manage claims.
Easier and centralized chart management, condition-specific queries, and EHR shortcuts speed the chart process significantly, allowing more time for patient care.
Providers can get easy access to patient data from anywhere they happen to be working. Sharing information with other providers and specialists is easier internally, and with others outside the practice. Messages can be shared without leaving the computer screen.
Many health care providers use their EHR system to increase practice efficiencies and reduce costs. Your independent practice can benefit in a variety of ways, including:
- Minimizing or eliminating transcription costs.
- Minimizing or eliminating chart paper, pull, refiling, and storage costs. Reallocate staff to provide higher levels of patient care.
- Improved documentation and automated coding capabilities lead to faster and more efficient claims management. Your practice limits denials due to late filings.
- Eliminating manual charge entry results in time savings and more accurate billing.
- Medical errors can be reduced through increased access to up-to-date patient data and error prevention alerts.
- Better quality of care and improved satisfaction through disease management and patient education programs.
With ever-expanding reporting and CMS requirements, the EHR gives your private practice the ability to complete key regulatory data elements, so you do not miss out on compensation because of inaccurate data.
Key Takeaways About Today’s EHR Systems
The main goal of deciding to integrate any type of digital-assist system into your private practice is that it should help to improve patient care, outcomes and satisfaction without placing an unnecessary burden on you or your staff. The ability to exchange key patient insights throughout the patient care network leads to safer levels of care, without additional redundancies.
An EHR that works with you in an almost intuitive manner can help to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize your stress. The benefits to the independent practice provider of a top-notch EHR include:
- Point-of-care access to up-to-date, complete patient information.
- The ability to provide higher levels of coordinated care with other healthcare entities.
- Enhanced, secure communication with clinicians and patients.
- Improved diagnostic capabilities.
- Fewer medical errors of oversight or omission.
- Better provide-patient communication levels, and increased patient compliance with care measures.
- Minimizing barriers to routine prescription management.
- Complete, legible documentation of patient history, in the event of any legal issues.
- Streamlined coding and billing measures to speed billing and collections.
- Compliance with insurance and government requirements.
- Increased physician work-life balance.
- More efficient office functioning with lower costs and higher net revenue.
Implementing Electronic Health Records (EHRs) into your independent practice is the first step to transforming health care. The anticipated benefits for the practice include:
Better Health Care
Use your EHR as an adjunct in improving all aspects of patient care, communication, and education.
The EHR assists in your efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles among your patients by monitoring remote devices, managing routine appointments and tests, highlighting behavioral risks, and promoting the wider use of preventive care measures.
Improve the coordination of health care amongst various entities, increase administrative efficiencies, and reduce waste.
Better Decision Making
Integrate patient information from various sources to determine the best course of care.
Once you find the right EHR and learn to incorporate it fully as part of your everyday patient care routine, you will find that it has many benefits for you, your private practice and, most importantly, your patients.
Get Quality EHR Support from Amazing Charts
Amazing Charts consistently ranks as a top EHR for ease of use and remains an affordable option for private practices. Our Electronic Health Record system was built by a physician, for physicians. We offer an EHR that can be installed locally or in the cloud and have specialized versions for OB/GYN practices and cardiology practices. Significant features and benefits available to help your independent practice survive and thrive by achieving higher levels of care include:
Easy, one click access to chart summaries, lab results, referral summaries and past encounters summaries. No more documenting the same information multiple times.
Robust and built-in e-prescribing module.
Charts are accessible and editable within any inbox for any users with appropriate access.
User-friendly reporting tool provides common preset queries as well as the ability to build your own complex queries in an easy, step-by-step process.
Designed to both work easily and to minimize the risk that your notes all end up being essentially the same.
An electronic superbill is automatically generated and stored for billing when you sign a chart note.
Book, reschedule and document missed any no-show appointments. Set appointment types and duration, and quickly rebook appointments.
Maintenance and Support
Telephone, email, chat and immediate remote access to US-based support personnel. Receive regular program and database updates to improve EHR usability.
Work with patients electronically to exchange messages, share visit summaries, test results and educational materials.
Healthcare Technology Solutions Designed By and For Independent Practices
Amazing Charts was founded in 2001 by a practicing family physician to help medical practices thrive. We have grown consistently since then by creating easy-to-use solutions for delivering patient care. Today, we offer a variety of additional capabilities designed to help independent practices succeed, including Electronic Health Records, Practice Management, Billing Services, Population Health and Remote Care. Call 866-382-5932 to learn about our products, schedule a practice consultation, and learn more about telehealth pandemic lessons that can help your independent practice grow.