Why Independent Practices Need EHRs to Increase Productivity

Why Independent Practices Need EHRs to Increase Productivity

7 Important Privacy and Security Considerations When Using Healthcare APIs

By Andrea Kowalski, senior vice president of product, Tebra.

As private practices everywhere struggle to maintain their independence, they face changing fees, demanding legal requirements and increasing costs. Implementing an electronic patient record (EHR) can help them meet these challenges. An EHR can improve profitability, reduce operational costs and increase patient and physician satisfaction while having an overall positive impact on patient care.

An EHR has the power to shape the future of a small practice. From efficiency to a satisfying return on investment to time and money savings, an EPD has demonstrable benefits. Implementing and having a system requires commitment and investment. However, such a move will help practices maintain their independence and adapt and thrive in the future.

Centralized data and analytics

Thanks to its visual display, an EHR dashboard provides relevant data with instant analysis related to financial performance, patient care and open tasks. Every member of the practice can view a full picture that is constantly refreshed with new or updated data. With a certified EHR solution, caregivers and clinical staff have better control over how they deliver care. The needs of the practice, whether graphing, documentation, patient history or eLabs, are all delivered together for smoother operation.

Not only does an EHR provide insight into critical information, it also allows providers to easily and quickly generate reports and explore the data behind the analytics. For example, practice managers can access a real-time view of patients scheduled for the day and their eligibility data, copay information, and more.

Improved organization

From the moment a patient contacts the practice to payment of the claim, every step of their journey is tracked. Dashboards with an integrated platform provide a now-needed consolidated view with the ability to view clinical and financial information in a single window.

An EHR dashboard provides real-time patient information and should be well equipped to handle a variety of tasks designed to simplify an office’s workflow. With a quick glance at the need-to-know information at login, a practice manager, coder, biller or physician can see where their focus will be for the day. Permission functions determine which user roles can perform which tasks and access which information. Designed with usability in mind that allows for rapid inputs and outputs, productivity can increase, allowing practices to reinvest the time saved in patient care.

A streamlined prescriber process

Of the slightly more than half of practices with five or fewer physicians who report using an EHR system, 67 percent report tangible benefits from e-prescribing. The e-prescribing workflow aims to improve accuracy, increase patient safety and reduce costs, while creating a secure connection between a medical practice and a pharmacy. According to a report, 7,000 people are killed and 1.5 million injured each year as a result of the doctor’s poor handwriting on paper prescriptions.

Using an EHR’s e-Prescription feature streamlines medication management and minimizes errors. EPDs can also monitor regulations to ensure that controlled substances are not prescribed by one or more providers. This valuable feature works in tandem with other monitoring programs to encourage safer prescribing, taking into account a patient’s complete prescribing history.

Faster and more accurate billing

With the ability to delegate and track tasks within an EHR dashboard, practice managers also have access to up-to-date billing information. This includes financial information such as invoiced procedures, costs, adjustments, receipts, refunds, accounts receivable balance (outgoing), days in outbound, time to invoice, and more.

Of practices that currently use an EHR system, 74 percent report faster and more accurate billing. And with digital file organization, there’s no need to store, access and maintain old paper documents, making everything as simple as a mouse click.

While implementing an EHR requires investment and dedication, there are many long-term benefits to be gained. By putting in place a system now, a private practice can remain independent and successful well into the future.

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