Electronic medical record (EMRs) requirements are constantly evolving. In 2018, it is expected they will change in the way they look and work.
Healthcare organizations are still far behind in implementing the technology. If their system is old, upgrading can be a big deal and require a lot of planning.
While implementing an EMR has some challenges, without a system in place, healthcare organizations will continue to suffer from detrimental data breaches, lack of consistency in records, and poor patient care.
The pros of an EMR implementation far outweigh the cons. Let’s take a look at how implementing an EMR can solve some major challenges.
Overcoming Barriers With EMR Implementation
In 2017, one of the biggest factors affecting all healthcare organizations is the security of their records. There were major cybersecurity hacks last year. They resulted in hundreds of thousands of patient records exposed and compromised.
Security isn’t the only issue. A decline in patient care happens if there aren’t proper medical record systems set in place. Here are a few of the ways EMR implementation can begin to help healthcare clinics step up their patient care.
With an EMR, clinics are no longer dealing with stacks of paper. Susie’s lab test results aren’t going to blow away in the wind or be burnt up in an accidental fire. Everything stores in a digital location, ensuring the safety of patient files.
There is no more wondering if all the files scanned into the right patient file, order, or encounter. No more worrying about physical papers becoming damaged. Less staff time spent on scanning, filing, and sorting of patient papers.
When the doctor tells you he needs to see Bob’s file, digging through a stack of 500 papers can be overwhelming and burdensome. Typing his name into an EMR? Easy and quick.
It’s also good for the environment. Less paper waste and more environmentally friendly. There is less storage space required as instant storage is available. This isn’t the only way EMRs help physicians and patient care.
An EMR implementation may be costly upfront but it will pay off rather fast. This cost is associated with equipment and staff. There needs to be expertly trained implementation personnel that can train other staff how to use it.
The financial incentives available outweigh the initial setup and transition cost. Meaningful use incentives are a large part of it, but clinics receive incentive just for having an EMR in place within their organization.
Meaningful use is an important part of any healthcare organizations functions. Being able to identify and select clinical quality measurements for addressed objectives is important to avoid hefty penalties.
With an EMR, test results can be directly identified and mailed to a physician’s inbox, while simultaneously being upload to the EMR. If test results contain the main reporting information, they get there quicker.
Clinics are given the ability to select the clinical quality measures of their choosing, for instance, with an emphasis on pediatric care. This could include measures such as weight assessment, immunization status, asthma assessment, preventative care screening, and more.
Increase in Efficiency and Productivity
When it comes down to it, increasing efficiency and productivity are a large reason that healthcare organizations should transition over to an EMR. Being quicker when updating records can help physicians respond in a timely fashion when a patient’s health is at stake.
The line of communication is open between patient and physician. It’s also open with pharmacies, diagnostic centers, other clinicians, and insurance providers. When all of these records are syncing, the staff spends less time on follow-up calls and messages.
Less time is spent on office duties and more time is spent on the improvement of patient care. Being able to direct staff’s focus back to the patient will also help the company save money. They get to eliminate unnecessary clerical tasks.
Provide Better Patient Care
Most, if not all, improvements in healthcare technology have one goal in mind – improving patient care. Making healthcare records and systems easier for physicians to use to change the value of care they are providing is the number one plan.
Having a comprehensive medical record can help physicians and doctors make better decisions about patients by presenting a more holistic approach to their health care.
EMR implementation provides the right tools to present a full picture of the patient’s health so progress and issues can be targeted and tracked. There is more accurate data available, allowing for a reduction in errors and better diagnosis.
Having this data available will help the clinic maximize merit-based performance incentives. When they need to report, all they can to do is search and select the data required. They can have alerts scheduled to remind patients of upcoming screenings and recommended preventative visits.
Alongside better diagnosis, prescriptions can be prescribed directly online, communicate with the pharmacy, and have it ready for patient pickup with zero confusion. The EMR can even check for potential negative drug interactions.
Get An EMR Today
Implementing an EMR may be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start or what to do to prepare. Don’t worry, there are experts that help organizations in getting new EMRs up and running, training their staff for a successful transition, and providing helpful tips to maximize efficiency.
There may be upfront costs and time spent on EMR implementation. The benefits are greater than the negatives. Your physicians will be more focused on their patients. Your staff will be more focused on delivering better results for patients.
Less time spent dealing with lost or damaged paper in stacks, and more time spent in ensuring accurate and sensitive data submits quickly.
If you’re looking for experts to help you with your EMR decision or in implementation, contact us today.