Snippets taken from an article written by Richard Romero published in The Ambulatory M&A Advisor.
An EHR with good documentation is proactive and can catch what’s not captured appropriately up front so that it doesn’t affect things on the back end.
Healthcare has made almost monumental movements in the technology used in various areas of the current field. In recent years Electronic Health Records (EHR/EMR) have successfully helped physician owners make the shift from paper medical records for patients to an online database that is easily accessed at the click of a mouse. There are many choices on the market for an EHR provider, and The Ambulatory M&A Advisor has discussed with professionals on the subject regarding the process of obtaining a new provider, the lifecycle of an EHR, and how physicians can avoid mistakes when looking to change programs.
Qualities to Look For
Renee Vandall, Director of Marketing for Net Health, says that proper documentation is an important aspect to look for in urgent care EHRs.
Vandall says that providers should look for an program that allows them to chart fast and code appropriately.
Vandall says an EHR should also be able to recognize missing information from a patient’s chart, so that when charts are audited in the back end of being paid, all of the correct documentation is captured so that providers receive appropriate reimbursement.
“Your information should all be in one seamless place; no need to go back and forth to capture any information,” Vandall says. “An EHR with good documentation is proactive and can catch what’s not captured appropriately up front so that it doesn’t affect things on the back end.”
Beginning the Process of Change
Not only is the “what” aspect of selecting a new EHR provider crucial, but the “when” area of concern is huge for physician owners as well. Therefore, choosing when to make the change in a business life cycle can be crucial.
Wayne Sebastiano, MD and owner of Glendale Family Medicine and Walk-in Care says that his business made their changes during the summer months because that time-frame tends to have a slower patient flow for urgent care.
Sebastiano adds that ultimately, when making any changes, be it from provider to provider, or just going from paper to electronic, providers should expect that the process will slow their business down. These changes can cause dramatic changes in revenue, as well as lower the amount of patients seen during the time of transition.
“Fortunately, the learning curve was very quick, and my biggest fears of having three to four months where volume suffered with the transition didn’t happen,” Sebastiano says of his initial change to electronic. “By the end of the first week, everyone was fully up to speed with the software.”
Get the Staff in the Loop
Even though 6-10 weeks seems like a long time, Sebastiano says the EHR systems themselves are actually very quick to implement and learn.
“I sent two receptionists and my biller to an out-of-state training course for a week, and then when they came back, they trained everyone else,” Sebastiano says. “We picked a day to go live, and everyone practiced on a demo version beforehand so that they knew how to use the software when the time came.”
Read the full article at The Ambulatory M&A advisor.