For several years now, practices have been implementing various technologies with a fair measure of success: from electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management (PM) to patient engagement. Yet, many essentially function the same way in terms of workflow and associated tasks.
That means practices are not realizing the full potential of technology they have implemented, merely substituting paper records with electronic records.
What truly can – and should – make a difference for a tech-savvy practice in 2017 is implementing an integrated workflow approach that smartly automates administrative paperwork and other time-intensive tasks that don’t require a human touch. In other words, it is time to transition to Practice 2.0.
The foundation of a Practice 2.0 approach is a new practice management model integrating EHR, PM, e-prescribing, patient engagement and other software with billing, as opposed to relying on standalone systems, which focus solely on each individual task. Below are just a few ways practices can benefit from this transition:
- One database – one application. With the integrated workflow model, EHR and PM records are located in one database and accessible with one application, preventing copy-and-paste errors typical with practices running separate PM and EHR systems.
- Seamlessly flowing information. Practice 2.0 has information available everywhere in the office simultaneously, and front-office, billing and clinical staff can all act on it immediately from anywhere in the office or remotely. Information flows seamlessly: from diagnosis in EHR and scheduling the next visit in PM to capturing the visit on the billing side for coding.
- Simultaneous access. Simultaneous access to information saves precious time for clinical staff who otherwise often have to perform double data entry or pull information from different systems to prepare for the patient visit.
- A secure, single sign-on. The integrated workflow approach assumes that data is maintained in a cloud-based system that gives several users the ability to refer to charts and information from a secure, single sign-on. Such data storage also creates interoperability among a wide range of systems.
- Securely exchange patient health information. Additionally, cloud-based technology capable of blending data from multiple sources and creating interfaces for participating providers can make the technology experience for providers virtually seamless. A practice can securely exchange patient health information with hundreds of connections into healthcare communities, including hospitals, labs, and imaging centers.
- Automates manual processes. An important part of optimizing the workflow is streamlining the billing process. Use technology that lets you manage your entire claim process in one place and automates manual processes with such features as auto-generated worklists, claims status tracking, claims scrubbing, and centralized billing for multiple providers and sites.
- Auto-assigning forms. Auto-assigning forms for patients to complete at home through a patient portal lets patients complete them on their own time. That means they can be more thorough, checking the medicine cabinet for that drug the name of which they can’t remember (not to mention the dosage). This also saves a time for both the staff and patients in the waiting room, streamlining the workflow further and increasing patient satisfaction.
In 2017, practices can choose to transition into the next phase of practice management, Practice 2.0, where EHR, PM, RCM, patient engagement, business analytics reporting, and physician-performance benchmarking are integrated. It’s an easy way for practices to get more benefits from technology, allow office staff to dedicate time to tasks requiring human interaction, and help physicians and clinical staff focus on the most important concern – patient care.