Whether you are a small, independent practice or a large healthcare organization, there is a lot of focus on two factors related to costs: reducing your total operating costs as a healthcare provider, as well as reducing the total cost of caring for your patients. These things are often interrelated, and while EHR (electronic health record) software alone won’t solve these large and complex topics, it’s important to examine the role of this technology in keeping costs low.
EHRs Improve Medical Practice Efficiency
There are many steps clinics can take to improve efficiency, but perhaps none is as impactful as adding the right software. Technology is sometimes seen as a burden in clinics, but it can streamline workflows and reduce the total amount of manual data input, which in turn reduces the chances for errors. It also frees up staff members who were previously doing all that manual data transfer to help with other things around the clinic. Some of the most common cost-cutting benefits of an EHR include:
- Lowering transcription costs
- Reducing time spent on documentation (with templates)
- Improving documentation for billing (with automated coding)
- Limiting or eliminating chart pull, storage, and re-filing costs
Some providers worry that technology will take away from the patient experience, but as long as you use the right EHR and integrate it appropriately into your current patient care workflows, it enhances the experience and leaves providers with even more time to spend face-to-face with a patient.
EHRs Save Time & Reduce Workloads
One of the biggest benefits for clinics comes in the time that an EHR can save. These programs offer a variety of time-saving features, including:
- Integration between medical scheduling software, practice management systems, EHR documentation, coding, and claims, completely removing the need for redundant data entry in multiple systems
- Simplified chart management and customizable templates to reduce documentation burdens on providers
- Quick access to information through search features, shortcuts, and centralized chart management
- E-prescribing features
- Better communication between providers, labs, clinicians, and patients
EHRs Automate Clinical Processes
In addition to the operational cost savings, everyone is focused on reducing the cost of care and improving quality to meet MIPS and other requirements. An EHR plays a critical role with features like automated alerts, disease management, and patient education catered to the specific needs of each person. You and your staff won’t need to search through years of medical records to find the last time a patient had a specific vaccine or checkup, for example; instead your EHR can alert you about what he or she needs.
EHRs can also reduce the chance that you miss important disease management protocols, or that you or a staff member make a mistake with data entry or diagnosis information that results in a serious medical error.
Finally, you can use your EHR to automatically report data required by MIPS and other federal or state programs.
To learn more about the benefits of an EHR for your small or independent practice, talk to AdvancedMD today.