If you are like most providers, the last eight months have dramatically changed the way you practice medicine. As the COVID-19 virus started to spread, the number of clinicians and patients using telemedicine for care skyrocketed to all-time highs. While it was a definite benefit to both patients and providers to be able to continue care even when in-person visits might not be safe or feasible, it has revealed some gaps in workflows for providers who have not used the technology much (or at all) until recently.
It’s unlikely that telemedicine visits will go away, even when COVID-19 is safely under control with a mix of mitigation, testing, and an effective vaccine. So now is the time to start thinking about better and more efficient ways to conduct telemedicine visits. For many providers, that starts with your EHR.
Create Telemedicine-Focused Templates
Payers require that specific information is included in the claims you submit for payment, and telemedicine visits are no different. However, the information they require might be a little different from a traditional in-person clinic visit. To help facilitate a smooth claims process, you should create templates inside your EHR that are specific to a telemedicine visit. They can provide prompts for certain information, and automatically fill in areas to ensure proper documentation for your medical coding and billing staff to submit them for reimbursement.
Use an Integrated Software System
Integration in your practice management software has always been a good idea, but unfortunately, it’s not a reality for many clinics. When you have an integrated system, it can automatically feed information from your scheduling portal to your practice management system for things like insurance verification and check-in. Then the data is seamlessly transferred to the EHR, avoiding errors that might be associated with manual data entry (and saving your staff a lot of time and headaches). Finally, all the valid information about the visit, including physician notes and documentation, are sent to your medical coding and billing team for a quick and efficient claims process.
When your systems don’t talk to each other, each step of this process is fraught with potential risks and errors, and it can take a lot of time for someone to transfer data. Even if you have APIs, these are often a patchwork that can run into challenges along the way. A better option is to have a single integrated system from start to finish.
Use Reports and Analytics to Your Advantage
Your EHR can provide a lot of good information about your patients. Reporting and analytics can help you identify patients who haven’t been in to see you recently and who usually need continuing care or an annual checkup, so your staff can reach out to determine what barriers they are facing in getting in for an appointment. These tools can also provide alerts and other notifications about recommended care for patients, such as preventive screenings based on health history and age, so you don’t have to remember everything about everyone.
If you are not using your EHR to its fullest potential, or it’s time for a new EHR software, contact AdvancedMD to learn more about our integrated and intuitive system.