Many pundits say that the healthcare industry is in crisis and the problems outweigh the solutions of your electronic Medical Records. It is true that escalating costs, privacy issues and inefficient flow of information takes its toll on proper care. Fortunately “quality of care” advances have helped stem the tide of “crisis”. Electronic Medical Records have certainly been a plus for practices around the world. Using them properly can help doctors deliver a standard of care that has vastly improved the process.
Recordkeeping in healthcare has been in a stagnant state for decades. The flow of information is more important than ever and can have far reaching positive effects. It has succeeded in the following areas:
Preventive Care. The largest single cost in healthcare is disease that is not properly diagnosed, maintained or treated proactively. Other complications include neglected patients, allergic reactions to medications, and drug interactions.
Patient Charts. Because charts are used to record every interaction with the patient, the amount of paper and keeping track of it is difficult. From a phone call from a patient to visits in the office, the practice must find the chart before taking any kind of action. The provider must also examine the chart to read history, lab tests and referrals every time he sees a patient. On completion of the visit, staff must document or transcribe the results including the diagnosis. Then there are the insurance requirements to guarantee payment.
Specialists. The General Practioner is a thing of the past. There are medical specialists for every part of the human body. This means that each medical practice will have its own set of patient records, disconnected from the others and counting on the patient to remember information to properly fill out forms.
Outside Agencies. Government and commercial payers are pushing for more preventive care to reduce claims. They are offering compliance bonuses, re-negotiating fees, and are requiring detailed documentation for reimbursements.
Electronic Medical Records are not restricted by the limitations of paper. With the power of these programs and faster computers providers will continue to see a positive change in healthcare.
Listed are some benefits that will continue to evolve:
- Medical staff can access the data simultaneously
- Changing conditions of the patient (treatment, insurance) would be highlighted in the EMR
- Patient Education would be tracked and monitored
- Payments would be collected quickly
- Time lost looking through charts for information would be eliminated
- Misplaced charts would become a thing of the past
Iron Comet Consulting is a Mckesson Platinum certified reseller, medical IT firm and medical billing service based in Stockbridge, Georgia. Our products combine the clinical with the financial to improve workflow and revenue capture. Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical is a complete physician practice optimization solution. For more information, please visit http://www.ironcomet.com/