Software often seems like a major investment for many practices and may appear to be entirely out of reach and unimportant to patient care.
Or so one common view of health care information technology goes.
Many clinics would rather simply do without EHR and PM software if they think they can do well enough on their own without these technologies. In the chiropractic world, using paper is still a popular option, although it does have significant weaknesses and may actually lead to lower-quality patient care.
EHR and PM software help you manage your practice, stay on track with regulatory metrics and requirements, provide excellent patient care and more. You can use these systems to help you ensure that your clinic is doing all that it can to improve patient health and care for their needs.
Read on to review some of the benefits of high-quality EHR and PM software use.
Managing your practice
With EHR and PM software, you can maintain an overview of your practice’s performance. You can make sure the operations and business side of your clinic is functioning properly and that you are not missing anything important. Paper-based systems for operating your business are prone to human error and run the risk that you will forget something important or miss some key data.
Manage everything together and reduce the risk that important data or significant information will be missing, because you will have computer software to verify whatever you create and enter into the system.
Software can help you avoid compliance problems, too. If you have to file reports or comply with, for instance, MACRA reporting, then it makes sense to have software helping you collect data about patient outcomes, patient population information, care interventions, and patient characteristics. EHR software can conveniently do much of this for you.
For tax purposes, insurance and billing, you can keep track of important financial and billing data using your PM system. Each new bill and instance of income is recorded in your system for reference later. This can also help you avoid forgetting information, too, or leaving out important documentation of financial data.
While hacking incidents and security breaches are widely publicized in the news, it is often true that digitally-stored information can actually be more secure than paper-based records. Even as patient data travels online, it is protected by encryption.
Paper records can be physically stolen, copied and require a large secure storage area. Over time, having a large number of older records can mean needing an offsite storage facility. Instead, it is often easier to use EHR and let your vendor take care of the updating, managing and securing of information.
Providing great patient care requires having great data and information about the types of cases you are seeing at your clinic, who your patients are, and what their concerns are when they seek treatment. You can actually provide better care if you have access to great statistics and information.
Also, EHR can help you access information from other clinics and even other specialties, if your patient receives care somewhere else. This allows you to find out care plans and details about your patient’s tests, medications and treatments. This is often referred to as interoperability—while not yet perfect, many EHR systems support it and it can be very helpful when offering care to patients.
With EHR and PM, you can connect your clinic to great information and features. It becomes easier to securely share information, track important metrics, find the information you need at the right moments, and more. You can improve the care you offer and you may even be able to expand the number of patients you serve by making your clinical processes more efficient and flexible.
Ready to ditch the paper systems you are using at your practice? Be sure to do your own research and take care to find the right vendors. Software should make your job easier and help you provide the best possible patient care–if it is not helping, talk to your vendor about potential improvements and changes you can make to move your clinic forward.
- Monica, K. “The Importance of Efficient EHR Use in Behavioral Health Care.” EHR Intelligence. https://ehrintelligence.com/news/the-importance-of-efficient-ehr-use-in-behavioral-healthcare. Published: October 2017. Accessed: December 2017.