The incentives are over, so why still consider adopting a web-based EHR system?
Starting in 2011, chiropractors were among the hundreds of thousands of healthcare practitioners eligible to receive money from the federal government for employing electronic health record (EHR) systems in their practices. Of the 60,000 chiropractors in the U.S. today, nearly 70 percent do not have an EHR system and more than 50 percent are currently considering adding one.
Early adopters had the opportunity to receive $44,000 each and more than $3 billion has been paid to Medicare providers, but the point is now moot— the incentive program is over. Even so, if you don’t have an EHR system, you should still consider making the switch. Why? To achieve paperless convenience and efficiency.
Used correctly, a good EHR system will significantly increase office efficiency and reduce the use of paper. A decent system will eliminate the time wasted by staff looking for lost files or records stored incorrectly. If you’re still using paper, how many times have you experienced a fire drill because of a missing file? These types of occurrences can be eliminated with an EHR system. And if you choose a Web- based platform, you can access what you need in the office, at home, or on the go.
Several advantages to adopting an EHR system
- Get paid Insurance providers are increasingly requiring the use of EHR technology for maximum reimbursement. This is no longer specific to Medicare and Medicaid.
- Appeal to patients with a modern A practice overflowing with physical files and papers looks and feels like 1980. EHRs make an office technologically appealing. Offices still using paper are not attractive to tech- savvy patients or those looking for a provider who is up-to-date with current trends. If you visit an emergency room or dentist’s office, you will notice that most documentation is being entered directly into a computer of some sort.
- Save An EHR system can save you money in a variety of ways. First, you reduce staff time by eliminating the need to create or locate paper files. This can lead to a reduction in the number of required staff members. The program can manage and send out appointment and recall reminders, allowing the scheduling workload to be automated. Preset notifications help patients avoid missing appointments, which can cost you income.
As you research the various EHR options available, you’ll notice they fall into one of two categories: cloud- or server- based. For many reasons, the “cloud” has become a fairly ubiquitous technology. Highlights include:
- Accessibility: A seamlessly integrated, database-driven, Web-based system is accessible 24/7, providing instant access whenever and wherever you need it, including from your smartphone or
- Security: In today’s technology-powered business environment, a cloud-based solution is a safe way to protect your valuable patient
- Disaster coverage: Server-based software is vulnerable to incidents such as floods, hurricanes, fires, and On the cloud, regardless of what happens with your brick- and-mortar structure, your data will be safe and can be accessed in the time it takes to plug in a new computer and log in.
- Backup and recovery: Critics of cloud solutions typically cite security and privacy Can the provider be trusted? Will data be lost? Today, as cloud computing becomes more popular, there are more storage providers than ever. Competition is fierce, so to survive companies must be dedicated to providing secure and reliable service or risk losing business (or worse).
While you can no longer receive financial incentives from the federal government to adopt an EHR system, going electronic still offers many benefits. Not only will EHRs save time and money but your confidence in a secure program will allow you to sleep well knowing that you and your patients are covered.
Dean Rottinghaus, DC, earned his doctor of chiropractic degree in 1992 from Cleveland Chiropractic College and is vice president of sales and development for Medicfusion. A VSS medical technology company, Medicfusion is a leading EHR provider supporting the special needs of chiropractors. For more information, call 866-643-7778 or visit medicfusion.com.