Revenue Cycle Management Blog | GroupOne Health Source

Why an EMR Shouldn't Be "Out of the Box"

Written by Nicole Laucks | January 7, 2016

In a perfect world, every EMR would be easy to use and simple to implement right out of the box. You wouldn't need to close your practice for a few days or pay for that expensive trainer to visit you. Unfortunately this isn't the case and it's causing a lot of practices to hate their EMR.

How? Unreal expectations. Looking for an "out of the box" EMR that improves your practice workflows and boost productivity is just not possible. You would probably agree that the way your practice does things is completely different from another and that everyone learns differently. To accommodate both of these things you will need

1. a customizable EMR software

2. a trainer (not online videos)

A customizable EMR might sound like a lot of work and of course it is compared to something that you would download and start using the next day. The difference is the long term benefits that are a direct result of your hard work invested into the system prior to the go-live date.

A Customized EMR Can Prevent Computers from Coming Between the Doctor and Patient

An EMR system into which your practice workflows must be shoehorned can turn computers and tablets into devices that come between the doctor and patient. Actual patient care requires talking to and listening to patients, interacting with them with focused attention. Patient care that is simply dialogue driven by blank fields on a computer screen is not going to lead to better healthcare and lower costs.

It's all too easy for a tablet in the exam room to become a prop and a distraction. A customized EMR, however, can prevent this by working with, not against, practice workflows, and providing tools and specialty specifiv templates that facilitate quick actions that don't slow down or disrupt the doctor-patient interaction.

Customization Can Drastically Improve Workflows

With a customized EMR, you shouldn't have to change your daily workflows. Remember: your EMR should work for you, not the other way around. Also bear in mind the importance of flexibility as a partner to customization. Some specialist practices, for instance, may purchase an EMR designed solely for that specialty. These systems don't always offer the level of interoperability and flexibility that more comprehensive EMRs do. This is particularly important to remember if you plan to expand your solo practice to eventually take in other specialties.

You Can Make Clinician Notes Faster and More Accurate

Choose an EMR system that offers you the tools you need to document faster and more accurate. For example, some systems include customizable templates for patient notes that can make the process of entering chart notes much faster and more accurate, saving you time and allowing more of that time to be spent interacting with patients. Another helpful feature is automatic creation of an audit trail for notes. This allows you to look at a note and determine who wrote it, and when it was written. 

Finding the right ICD-10 code can also take up a significant amount of time when a physician is documenting in the EMR. Having a smart search tool such as IMO can make choosing the right diagnosis code easier and faster for physicians.

You Reap Multiple Benefits from a Unified EHR System

You won't just enjoy faster workflows and possible financial incentives if you deploy a unified EHR software. For example, your EMR records are proof to insurance companies that a patient was seen, along with why the patient was seen, and tests or procedures that were done. Not having to login to multiple platforms to access the patient and billing information can save your staff a large amount of time and speed up the reimbursement process.

Your EMR records are also an important means of communication among other healthcare providers treating a patient. Some EMR systems generate a messy and confusing referral note while some pull the information that a specialist needs into a well organized summary of the patient. Therefore improving the communication among healthcare providers and ultimately leading to better patient care.

Start With the Right Platform and Take Your Practice Further

When you start out with a powerful, flexible, customizable system like eClinicalWorks EMR, you set the stage for all the benefits that EMRs can deliver. You won't be pigeonholed into specialty workflows should you elect to expand your practice to include other specialties. You get interoperability that allows you to securely share referrals, lab results, and other data. And with eClinicalWorks you have the ability to use an iPad app, eClinicalTouch, to streamline documentation of patient encounters and be confident of the accuracy of clinician notes. Furthermore, eClinicalWorks has integrated ICD-9 and ICD-10 code lookup, helping practices that are still adapting to the ICD-10 environment.

Are you ready to learn how a powerful, flexible, customizable EMR can power your practice, and improve patient care, all while making revenue cycle management more streamlined and accurate? Schedule a live demo of eClinicalWorks today to find out.