The promised benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) were efficiency, cost reduction, and more coordinated care. However, many healthcare practices are not realizing those benefits. The disconnect is fueled by a variety of factors: including burnout, lack of time to dedicate to it, and inadequate training. As we help medical practices optimize their EHR set ups, we consistently see common themes that are missed opportunities for Return on Investment (ROI). These opportunity areas include incentive payments, reporting, and patient flow efficiencies. If your practice wants to realize more ROI from your EHR, we suggest focusing on these areas:
Audit Data Collection And Mapping For Incentive Payments
In order to take full advantage of incentive payment programs, it is important that your EHR is set up with correct mapping to collect and report the data you need to meet requirements for payment from Medicare and private insurance plans. We suggest completing a full audit and review of all the federal and state programs such as Medicare MIPS and/or Medicaid MU, private insurance value-based payment programs, and those linked to grants or and/or annual incentives. For each program, establish a monitoring schedule to ensure you are collecting the data you need. By ensuring that your mapping and data are complete, you put your practice in a position to maximize the amount of incentive payments and/or grants you receive.
Optimize Reporting Capabilities
Within eClinicalWorks, we suggest using eBO (eCW’s Enterprise Business Optimizer), which includes more financial and clinical reporting capabilities than the older system-standard APL reporting. In some cases, custom reporting (full version of eBO including Query Studio) beyond the standard eBO is beneficial, especially for large physician groups and federally qualified health centers.
Assess Efficiency In Your Workflow
Your EHR set up can work in tandem with the physical layout of your office to streamline your practice workflow and help alleviate bottlenecks. When we work with practices to optimize EHR set up we look for opportunities to improve ROI in the form of workflow time saved. A few common areas we see that save time are appointment scheduling, pre-appointment information gathering, and inter-office communication optimizations. The more streamlined the process of getting information into the system is, the better. Simple adjustments such as webforms that integrate with your EHR, and digital notifications for providers regarding patient arrival can make a significant difference in practice workflow efficiency.
Auditing your data collection for incentive payments and federal and state grants, and optimizing reporting to support your operational goals, ensures your EHR supports efficient patient intake, patient scheduling, and inter-office communications workflow. This process puts your practice in a position to maximize EHR ROI.
About Physician Select Management
Physician Select Management, LLC (PSM) has provided technology and management solutions to physicians and healthcare organizations throughout the United States since 1998. Because we have experience working in or managing medical practices, clinics and other healthcare services, our emphasis is to provide services that help increase productivity and profitability. For more information about our EHR hosting, medical practice management consulting, and EHR optimization services, please contact us