The catchphrase around the healthcare industry is electronic health records. Today both hospitals and small private practices are either in the process of implementing these systems or they already have. Yet, many are still confused as to the necessity of going from paper to computers.
Those that have already used it will swear by this method of documentation while others will say that there are far too many flaws that come along with such a system. Before you decide as to whether or not electronic health records can provide real benefits to your clinic, you should attempt to make sure that you do a reasonable amount of research.
These kinds of applications are called EHR systems, and when the right application is chosen, there can be a lot of advantages as compared to paper medical records. For example, it can greatly quicken the process of documenting new patients, their bills, and their medical conditions. It also makes medical records far more accurate, since they will be typed and electronic data entry can inject real efficiencies into the documentation process. Additionally, if a medical practice is ever audited, it will be much easier for the auditor to call up the data he needs to analyze them.
Perfect For Multi-Location Offices
Frequently, patients may need to visit other locations or various outside medical providers that operate from a different location. The implementation and use of electronic health records allows for easy data transfer from one office to the next. The ability to have these records so readily available will prove to be very beneficial not only to doctors but also to the patients who are seeking care or services from a medical practitioner, dentist or surgeon.
You shouldn’t rush into implementing an electronic system for your office. Instead, planning is paramount when considering how it will affect your practice and what the switch over will be like. However, you should keep the advantages of switching in mind also, such as cost reductions and increased storage space.
Additionally, if you have a smaller practice a good EHR software could end up saving you money on everything from transcription services to extra staff and overall office supplies. Depending on the kinds of care that you feature in your practice, you could also find that electronic health records applications can be very helpful as a way to safeguard patient privacy.
Keep It Simple, If You Please
When choosing a system for your practice, ensure you have a product that is easy enough for your staff to really work with. Maintenance of the program should never seem unwieldy and updating should be very simple. If you choose the right application, everything from billing, to reporting and invoicing will be easier to do, and will add great efficiencies to your office.
Taking the leap and adopting electronic health records can be a real game changer for both you and your staff. Once you understand how to use it to your benefit, you will all probably be pleased by how it has made your practice more efficient. In fact, you might even wonder how you ever managed to run your practice without an electronic health records system.
Carl Hardy is a product trainer, developer and editor of http://www.electronicmedicalrecords.org. His company, EMRG, specializes in designing best of breed electronic medical record software and offers a free online demo. Check out the site for tips on EMR installation, adopting EMR as part of the Stimulus package and more.