5 tips to make your EHR work harder for you

According to Medscape, more than four out of five physicians use an EHR. As the healthcare environment moves from fee-for-service to fee-for-value, it’s more important than ever for practices to make full use of their EHRs in support of improved patient care and outcomes as well as reimbursements. Here are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your EHR is working hard for you, your patients, and your practice.

Tip 1: Use clinical decision support alerts

With clinical decision support alerts, patient care is monitored to ensure that the patient is receiving the appropriate level of routine clinical care, as well as proper disease management and preventative care, such as immunizations. When a safety issue or a gap in care is identified for a patient, an alert allows easy access to a complete list of recommendations. From these alerts, you can perform additional screening or testing or provide appropriate immunizations that ensure the best possible care. Check your EHR settings to ensure you are using the clinical decision alert rules most relevant for your practice.

Tip 2: Manage chronic disease patients

An EHR offers the ability to pull information on all your patients in ways you could never do with paper. For example, every quarter you can pull a list of diabetic patients who are due or past due to be seen and reach out to them to schedule appointments. Or, when a new treatment option or test is available, you can generate lists of patients for whom these services are appropriate. Use the reporting function in your EHR to generate these lists and keep chronic disease patients top of mind.

Tip 3: Try EHR lunch-and-learns

Set aside one lunchtime a week for staff and physicians to discuss aspects of your EHR that are proving especially difficult. It’s possible many issues can be resolved simply through knowledge sharing within the group. For any outstanding questions, assign a point person to contact your EHR vendor and report back to the group (unless someone is already designated or such a process is already in place). Consider switching to biweekly or monthly meetings as everyone becomes more familiar with the technology.

Tip 4: Check for insurance discounts

Your EHR can work harder for you financially, too. For example, don’t forget that many malpractice carriers offer discounts to providers using an EHR. Call your carrier to find out more.

Tip 5: Take full advantage of government incentives

This year (2016) is the last year that an eligible professional can begin participating in the Medicaid Incentive Program. First-year participants can collect $21,500 for adopting, implementing, upgrading or using an EHR. You can learn more about the Medicaid program by viewing this PDF from CMS.

Do you have a favorite tip or trick for using EHRs or EMRs? Tell us in the “Suggest a topic” box to the right. We’ll share it in a future blog.

For information about Care360®, a Quest Quanum technology solution for medical practices, including Care360 EHR, click here.

 

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