So you’ve previously taken the leap into transitioning to a full-fledge Electronic Health Record (EHR) system in your practice; you’ve also attested for Meaningful Use Stage 1, and are doing your due diligence to prepare for the ICD-10 implementation. It’s no surprise you may be wondering why your medical practice isn’t running as effectively as it could, or as you know it’s capable of.
Due to the multitude of specialty practices and individual needs of physicians, no one EHR fits the needs of every office. Its usability and functionality may not be what you want, or your vendor isn’t addressing your concerns and questions properly. In fact, a national survey conducted from MPI Group and Medical Economics shows that 67% of physicians don’t like the way their EHR system functions.
If any of these issues are the case, or you are part of the 67% mentioned, it may be time to replace your practice’s EHR. In fact, a replacement may be the best decision because now you know what you don’t want. This will allow you to compile a list of configurations and requirements you can have on hand while shopping.
Before Replacing Your EHR
Once you have decided on replacing your existing EHR, make sure that you conduct research on work analysis and productivity in your office first. What is your staff struggling with the most? What is taking them the longest to accomplish? These are just a few things to consider when making this baseline.
Examine not just the act of changing systems, but how your business system is run in the first place: are some protocols unnecessary and need to be phased out in order to improve efficiency? Be willing to listen to your staff here to see what the best amalgamation of options may be to optimize your service to patients and the rest of your office.
Once you have made all the arrangements needed, it’s time to move forward. Here are three reasons why your practice should replace its EHR:
1.) Your Current EHR has no plan for ICD-10
In the MPI survey of nearly 1,000 physicians, about 73% that compile the largest practices would not purchase their current EHR system. With how much is being invested into an EHR, on top of incentive programs and meaningful use, it is easy to see why physicians are frustrated about lack of functionality in their system.
Does your EHR vendor have a plan when it comes to upgrading your system for ICD-10? Many upgrades are now available at little to no cost in order to have access to ICD-10 code sets and upgrades to software for ICD-10 compatibility. If your vendor is showing no signs to prepare your office for the transition, it will only make things more difficult for you, your staff and your patients during the ICD-10 implementation on October 1, 2015.
2.) Physicians and Nurses Aren’t Satisfied With Your Current EHR
A nationwide report from New York’s Black Book Research showed a shocking 92% of registered nurses are dissatisfied with the current EHR system they are working with. With the deadlines set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for incentive payments to hospitals and Eligible Professionals (EPs), there is pressure laid on IT departments to implement these systems without regard to those who use it.
If both physicians and nurses are dissatisfied as a result of their interaction with your EHR system, it’s time to find a system that will help improve job satisfaction and patient interaction. After all, there is enough to deal with in a practice – why add to it with inefficient EHRs?
3.) Increase in Productivity Means an Increase in Money
One of the main reasons for upgrading to EHRs was the basis of improving patient care, yet 45% of respondents from the MPI survey stated patient care got worse when they implemented an EHR. If physicians aren’t seeing as many patients, productivity decreases, and so too does revenue.
By finding function-friendly EHR software that caters to everyone on your staff, you will improve your efficiency and be able to see more patients. By implementing an EHR that has ease of use, the learning curve will lessen and staff will be able to dedicate more time to patients and claims. Not only that, but your revenue cycle management (RCM) will also improve.
These are only a few reasons to examine your EHR system, and why you should take steps to replace it. With 2015, more updates and opportunities for physicians have arrived to transition easily into ICD-10 and all of the meaningful use requirements set forth by CMS. And at the end of the day, it is the efforts of physicians and everyone in the healthcare industry to improve the effectiveness of the patient experience – and a great EHR can fulfill that for your medical practice.