Though the implementation of EHR into your practice has added a new level of technology, the process of adding and improving EHR systems is only one small part of the digitization process. But what exactly is digitization and how will the full process help you free up more time to spend with your patients and less time on paperwork? Here’s a quick look at how EHR systems fit into digitization strategies.
How Do EHR Systems Fit Into an Overall Strategy for Digitization?
To start, let’s define digitization. Though it’s a hot term at the moment, understanding the full scope of the concept can be a bit confusing. Digitization involves a strong change at the core of how we do business, live life and stay healthy. It involves incorporating sensors and the internet of things, such as fitness trackers and home medication dispensers that alert a caregiver if someone isn’t responding as expected. It uses pervasive connectivity to the internet to coordinate big data and analytics to help find the right treatment for each patient. It incorporates cloud computing and mobile devices to securely and safely store patient information while freeing practitioners from entering patient information at a desk. It provides automation and integration of back-office tasks by allowing apps and programs to work together seamlessly, allowing your staff to spend more time helping patients and less time on paperwork.
But where does your EHR system fit into the digitization process? It depends on the functionality and compatibility of the system in question. Some EHR records do little more than take the place of their paper counterparts, delivering poor functionality and not playing well with other parts of your office’s computer system. To meet digitization goals, an EHR system needs to help automate your daily workflow. How is this accomplished? When it provides easy addition of ICD-10 codes for your practitioners, which then flow seamlessly into your billing and reimbursement system, saving you significant time and effort. By being focused on your specific area of specialty, EHR systems help you avoid being bogged down in all the details that never happen in your practice. Practice reports, patient demographics, electronic billing: all these things should be easily available using an intuitive interface at a moment’s notice.
Imagine what you’d do with a truly digitized practice. Your patient, a young girl who has injured her knee badly during a soccer game has a history of such injuries. With a few clicks, you can pull up all of her prior records, including imaging, to determine why the problems are persisting. A quick review of patients with similar injuries points to which treatments are effective and which ones will only heal the current problem. You then make a plan of action with in-office scheduling to set up a surgery to repair an over-extended tendon in her knee once she’s finished a course of specific NSAIDS to bring down swelling in the area targeted per her genetic profile from her pediatrician. With back-office tasks automated, you invest time practicing a virtual repair of the tendon.
When you keep the big picture of digitization in mind when setting up and optimizing your EHR system, you can develop a system that will work well with your entire system. This allows you to spend more time with patients and less time chasing paperwork. If you need help working a high-quality EHR system into your orthopedic practice’s digitization strategy, Exscribe can help. Please feel free to reach out today to request a demo of our dynamic orthopedic-focused EHR system.