Orthopedic EMR improve care coordination.

Orthopaedic EMR help doctors better coordinate care

Healthcare is constantly advancing, and adapting to meet the needs of patients and the benefits of new technologies. Operations that once required long recovery times can now be done non-invasively. Patients no longer need to be in the same room as their provider to get or give updates. Prescriptions can be filled automatically, and the overall quality of care continues to improve.

Part of that advancement is the increased capacity for coordinated care. A survey conducted by Digital Collaboration Solutions found that reaching coordinated care goals were at the forefront of the efforts of medical professionals. Of those in the medical industry questioned, 86 percent noted that it was one of their top five priorities. 

These professionals, however, have faced various roadblocks. As many as 55 percent of them noted that they don't have the financial resources to devote to coordinated care. Many other medical teams were able to get some traction in certain areas, but failed to achieve implementation across various departments. For coordinated care to really take hold, the entire organization has to be on the same page. Patients need to receive consistent involvement and care from every person they come across, from the receptionist to their primary doctor to any specialists that they might see. Like a chain, this sorts of coordinated efforts are only as strong as the weakest link. 

The authors of the study supported this assertion. They noted: "The results indicate that they may be only beginning to feel the impact of new payment models that will necessitate better coordination of effort across the continuum, better population management strategies, more effective care plans to chronic care patient, and lower cost delivery to ensure profitability over the long term."

How orthopedic EMR software can help
One of the primary benefits of orthopaedic EMR is that they make sure that everybody is on the same page. Errors due to poor communication account to many medical malpractice cases, per research done by CRICO Strategies. Such cases can be expensive, time-consuming and ultimately detrimental to the patient-provider relationship. When processes are standardized, and every member of the organization is up to date on all of the codes used, these mistakes dissipate and the quality of care is raised. 

As well, EMR allow patients to take more control of their own care. HIPAA regulations require that patients have access to their own records, with relatively few exceptions. Requests for this data, without a centralized system, can be time-consuming and frustrating. With a centralized record-keeping system, patients are able to get the information they need, manage their own conditions and stay healthier over the long term. 

Care is also better coordinated among different members of the staff. With EMR, each person on the team has access to the same records. Any alterations are made in real time, so that any time a physician logs in, all the data is up-to-date and completely relevant. If the charts are done by hand, two doctors could be looking at different versions of the same medical document, making it much more likely that a mistake will be made along the line. 

This functionality is also valuable when it comes time to schedule follow-up appointments and bill. Patients can and should be taught how to check their own information, making it easy to know when it is time to come back to the doctor again. When it comes to billing and reimbursements, all of the needed information is carefully organized so there are no surprises on either end. Instead of spending time on administration, practices can get back to providing the best possible care for their patients.