Electronic health records (EHR) have a clinical focus while practice management software focuses on the administrative side of operating an orthopedic practice. Being that the two are not centered around the same functions, you can see how both are vital to the operation of any medical facility. If you have one but not the other, your operations are going to be hindered. More importantly, the quality of care is going to be reduced.
Fortunately, it is possible to integrate EHRs with practice management (PM) systems. For now, let’s take a look at integrating the two systems together and the benefits that an integrated system brings to both the provider and its patients.
When you integrate an EHR system with PM, data sharing becomes seamless between the two programs. This allows both administrative and clinical staff to have instant access to whatever pieces of information they are in need of. This is especially advantageous among practices that operate via more than one location. An integrated system also enables streamlined coordination to take place between the practice’s various departments, which is crucial when handling tasks relating to billing and inventory management. It can also be of value from a staffing standpoint. Overall, an integrated system enhances data sharing and puts everyone on the same page.
Promotion of Interoperability
Over the past few years, the healthcare industry has seen a major shift leaning toward the development of a value-based healthcare system. And it is because of this that practices need to take a careful look at their revenue cycle management (RCM). It’s also imperative to carefully assess whether or not the right type of technology is being used to accommodate this shift toward a value-based healthcare system.
When an EHR system can be integrated with PM, this is a sure-fire sign that the technology being used can increase efficiency and improve quality of care for patients. When the two technologies can’t coexist together, you have separation among the clinical and administrative side of the practice, which hinders all operational processes by leading to the use of time-wasting procedures, which eventually, cuts into the profits of the practice.
An integrated system promotes interoperability and improves the efficiency of all operational processes. Both the clinical and administrative side of the practice flow together, and as we stated before, this ensures everyone is on the same page. But how does it put everyone on the same page? It starts by making it possible for all staff members to have access to the information they need. They will be able to look at generated reports relating to the number of patients seen, the performance of workflows, pinpointed problems relating to the flow of patients, revenue generation trends and metrics, and more.
Knowing How to Integrate EHR With PM
The clinical side is interlaced with the administrative side with an integrated system. Physicians can look at both medical records and revenue trends at the same time, analyzing which services are bringing in the most profit. You won’t get this advantage when two separate systems are being used that can’t integrate with one another. Blending the two systems starts with choosing a provider that offers this type of integration. You’ll be able to access all of the following from a single dashboard:
- Online patient portal
- Medical scheduling
- Patient check-in
- Patient scheduling
- Financial reporting
An orthopedic office’s revenue-generating opportunities are expanded with an integrated system. Billing and collection activities can easily be coordinated with one another, making it both easier and faster to collect monies owed. And when outsourcing the integration of the two systems to a provider that specializes in EHR and PM integration, there is no need for the practice to spend money on expanding its IT infrastructure, which saves money and time.
According to Black Book Rankings managing partner, Doug Brown, “Revenue cycle management and integrated EHR vendor loyalty among small practice EHR physician practices is still on a significant upward trajectory…the EHR/practice billing vendor’s abilities to meet the evolving demands of interoperability, networking, mobile devices, accountable care, patient accessibility, customization for specialty workflow, and reimbursement are the main factors that the replacement mentality and late adoption remain volatile especially among solo and small practices.”
From expedited claims processing to transparency for providers and even enhanced information submittal, an integrated system is a go-to solution for achieving meaningful use and expanding operations. In fact, 86% of providers are now taking advantage of an integrated EHR/PM solution. What about you? Is your practice taking advantage of this all-in-one solution?