Importance of EHR and EMR:
A physician’s plate has never been more crowded. If you work in the medical field, you’re probably all too familiar with the problem of physician burnout. Studies reveal that between 25 percent and 60 percent of physicians across various specialties report burnout. A care environment creates unique challenges for managing the resources available against the work level required. Unfortunately, balancing the rigors of patient visits and documentation with personal development can be a recipe for burnout. One recent study exploring the issue cites mandates requiring physicians to keep meticulous records of their physician-patient encounters as a potential core contributor to physician burnout.
The solution to burnout is often in the details. This means streamlining where possible, eliminating bottlenecks, and making patient data as readily available as possible without compromising privacy. This can usually be achieved using a dynamic electronic medical record (EMR) or electronic health record (EHR) system. Unfortunately, a poorly designed and implemented system can amplify the pain points that create burnout. A study out of Yale University found that dissatisfaction with EHR systems stemming from poor usability may contribute to high professional burnout rates. This makes vetting an EHR system more important than ever for physicians, practice managers, and hospital administrators. An effective platform should increase efficiency for providers, open the potential for faster payouts, and add value for patients. Let’s discuss some of the features that can fight burnout by providing efficient, intuitive performance in care settings.
The Features to Look for in EHR and EMR Platforms
The very first feature that must be considered when looking at an EHR platform is its user-friendliness factor. It doesn’t matter if a platform can do everything if nobody in an office or clinical setting can figure out how to unlock features. The selected platform must be something that both physicians and staff members can be easily trained on. There’s a good chance that a platform is a good fit once it has been established that it has user-friendly features that are easy to master.
Every moment a care provider spends wrestling with a non-compliant platform or digging around for charts is one less moment spent with a patient. Unfortunately, precious time is lost throughout the day at practices around the country only because chart information is missing, incomplete, or hard to find. This is one of the reasons why a cloud-based platform is such an attractive option. Cloud-stored files and data can’t get “lost” on one employee’s computer desktop. With a cloud platform, all patient data and files are updated and saved in an external, real-time environment. That means that information can be accessed from anywhere.
A program that makes it easy to pull up, reference, and update patient files is undoubtedly an essential part of saving time. Also, a program that is merely fast and streamlined also allows you to navigate channels for accessing data much faster. Lastly, a program should have intuitive navigation and categorization to help reduce time spent looking for what you need before, during, or after patient visits.
A Patient Portal
An EHR platform that only has a provider side is missing an essential piece of the picture. After all, patient care is never just about the provider side. It is a collaborative effort where the ability to share information is important for both communication and patient outcomes. Here are some of the things that a patient should be able to do using a care provider’s private portal:
- Access their medical records.
- View lab results when they come in.
- Request prescription refills.
- Schedule appointments.
A portal that provides these options is useful for two fundamental reasons. The first is simply that it saves the front-office staff countless hours of replying to phone calls and messages weekly. The second is that patients will enjoy more satisfaction by being able to access their records and results. This gives them a greater sense of control over their medical care. Additionally, they will appreciate the time saved by not having to either call an office or wait for a phone call.
Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Certification
There is a significant advantage of using a platform that is MIPS certified. Easier reporting for Medicare payment adjustments results in higher and faster claims payouts. This means that a practice can passively increase its payout numbers. What’s more, staff members can often reduce the time spent on claims processing.
Smart Prescription Functionality
Another major asset is a platform’s ability to send and receive both prescriptions and lab orders electronically. This smooths out the process of handling prescriptions and labs while deepening accuracy. Of course, a platform that touts the ability to handle these functions must also automatically attach lab results to patient files and notify physicians when results are ready for viewing. This feature saves time for care providers. Besides, it provides added value for patients because it reduces the likelihood of waiting for results that have been overlooked due to system bottlenecks or oversights.
Integration With Existing Practice Management (PM) Software
What drives home the sophistication of an EHR platform is its ability to integrate with a practice’s existing PM system seamlessly. This helps to create synergy within a practice environment while reducing the clunkiness of continually trying to reconcile two completely separate systems. It also helps to reduce errors and typos that inevitably occur when manually transferring data between two different platforms.
An Efficient, Dynamic EMR Platform Is Crucial for Battling Physician Burnout
Physician fatigue is associated with low job satisfaction, decreased work productivity, medical errors, poor quality of patient care, early retirement, and many more obstacles to creating a dynamic, reputable care setting. It’s impossible to say how much physician burnout costs the healthcare industry each year. Some models estimate that approximately $4.6 billion is lost due to the turnover resulting from burnout. It works out to about $7,600 per physician annually at the organizational level. That is not a small number when you consider that the loss is repeated each year. Of course, the cost of recruiting and training a new high-level specialist can easily take a six-figure chunk out of a practice. That makes upgrading to a more burnout-proof EHR or EMR platform that will continue to provide cutting-edge cloud-based technology for years to come more than a wise investment.
EMRx was explicitly designed to reduce physician burden. It streamlines and automates critical features to minimize the “desk time” that needs to be put in for each patient case. It also offers reporting features that could potentially increase payouts. Schedule a demo to discover how EMRx can burnout-proof your practice!
The Physicians Lifeguard