Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Points Worth Considering While Choosing An EHR Solution

EHR Solution
Should healthcare providers watch out for anything while choosing their Electronic Health Records solutions for their facility? Most would say – Yes, they do. 

Obviously, the quality and the interoperability of the EHR need to be given the first priority. But, a recent research indicates that a few other factors such as the ability of the solution to be customized also need to be checked to the same degree. While using an Electronic Health Records in an emergency facility, the hospital management has to ensure that it is highly productive and be capable of being adapted to the practice method and workflow. Only then can it be useful in long run.

As of now, there are several EHR solutions in the market. Certainly, the abundance of them can make the customers quite confused as to which one could best suit their requirements. This is the point when one needs to be decisive about choosing an Electronic Health Records system.

Choose an EHR System that Meets the Requirements of the Facility

When you are supposed to choose an Electronic Health Records solution for your practice, you need to have a clear idea about the number of employees who are working for you or will be working for you in near future. You need to make sure that the EHR system that you purchase can be used by all the staff. Many of the health record systems restrict the number of users.

Number of Patients

A standard EHR system has limits on the number of entries that can be added to the system per day, per week or per month. If your practice is a large scale one or medium one, the number of patients visiting you will be huge. Obviously, you need to ensure that the EHR system you own has the capacity to add entries of all the visiting patients.

System UI (User Interface)
Modern EHR Solution

The user interface of the Electronic Health Recording system you use in your facility matters a lot as well. You need to make sure that each of your staff is capable of operating the EHR system you are going to install at your facility. If they require some training, train them well so that they do not commit any fatal errors while using the system.

These are some basic points that need to be considered before picking an EHR solution. Make sure that you examine a few EHR systems before zeroing in on one. This will help you find out the best one from the crowd.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

All About Electronic Health Records

Using EHR
A collection of medical history of a patient for a period in an institution is known as medical records. Due to advancements in technology, it is now possible to save these records in an electronic media, which is termed as Electronic Health Records or EHR. These electronic records include all relevant information to the patient’s health such as the past medical conditions, demographics, medications, vital signs, immunizations, health issues, progress reports, radiology, and laboratory tests along with relevant information.

Electronic Health Records, or otherwise known as EHR, can be shared among other medical institutions with the help of EHR software and a secure network. The main aim of these electronic reorders is to make information accessible and streamlined to make things easier and more organized. Some of the other activities related to care such as evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting. Electronic recorders make sure that the interconnection among doctors, clinicians, and nurses including all the other workers at the health care institution are just perfect.

Electronic Health Records makes things easy in a medical institution in many ways. One of the most important things noticed is the reduction in the number of humanly errors. Since all the information is available in one place, which makes it very easy while retrieving them, the occurrence of mistake is greatly reduced.

Computerized Physician Order Entry is one of the most important features added to the EHR software, which has a list of all the doctors who are qualified in prescribing drugs and meds for the patient. Eventually, this would complement in saving plenty of money, which also reduces the risk of the health of the patient. This also reduces the wait time for a particular medication or treatment, since the processing speed is increased with the help of EHR system.
Medication Records

Even though Electronic Health Records are advantageous to a medical institution, there are certain disadvantages to it as well. The cost to initially set up the system is very costly and it takes time for all the staff including the doctor to be acquainted with the new system. As the entire staff is involved in the process, right from the doctor to the receptionist, it is needed to train them to adapt to the new system.

Initially you may have to put in great efforts, which might be difficult and seem impossible. However, this will do well in the end to both the patient and the staff.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Reasons To Implement Electronic Health Record Services

When the electronic records of a patient is available to more than one doctor, they will be able to take better health decisions. As a patient is transferred from the primary care doctor to a specialist and back to the primary care, too often the doctors may not get the chance to communicate or send the patient’s medical records to each touch point along the way. 

When these doctors share the medical records electronically, a new doctor only needs to ask for the name of the patient, birth date and possibly some other piece of identifying information to get access to the complete health record of the patient. The treatment and diagnosis decisions might be changed, based on the information that is found in the patient database, which is far more complete than what a patient, or any staff might have written down on sheets of paper. 

As the electronic health records make information easy to access, the need for a patient to repeat expensive and uncomfortable tests are very much minimized. This will help not only to save time, but makes it very much easier for the patient by reducing the costs. Another advantage of keeping electronic health records is that this data will not be lost very easily. Paper files can be easily lost, whereas the electronic health records will always be accessible.

EHRs allows to have better standardization throughout the healthcare system when it comes to record keeping, as it offers a uniform way of filling out information that makes it easier for the doctors and nurses to locate the information that they need for the patient. Putting the health records to an electronic format ensures accuracy when the time to bill the patient for the services comes. The importance of the electronic health records become magnified when someone is ill or injured.

When a person moves out of the country, their electronic health record will be able to move with them. In addition, if a doctor moves or retires, the patients no longer need to worry about tracking down the records as long as the records are kept electronically. 
Keeping EHRS

The main disadvantage of electronic patient records is the need of an electronic health records specialist to keep tract of these records. Without the help of an electronic health records specialist, it will be difficult to keep track of these records.

Many of the hospitals now have at least one electronic health records specialist post. If you wish to know more on electronic health records and electronic health records specialist jobs, you can seek help from a professional in the field. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Certification Programs In EHR (Electronic Health Records)

EHR Software Application
It seems that there is a misconception among some that knowledge on electronic health records specialist program alone would do to build a career in this field. Obviously, the knowledge about the program is an advantage but the knowledge without any certifications would be of no use. If you have any national certifications to prove that you have proper knowledge about the program, your career prospectus would be more certain and higher. To be precise, the national certification is an added advantage. It gives your recruiters the impression that you have the expertise and skills they are looking for. Certification programs in electronic health records specialist solutions equip a candidate with the skills and expertise for maintenance and operation of electronic health records. As you know, electronic health records are being widely used in private practice environments as well as public health care facilities.  They help the staff in managing the documents, processing patient data and more.

An Overview of the Certification Programs

During electronichealth records specialist certification programs, the candidates are taught how to handle patient data properly and without errors. They are taught medical office procedures, medical terminology, regulations and HIPAA rules. Certain certification programs provide the candidates with exposure to instructor demonstrations and lab exercises. During such exposure programs, the candidates are given opportunities to get familiar with the tools used in the lab exercises and instructor demonstrations. Obviously, these skills help the candidate to be more practical while using the EHR software program. It plays a crucial role in moulding the candidate to be more critical when he hits the floor.

Furthermore, during the certification program, the candidates are given video-based training. Such training sessions help the candidate to get a comprehensive idea about the software applications used for electronic health recording. Moreover, it helps the candidates to have a more independent idea about the program and consequently helps them develop their skills in a more personal and independent manner. In fact, these certification programs are entirely different from usual training sessions, which only provide the candidates theoretical knowledge.
Electronic Data Of Patients

If you are looking forward to getting a certification in electronic health records specialist program, make sure that you get one from a nationally or internationally recognized institution. Since there are many institutions offering such programs, chances are that you bump into an unrecognized institution. Therefore, take some time reviewing each institution offering the program in your locality and get your admission in a recognized one. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

EHR Software May Not Reduce Time Spent On Administrative Work For Doctors

Medical Records
Proponents for the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR) in the medical field have long argued that the use of such systems would considerably reduce the time doctors spend on administrative tasks. However, a recent survey shows that this might not be the case always. In fact, in some cases, even the reverse might be true.

Percentage of Time Spent on Administrative Work

A team of researchers from the Harvard Medical School and the City University of New York have been conducting a study on the implementation and the subsequent benefits of electronic health records in hospitals. Recently, they published their report in International Journal of Health Services. The researchers drew upon the data compiled during the 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey. The survey sample consisted of 4,720 physicians clocking in a minimum of 20 hours of practice a week.

The data from this survey showed that on average, a doctor spent about 8.7 hours per week on administrative work. This amounts to 16.6 percent of their total working time. However, the figure for doctors using electronic health records was a bit higher at 17.2 percent. And, those, who were using both paper and EHR systems spent even more, at 18 percent. However, the data showed that doctors using only paper records spent only 15.5 percent of their time on administrative work.

In the report, the authors point out that since 2008, the survey period used for the report, many of these doctors have moved up from their small private practice facilities to big group practice organisations. According to the researchers, this would only increase the time spent on administrative work, since the bureaucracy in bigger organisations tend to be much more rampant. Processing of insurance claims and the necessary patient medical history records are actually eating into the most doctors’ valuable time. And, this would only increase even more in an electronic health records system. 
Patient History

According to the authors, the reduction in time would not necessarily come as a result of implementing electronic medical record systems. For that, more work needs to be done in streamlining the medical insurance system currently in use. However, this does not mean that hospitals should stick to using the old paper system. The focus should be on hiring a team of medical billers and coders to reduce the burden on the doctors. Also, the Federal Government needs to do more to streamline the medical insurance processing system currently followed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BLS And AHIMA Publish Average Annual Wage Of EHR Specialist

Scope Of EHR Specialist
A recent report published by BLS (US Bureau of Labour Statistics) indicates that the salary scale of Electronic health record specialist profession varies depending on factors such as qualification of the candidate, location and nature of the healthcare organization where he is employed. 

BLS further states that it is impossible at the moment to give the salary data of the EHR careers as it is considered to be one of the fast emerging fields in the country. Nonetheless, the bureau has published the salary data of EHR careers in the past. 

BLS Publishes Salary Data of Electronic Health Record Specialist Jobs in the Past 

BLS observed that health record specialists in US secured an average annual wage of $32,000 in 2000. The data provided by U.S. Department of Labour also confirms this. However, previous reports prior to 2000 May show that the salary scales of health record specialists were rather low. In fact, the salary was hiked after the implementation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 1999. The Act mandated the basic salary scale for Electronic health record specialist and other professionals in the healthcare industry. 

The salary data published by American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) also puts the annual wage of health record specialists at $31,502. AHIMA claims that it compiled the data after surveying more than 11,000 health information professionals. It further stated that the survey focused more on Electronic health record specialist jobs in the healthcare industry given the status of the profession as an emerging one. 

BLS Report Spells More Scope for IT Professionals in Healthcare Industry

The BLS report indicates that there is a growing demand for IT professionals in healthcare industry as it is being digitalized. The report further states that careers on system's side are relatively more rewarding. 
Annual Wage Of EHR Specialist

According to the BLS report, computer information system specialists in healthcare industry secured average annual wage of about 102,000 in 2000. It has significantly increased in the last couple of years. The average annual wage of computer support specialists in US in 2010 was not less than $46,260. 

The reports published by BLS and AHIMA are not 100 percent accurate. However, it gives one the impression that the demand for health record specialists is on the rise and certainly, it is one of the emerging careers not only in US but also across the globe. The fact that more candidates are enrolling lately for health record specialist programs confirms that this is true. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Electronic Health Records Clinical Decision Support Offers Enhanced Patient Care

Electronic Health Records
Healthcare institutions and providers utilizing EHR or Electronic Health Records, that are equipped with Clinical Decision Support (CDS) technologies are capable of providing enhanced blood pressure control and improved comprehensive cancer screenings for healthcare consumers or patients, when compared to those that do not use Clinical Decision Support functionalities. The American Journal of Managed Care reported in a recent study.

According to the researchers’ team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, the necessary requirements for Meaningful Use have been set in practice already. “Although the Meaningful Use requirements have already been established, the evidence is inconsistent regarding improvement in healthcare processes or patient outcomes as a result of the implementation of general and individual EHR components,” they said. The team of researchers further added in their report that “Prior studies have shown that EHR-based CDS is associated with improved prescribing safety, preventive care measures, and diabetes testing and control. CDS has also been associated with some improvements in quality indicators, but results have been variable. Despite having EHR, many physicians report being unable to complete basic panel management activities, which affects their ability to deliver high-quality care for patients with chronic conditions.”

Making use of the information from the 2006-2009 National Ambulatory and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys, the team of researchers analyzed primary or initial care visits at three major kinds of Electronic Health Records enabled practices with Clinical Decision Support software meeting the first stage of Meaningful Use requirements. 

Those practices that completely enabled CDS and were fully functional were compared with those missing some of the functionalities; and the researchers found some significant and real differences in care. Completely CDS enabled providers had much better blood pressure control (86%), when compared to those lacking some of the key features (82%).
EHR Implementation

Health care institutions and practices having CDS features that notified them of acceptable lab results seem to be more likely to conduct cancer screenings. The results show 16% for CDS enabled practices as opposed to 11% for those having some features missing. Moreover, the overall Meaningful Use standards with Clinical Decision Support included shows significant positive effect on some national quality of care indicators and health outcomes.

The evolving impact of the Meaningful Use is something only time can answer when the stages continue to be more widely implemented and seamlessly incorporated in the care processes.