Optimize Your EHR to Be a Problem-Solver

An ill-suited electronic health record (EHR) system can feel like running a marathon in shoes that just aren’t quite right.

Instead of offering you support, these expensive running shoes can quickly become burdensome and even cause you a good deal of pain along the way.

Though many EHRs might not yet live up to the promise of streamlined workflows, organization-wide interoperability, a better bottom line, and improved efficiencies — that doesn’t mean that these short- and long-term goals are forever out of reach. In fact, that’s far from the truth.

As technology continues to evolve rapidly, hospitals and healthcare systems of all sizes should partner with EHR vendors who offer services or solutions that make their day-to-day lives easier. Though individual provider needs will vary, EHRs should act as problem-solvers, enabling improved care, reducing burdensome workflows, and helping secure a healthy ROI for your healthcare organization.

When shopping for potential vendors or considering how best to optimize your current EHR, be sure to look for these crucial components and service offerings.

8 Ways Your EHR Can Do the Hard Work for You

  1. Streamlined documentation: Because physicians and nurses spend a great deal of time documenting patient encounters and entering information throughout their day, streamlining documentation efficiency can alleviate time spent on administrative tasks and give providers more face-time with their patients. To achieve a streamlined documentation experience, hospitals should leverage templates where possible, utilizing their EHR to automate tasks and evaluate ways to simplify documentation and order entry.
  2. Hosted and managed systems: A hosted EHR solution can not only alleviate the burden and expense of internal IT teams, but it can also offer additional cybersecurity protections and result in less downtime to EHR end-users like physicians, nurses, and other hospital staff.
  3. Efficient clinical workflows: An EHR designed to enhance patient care and safety while delivering an exceptional experience should be based on the natural workflow of clinicians. Effective and efficient clinical workflow designs promote optimal operational and financial efficiencies, while helping meet healthcare regulatory requirements. 
  4. Revenue cycle management: A hospital’s primary function is to provide excellent care, but that can’t exactly happen if your organization has sub-par financial and revenue cycle performance. A comprehensive revenue cycle system improves cash flow and financial performance, reduces denied claims, facilitates charge capture, and communicates more effectively with patients, employers, and payers. In addition, financial performance can be drastically improved by establishing process improvement and visibility into your A/R.
  5. Simple scheduling services and care coordination: Care coordination for patients is an imperfect system, but a scheduling feature can streamline the entire process for patients and healthcare professionals. With an easy-to-use scheduling platform, providers can schedule a patient’s follow-up appointments and upcoming hospital procedures without delay. Even better, hospitals can also schedule a patient’s follow-up care with providers and have the ability to share clinical information across platforms. 
  6. Easy communication between providers and patients: EHR patient portals offer patients and caregivers secure, online access to their personal health records and tools to interact with their healthcare providers. Patients can use their portal to view lab results, request medication refills, send messages to physicians, and upload documents. Similarly, provider portals allow clinicians the ability to review patient records and more easily communicate with patients. 
  7. Enhance patient safety: Advanced EHR technology should promote key patient safety considerations through clinical decision support that is embedded into a facility’s natural workflows. Specifically, honing in on preventing diagnostic errors—or the mistakes and failures in the diagnostic process leading to a missed or delayed diagnosis—is essential. Furthermore, the right EHRs can better equip your organization to avoid some of the systemic causes of diagnostic error, including inadequate communication, an inefficient work system, lack of safety culture, and limited performance data. 
  8. Counteract physician burnout: Physician burnout can contribute to medical errors, problems with care quality, and even cause physicians to leave the practice. Some basic features of an EHR can help physicians fight fatigue, specifically though customizable systems, streamlined documentation with time-saving features, and software optimization to maximize the physician experience and reduce administrative burdens.

Regardless of the size or specialty of your healthcare organization, one thing’s for sure: EHRs should be working hard and improving your overall flexibility and efficiency. If you think you could do better, then it might be time to upgrade your EHR and those ill-fitting running shoes.

To learn more about how your EHR can act as problem-solver in your hospital or healthcare organization, email us at inquiries@medhost.com or call 1.800.383.6278 to speak with one of our specialists.

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