5 Reasons Why Your Medical Practice Should Switch To EMR

Electronic medical records contain a patient’s medical history (including medications and laboratory results) in a secure, digital format.

1. Easy Access
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) allow for greater accessibility and easier navigation through your patient’s medical history. This can be extremely beneficial for medical practices with a large volume of patients. Instead of searching through large volumes of paper charts and records, EMR allows for access to the same information with a few mouse clicks.

2. Increased Productivity
Without the need to search through large volumes of paper files and folders, medical practice staff have more time focus on more important tasks to increase the productivity of the practice. EMR also allows for a decrease in patient wait time and eliminates the possibility of lost charts/data. Likewise, EMR gives the ability to produce referral letters, school and work notes, and other documents with ease.

3. Decreased Cost
The cost associated with EMR are less than the cost needed for the upkeep of paper medical records. EMR provides a financial benefit, primarily with the cost associated with patient documentation. The amount of paper and waste saved provides excess revenue to increase the financial health of a medical practice. Also, increased productivity allows for an increase in daily patient encounters, allowing for the possibility of increased revenue.

The reduced costs that are associated with EMRs have the potential to save billions of dollars for the health delivery system. According to the Center of Information Technology Leadership, EMRs can save $44 billion annually, while also eliminating $10 in rejected claims per patient visit.

4. Meaningful Use
Meaningful Use is a government program that encourages healthcare providers to utilize EMR, in order to facilitate quality care improvements. Meaningful Use provides an incentive of up to $44,000 for Medicare providers to transition to EMR. In order for providers to receive the incentive payment, medical providers must follow a specific criteria, which serves as a useful roadmap for an effective EMR transition.

5. Regulatory Compliance
A primary concern for medical practices is to ensure the security and confidentiality of protected health information. Secure password-protected EMRs allows for medical providers to easily adhere to HIPAA privacy rules. By only allowing authorized staff to access patient files, patient privacy and the integrity of medical data is not compromised. Also, EMRs protect protected health information from loss and damage, since data is easily saved to cloud storage centers, data CDs or protected networks/servers.

The best way to get started with EMR is to work with a local EMR consultant or Health IT consultant. EHR companies such as Athena Health and Practice Fusion can offer implemetation guidance and support.