Adopt the latest electronic health records software.
It’s never too late to click into the now. You may think you’re up to date with the latest iPhone or after having switched from Microsoft Office to the cloud-based G-Suite in the last couple of years. Electronic health records (EHRs) have already revolutionized the healthcare industry, and while we’re not asking you to be part of the revolution, you can now reap its benefits.
BENEFITS BEYOND MEASURE
The impact EHRs have on both patients and providers is immeasurable. On the doctor’s side, EHRs help with keeping patient records up to date, appropriately documenting diagnoses and reducing the risk of medical errors. The software integrates with coding and billing, making insurance claims easier to submit, and, because the records exist and are updated in “real time,” communication with specialists becomes a breeze. With EHRs, keeping track of a patient’s long-term health, regardless of where they’ve gone for care in the past, is as simple as toggling a date range. There’s no need to endlessly search for a file that may have been misplaced . . . and your staff will thank you for that.
You may be thinking: “It’s a big adjustment.” or “I’m too busy to learn a new system.” or “Why bother, I plan to retire in a few years.” While I admit switching over to a new system is a bit of an adjustment, once you learn the basics and customize your workflow to meet your personal needs, it will save you time and headaches.
SAVE TIME AND SPACE
Today’s EHRs are set up to be less about typing and more about clicking. With the click of a mouse, you can book appointments and auto-generate letters and patient reminders that would otherwise take hours.
Another advantage is accuracy. No more transcribing doctors’ handwriting because all data is captured in the EHR.
You may even better allocate your available space. Think about the amount of real estate you’ll free up when you wheel those dusty old file cabinets out to the curb. By switching to an EHR system, you’re making room for more frame boards or equipment that could better serve your practice.
If you are set to retire in the next few years, I congratulate you but remind you that using an EHR system is not only better for your patients; it’s also better for your staff, the continued success of your practice and ultimately even your wallet, right now as well as when you determine your practice’s value when it’s time to sell it.
What about HIPAA compliance? You might be wondering what happens to you if your system gets hacked and your patient information gets leaked. If you have proper firewalls and protocols set up for your practice overall, EHR vendors add an additional level of protection because they have their own security in place to prevent anything like that from happening to their software as well.
Besides their ease of communication, better long-term record keeping, time and space saved, and security, EHRs encourage your patients to equate its new and improved technology with better medical care. Today’s patients want the latest and most advanced care they can receive, so what’s going to impress them more, watching you rifle through a dusty file for five minutes trying to find records from last year’s eye exam or bringing up their complete health history with the click of a button? It’s a simple detail but one that will instill confidence in the way you run your practice.
Electronic health records are the industry standard, and while others are clicking their way into the 21st century, you’re buried under piles of files that are holding you back. Yes, there is a certain charm to antiquated things, but leave that to the mom-and-pop shops. It’s time for you as a professional to click into the now.
C. Edward Buffington is president and CEO of GPN Technologies. Evan Kestenbaum, MBA, is co-founder and chief operating officer of GPN Technologies, providers of EDGEPro eyecare industry analysis software and co-owner and business manager of Optix Family Eyecare in Plainview, NY.