It’s well known that RCM services for EHR companies’ process become feasible with the help of Electronic Health Records. When the federal government implemented its initiative as a part of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the physician groups finally started choosing EHR. About 87% of healthcare professionals had adopted EHR in 2005, among which 78% of healthcare professionals had adopted a certified EHR according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

But dissatisfaction with Electronic Health Records has been increasing recently. It has also resulted in physician’s burnout which could create problems with patient satisfaction. So, it’s important to optimize EHR to address the core issues of RCM services for EHR companies. By clearing these issues, healthcare professionals are believed to reap the long promised efficiency and clinical improvement benefits associated with EHR.

Unfortunately, most of the healthcare professionals struggled a lot to realize and experience these benefits. In 2015, a survey was conducted with almost 940 physicians by American Medical Association and American EHR Partners. It revealed that 34% of healthcare professionals are satisfied or very satisfied with their EHR systems, compared to 61% who reported that level of satisfaction five years earlier.

What is EHR Optimization?

  • EHR optimization is the process of finely tuning an EHR in order to meet the healthcare professional’s requirements and to enhance the clinical productivity and efficiency. Hence, it paves a way for best RCM services for EHR companies.
  • Because of the reported dissatisfaction, there was a need to take action. EHR optimization became a common choice for many healthcare organizations in the healthcare industry.
  • To be precise, in a survey conducted by College of Health Information Management Executives, it was revealed that 38% of CIOs are investing in EHR optimization projects.
  • Of course, it’s a huge number. The considered fact was that, most hospital Electronic Health Records are newer versions, implemented to meet meaningful requirements over the past several years.

Accommodating new payment models:

  • Rapid increase of value based models is igniting the EHR optimization fire. Another survey by Black Book revealed that most of the healthcare practices are heading towards integrated practice managements, revenue cycle management and EHR utility in order to efficiently deal with new payment models.
  • In fact, the same survey also states that 76% of physician practices with 25 or more clinicians reported that they were eager to apply EHR enhancements in value-based payment innovation, functionality and services.
  • “The nature of integrated EHR functionality and practice management is also changing, given that Medicare and commercial payers are endeavoring on the shift away from pay-per-procedure billing to paying for value incentives for providing better care efficiently,” said Doug Brown, Managing Partner of Black Book.

The need for EHR Optimization in RCM services for EHR companies:

  • When there are many factors to optimize EHR in RCM services for EHR companies, each medical billing service company must think how to expand the services to other EHR companies.
  • The healthcare professionals would need to determine the need for optimization based on few questions:
  1. Are the users complaining? These complaints show the need of approaching better ways to overcome the user’s concerns.
  2. Are workarounds being used? If users are leveraging workarounds instead of using the system as intended, it’s often a sign of dissatisfaction.
  3. Is EHR being leveraged appropriately? The Adoption statistics such as user log-in, volume of dictation, printer usage, number of handwritten forms and staff overtime can shed light on the level of Electronic Health Record use.
  4. Are the goals being met appropriately? Lack of goal achievement related to patient satisfaction and quality improvement is often a sign of underlying EHR utilization issues.
  • Healthcare professionals must take a keen look at how EHR can be effectively implemented to determine if the optimization is required.
  • Few healthcare practices have installed EHR with an effort to meet meaningful incentive program necessities.

New EHR v/s Optimizing Existing EHR:

  • EHR optimization may not be required for all the healthcare organizations. About 15% of survey respondents revealed that their healthcare practice requires switching its current EHR system in next 12 months.
  • In order to determine if new EHR system is required, it’s very important to know why the system isn’t meeting the healthcare professional’s requirements.
  • The questions to be asked are:
  1. Is there any training issue?
  2. Is technical support team not responsible?
  3. Will the system adapt to the practice’s workflow?
  4. Will third party provide adequate customer service?
  5. Is EHR system capable of communicating and interacting with other solutions?
  6. Will the system encounter the requirements of specialists?

Step By Step EHR Optimization:

  • Stability: At this point, healthcare organizations are regaining their footing after the phase of disruption. Healthcare professionals and practices are striving to demonstrate levels of productivity and basic system competency.
  • Proficiency: Healthcare organizations will address the challenges that are identified while implementing optimization. They will be adopting and maintaining intended workflows, and demonstrating functional and operational efficiency.
  • Enhancing Performance: Goals at this point are very apt to include targets which surpass the performance standards. Training and support are based on specific goals driven by identified metrics.

Strategic Approach to EHR Optimization in RCM services for EHR companies:

  • Map the current workflow and compare with the enhanced workflow. Process the map that is intended to be performed.
  • Observe directly how an individual can use EHR and identify if any additional training and modifications are required.
  • Healthcare physician groups must consider the environment and see if there are any accessibility issues which need to be addressed.
  • Think of ways to introduce EHR to patients.
  • Ensure that the users understand the value behind data collections.
  • Re-evaluate and continue to work on the issues identified.

Issues Encountered During EHR Optimization:

  • Issues with software functionality that needs to be fixed by either IT analysts or third party vendors.
  • System enhancement issues include enhancements those are neither developed by the vendor nor implemented by the IT department.
  • RCM services for EHR companies will often confront workflow issues that arise when a procedure becomes insufficient.

 

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