Electronic Health Records – Are they Fully Optimised?

You already know the benefits of “going paperless” with your medical record keeping. You know that electronic records management is the future of healthcare. What’s more, you’ve already started the process of taking your office paperless. Good for you!


The Next Step: Optimisation

A more efficient office is at the forefront of the electronics health records (EHR) movement. A more efficient office leads to higher quality of care, and an overall more efficient healthcare system. However, EHR is about more than simply “scanning your files.”

Too many offices drop the ball halfway through the process. They may have some files scanned while hundreds still remain locked in a back storage room somewhere. Other times, we see that the system itself is sloppy and in desperate need of optimisation.

In the EHR field, as in medicine, there are certain things you never want to hear. The phrase “that’s good enough” is certainly one thing your patients wouldn’t want to hear you say. If your electronic health records aren’t doing all they can for your practice and your patients, then it’s simply not good enough and it’s time to optimise.

Optimising your EHRs is the key to efficient administration of your patient records and important medical files. The initial setup, assimilation, and training are only part of the process. While some health services stop there, the real benefit comes through efficient workflow management and integration.

Identify Crossover Opportunities

Improving workflow through identifying crossovers that effect more than a single EHR module can increase the efficiency of identification, retrieval, and cross-referencing. The ability to seamlessly file, retrieve, and coordinate files allows for a coordinated filing and storage system.

Increased Environmental Control

With efficiency being a prime motivating factor, EHR systems that are well-implemented and maintained by a knowledgeable staff, create an efficient office environment. When fully functioning, the increased control over the environment yields benefits of speed, time, as well as revenue.

Increase Revenue Capture

To the bottom line, there are varied financial benefits to reap from a fully integrated and optimised EHR system. Numerous issues can arise during setup or integration that expose inefficiencies in the current system. Through identifying these inefficiencies, advanced users are able to capture all revenue that is due and increase the efficiency of the claims process.

The Process

There are many routes to improving your EHR practices and policies for optimal efficiency as well as maximum return on investment. A multi-tiered approach begins with the implementation of the technology and continues with training and organization.

Among the important steps to take:

  • Defining the System Framework: Outlining goals and objectives. Defining expectations and agreeing on standardised procedures.
  • Organising Staff Policy: Defining roles and responsibilities. Assigning access and training staff in the efficient use of the system.
  • Measurement of Benefits: Tracking and managing the return on investment. ROI can come in many forms, including: increased level of satisfaction among patients, increased revenue, increased volume of patient’s seen due to more efficient office administration.

Optimise Today

Certainly, EHRs feature heavily in the future of healthcare. A fully implemented and optimised EHR system allows a health service to coordinate with insurance companies more efficiently, identify trends in patient care, or work with partnering clinics to improve patient care.

While scanning and coordinating patient files is the first step of the process, the true value is realised through a well-trained staff and a committed approach to implementing actionable procedures that yield real-world benefits.

Are you getting the most out of your electronic health record system?