The modern medical practice is a complex hive of activity and data. EMR (Electronic Medical Records) software provides a reliable way to impose order on the proceedings.
EMR software is typically cloud-based and available by subscription. There is no need for any special hardware and your data remains firmly ensconced behind the provider’s firewall.
EMR software simplifies the operations of your medical practice and provides a host of related benefits as well.
23 Benefits Of EMR Software
EMR software allows you to streamline your medical practice and provide a more complete, more efficient and effective level of care. Here are 23 important benefits of EMR software.
1: EMR software simplifies practice management.
Maintaining a successful medical practice today is more complicated than ever. Making sense of the blizzard of data generated by just one patient over time is an imposing task. Multiply that by hundreds, and even thousands, of patients and the need for effective practice management tools becomes clear. EMR software imposes order on the chaos and simplifies every aspect of your practice.
2: EMR software improves the patient experience.
Contemporary medicine is all about improving the experience of the patient (1). EMR software plays an integral role in that process. It enables more productive doctor/patient communication, allows patients to update their personal information remotely, reduces the number of denied claims, and reminds patients of upcoming appointments.
3: EMR software improves patient tracking.
When medical records are digitized and organized using EMR software, there are no mysteries. Every aspect of a patient’s medical history is right there on the screen and can be arranged in myriad ways to shed light on various aspects of their condition. The robust reporting tools built into EMR software also make it possible to take advantage of Medicare’s MIPS payment system (2).
4: EMR software lets you submit prescriptions electronically.
Virtually every EMR on the market today enables doctors to submit prescriptions electronically. This saves everyone involved time and trouble and ensures the right medicine gets to the right person as quickly as possible (3). No more lost prescriptions. No more errors caused by less than perfect handwriting.
5: EMR software provides a patient portal.
Patients often feel as though they are left out of the loop when it comes to their own healthcare. Most EMR software systems offer a patient portal that addresses this issue. The patient portal enables the patient to view their medical history and lab results, make payments, and update their personal information without having to make a trip to the doctor’s office.
6: EMR software reduces errors.
Medical coding (4) is difficult and errors are, unfortunately, inevitable. There are thousands of codes these days covering every type of condition, medication, treatment option, and more. Anytime a staff member has to translate notes into medical codes, there is a chance for error. And those errors can have a significant impact on patient outcomes (5). EMR software significantly reduces the number of coding errors.
7: EMR software provides valuable reminders.
Running a modern medical practice is akin to running a big city transit system. There are a multitude of important, but often mundane, things that must be done to ensure everything runs smoothly, and patients are not inconvenienced or endangered. EMR software is designed to keep an eye on these simple but vital tasks and offer you regular reminders so you can stay on top of things.
8: EMR software is ideal for specialty practices.
Specialists sometimes have to track data points that generalists do not. That can be difficult to do if your software is set in digital stone. Most EMR systems allow for the creation of custom data fields that let the specialist stay on top of things.
9: EMR software allows you to streamline patient flow.
Some EMR software can detect when things in the office are bogging down. Perhaps an appointment has run over, and, as a result, patients waiting for a particular doctor are beginning to back up in exam rooms. The EMR software can alert you to bottlenecks so you can return patients to the waiting room and free up the exam room for other doctors.
10: EMR software provides decision support.
Busy healthcare professionals have a lot on their minds. They do not always have every single detail of every patient and their history available for instant recall in their mind. EMR software can help by providing reminders and alerts when it sees conflicts or detects oversights. It can also issue a warning if it detects possible drug interactions. Some will even suggest alternative treatment options.
11: EMR software provides automatic reminders.
In order to provide effective patient care, it is vital patients show up for scheduled appointments. EMR software allows you to send automatic reminder notes to each patient. Simply enter the date of the next appointment into the software when you know it, and the EMR will automatically generate a reminder in the days leading up to that appointment.
12: EMR software leads to more transparency.
50 years ago medical bills were typically one-page affairs that included a single line for each service and a nice, tidy total at the bottom. Today, those bills are multipage constructs that look more like engineering specs for the space shuttle than a bill from the doctor. EMR software simplifies your billing process. Simpler bills enhance transparency and help build trust between doctor and patient.
13: EMR software improves collection rates.
Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance company claim denials are often based on incomplete records or conflicting information. By automatically updating and bringing together all relevant patient information, EMR software greatly reduces the number of denied claims. It also helps ensure your patients do not mistakenly end up on the dreaded Medicare Preclusion List (6).
14: EMR software helps prevent drug interactions.
It is estimated that each year there are nearly 900,000 adverse drug interactions serious enough to cause hospitalization. That is a frightening number, and no one wants to be responsible for adding to it. EMR software will automatically alert you to potential conflicts when prescribing medications. This will enable you to better avoid possible adverse interactions.
15: EMR software improves the efficiency of your practice.
Good record keeping is vital to any practice (7). But having to access multiple software programs and paper records for every patient is time-consuming and inefficient. EMR software enables you to digitize your paper records and bring that data – as well as data held on other software programs – together in one real-time interface.
16: EMR software allows you to scan existing documents.
Many EMR systems allow you to scan your existing patient records. Once scanned, those documents are added to the patient’s overall EMR data cache. When filing an electronic claim, you can then simply attach the relevant digital copies, thereby saving time and making sure each claim is as complete as possible.
17: EMR software works with for any size organization.
Whether you are a primary care provider with a private practice, a specialist with a modest-sized client base, a midsize practice with one or two dozen physicians on staff, or a bustling clinic in a large urban area, EMR software can help.
18: EMR software helps increase patient loyalty.
In an ever more competitive healthcare environment, patient loyalty is more important than ever to a successful practice (8). The right EMR system enables greater communication with patients, and that helps foster a more trusting environment and greater patient loyalty. It has the added benefit of producing positive word of mouth for your practice.
19: EMR software integrates seamlessly with your existing software.
Every modern healthcare or maintenance practice today uses software to keep track of things and to help in day-to-day operations. EMRs typically integrate with all the latest business management software. This way, they enable you to centralize control of your entire operation. The result is greater efficiency and increased profitability.
20: EMR software simplifies patient charts.
Patient charts are the mortar that holds a practice together. Without them, we would live in a world of clinical chaos. But charts have a nasty habit of becoming fragmented and unwieldy. This opens up the possibility that vital information will be overlooked. EMR software allows you to consolidate all patient information into a single, easy to access digital chart that is automatically updated.
21: EMR software lets you create treatment templates.
During the course of their work, healthcare professionals often encounter some conditions more than others. It may be a function of geography, or the age or occupation of the majority of their patients. EMR software allows you to create treatment templates that will automatically present themselves whenever certain conditions are met, saving you time and reducing treatment errors.
22: EMR software keeps you up to speed on regulatory changes.
Changes to Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and more happen all the time. Trying to keep up with it can be a major headache. EMR software programs stay on top of the changing healthcare landscape for you. If congress alters Medicare or issues some obscure insurance regulation, it is quickly incorporated into the EMR system, and you don’t skip a beat.
23: EMR software gives you back your weekends.
Running a practice is a full-time job all by itself. Which means many healthcare professionals have two full-time jobs: their vocation and their business. As a result, many work 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week, or even more. This is a major contributing factor to the growing problem of physician burnout (9). EMR software can stop the drift toward burnout and give you back your weekends.
From providing doctors with timely reminders to enabling electronic prescriptions to scanning documents, improving patient tracking and more EMR software is essential to the smooth operation of the modern medical practice.