Advantages and Disadvantages of EMR vs. Paper-Based Records
Electronic Medical Records vs. Paper-Based Records
This article presents the advantages and disadvantages of electronic health records (i.e., EMR, EHR) and paper-based medical records advantages and disadvantages. This article takes a practical look at how converting from manual record keeping to EMR software typically affects a private medical practice.
The Growing Need for EMR – The Elephant in the Room
Private practice clinicians have or will become involved in discussing the pros and cons of switching from paper-based records to electronic medical records. Clinicians often apply a negative focus on government pressure and regulations to implement EMR as reasons they have yet to make the transition. The positive focus that is too often given a backseat is realizing the opportunities that EMR / EHR can provide. With EMR, a medical practice can improve front office efficiency, increase patient care quality, and mitigate high-risk situations.
How Does Your Choice of Medical Record Keeping Affect Your Practice?
Rather than force-feed you our opinions we’ve prepared questions that let you arrive at your own conclusions.
Which System Improves Efficiency and Financial Performance?
- Simultaneous Access to Records: Operational efficiency is increased when information can be simultaneously accessed by multiple users. Paper files must be retrieved or tracked down and shared desk-to-desk in order for a paper-based system to function.
- Lost or Misplaced Records: Which form of record keeping mitigates problems from misplaced records or damaged documents? Does your staff lose productivity searching for files that could easily be viewed on a cloud-based system?
- Billing Accuracy: Which system strengthens the billing and collections process? Which system provides the optimal record keeping, and ability to produce reports?
- Sharing Records with Third Parties: Which form of record keeping presents a more professional image of your practice? Is it easier to take time and cost to copy and fax, or simply email information?
- Ease of Use: Accuracy is critical. Which form of record keeping provides the most legible and organized information? Which system makes it easier for a person to quickly go to the exact information they need?
Which System Is Most Likely to Improve Patient Care?
- Intelligent Alerts: The best EMR systems contain a patient’s medications and known allergies. This information supports the capability for automatic interactions with newly prescribed pharmaceuticals and existing medications.
- Emergency Response Capability: Information gathered by a primary care provider and recorded in an EHR tells a clinician in the emergency department about a patient’s life-threatening allergy, and emergency staff can adjust care appropriately, even if the patient is unconscious.
- Organized Patient Care Details: An EMR / EHR provides a well-organized, searchable system for all patient information. From physician care to insurance billing, everything is organized and easy to find.
- Identify and Correct Problems: An EMR / EHR can enable clinicians to quickly identify and manage operational problems. With paper-based records finding problems is generally left to chance, and correcting errors can be a difficult and time-consuming process.
- Reduce Potential Dangers: An EMR / EHR can actively reveal potential safety in a timely manner, thereby enabling clinicians to avoid detrimental outcomes or severe consequences for patients.
Which System Reduces Liabilities and Risks Your Practice May Encounter?
- Compliance Chaos: It’s easier to make a change when you have control and time on your side. What would happen within your practice if total EMR compliance became law this year? Would the ensuing urgency be something you could manage while smoothly running your front office?
- Liability Issues and HIPAA Violations: Which system would benefit you the most if you faced a legal situation? Which system best supports your adherence to evidence-based practices, informed consent and reconstructing events during the time of care?
- Natural Disaster: What would happen to your practice in the event of a tornado, hurricane, catastrophic fire or flood? Could you maintain continuity of business? Do you have up-to-date copies of medical records stored off-site?
- Criminal Sabotage: Criminal Sabotage: Which system protects your practice’s ability to function in the event of criminal activity? What if a burglar or disgruntled employee destroyed or stole records?
- Inability to Collect: In the event of a disaster, can your system enable you to manage your billing and receivables? Can you reconstruct records in order to maintain collections, meet timely filing, view current ledgers, and reference active billing?
Imagine Gaining More Office Space When Paper Records Become EMR/EHR
Why Should You Upgrade to EMR / EHR?
When clinicians have access to complete and up-to-date patient information they can make better decisions. Electronic medical records software simplifies records management, enhances the ability to diagnose problems, assists in preventing treatment errors, and improves operational efficiency. EMR can play a pivotal role in fighting malpractice claims, and audit-related problems.
Does Procrastinating Really Help Your Practice?
Ultimately every medical practice has to decide what works best for their practice. The history of business over the past 100 years includes countless examples of resistance to adopting new technologies. Until 1940 many businesses dismissed the value of telephones. In the 1980’s many businesses stubbornly decided to keep typewriters instead of buying computers. Eventually, every business adapted these technologies, and soon realized the tremendous value they had been missing. The correct decision to leverage automation has always had a positive impact.
How to Maximize Your Decision to Move Ahead
You have a many choices for EMR/EHR software solutions. Each software system has its own unique aesthetic and navigational layout. Certainly, ease of use and cost are top things to consider. There is, however, one thing that makes a huge difference in customer satisfaction; the vendor you choose. It is absolutely critical to select a vendor who is committed to providing excellent customer support. MediPro is known in the healthcare industry for its award-winning, exceptional service offerings after-the-sale. Among the many benefits of working with MediPro are:
- A friendly and skilled team that will work closely with you on implementation and records conversion.
- Easy to follow training on how to maximize usage with your new EMR / EHR system. Our training process consists of private, topic-centric sessions and along with a myriad of ways to contact them for support assistance.
- Reasonable pricing for EMR software installation, training, support and project management.
Migrating from paper-based record keeping to electronic medical records makes perfect sense. The question is, “How long will it be before you make the move and prepare your practice for the present day and the future?”.
Practice Management Software Features
What Is Practice Management Software?
Medical practice management software (PMS) is an electronic solution to better manage a medical practice, clinic or facility. The best practice management software features ways to improve the patient experience, increase operating efficiency, and grow the bottom line. PMS is generally used for front office administrative as well as billing insurance and patients, however; there are options for EMR management and more.
What Is the Purpose of Practice Management Software?
PMS solutions serve the internal business needs of a medical practice and billing services which contribute to improving the patient experience. Medical practice management software is the basic part of a comprehensive electronic practice management system. PMS provides an efficient system to manage patient accounts including patient information, insurance and billing data. PMS solutions also enable optimal efficiency for appointment scheduling, billing tasks and generating various reports.
Screenshot of Billing Screen with Easy Navigation
Practice Management Software Features for Any Practice
Obviously, a small private practice has simpler needs than a hospital. There are different levels of software to accommodate any business from a small private practice or clinic to a broad network of hospitals. Most practice management software offerings are designed for small to mid-sized medical offices.
Practice management software can be installed on desktop computers or internal-servers or used as a cloud-based service. The best practice management software solutions are mobile friendly, allowing both medical professionals and patients to interact with the practice. A quick rundown of the user access types is as follows:
- The desktop computer program is a common solution for a small practice with one main computer. A single point of access solution saves money on set-up, however; it places a burden on the practice for employing a robust cloud-based computer back-up service.
- Internal-server installed software is the solution for a practice with multiple computers accessing the same information database. This solution requires the practice to buy or lease and maintain a server. Although the internal-server stores files and records the practice will still have the challenge of employing a robust cloud-based computer back-up service.
- Cloud-based software, marketed on a subscription basis, is the growing trend among medical practices. The best cloud-based practice management software features solutions enabling doctors and staff to access information simultaneously. This eliminates the hassles and cost for an internal server, and solves the critical needs for data security.
Holistic View of Medical Practice Management Software
When considering the purchase of any PMS you should learn about the software company’s full product line. Even though you may now need only a simple software program, it’s very possible you will later experience a need for more of a robust system. The best software vendors offer add-on modules or software for EMR/EHR management.
Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009
The HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act of 2009 was signed into law for the purpose of stimulating an increase in the use of electronic health records (EHR) in the United States. Another key part of the Act is to drive forward a more progressive approach to data breach notifications, and best practices to safeguard digital health information.
There are mandates in the Act that require patient information and disease data to be acquired and sent to government agencies in an electronic format. The best manner to be in compliance is to have in place a software that provides comprehensive data management functionality. With the best medical practice software solutions hospitals, clinics and medical facilities can provide this information promptly and securely.
Explore Lytec Practice Management Software
Lytec is one of the top medical practice management software solutions in use today. The software is usually upgraded annually and offers scalable solutions that simplify running a medical practice office. In 2015, Lytec enhanced and added features for daily workflow, and launched the brand new Lytec mobile app.
Practice Management Software Features
- Patient Demographics: An easy to use interface offering a robust view of patient information. In addition to the customary profile information you can scan patient pictures, insurance cards, track insurance plans and manage fee schedules.
- Appointment Scheduler: This feature enables fast scheduling, with an equally easy way to move appointments, schedule follow-up appointments and add a patient to a waiting list. Payment collection and receipt printing makes checkouts easier. The appointment screen can be customized to include a variety of information based upon practice preference.
- Appointment Reminders: This widely popular add-on module enables you to send reminders via text message, email and phone call. Automated features allow the patient to interact with confirmations which automatically post to the practice schedule.
- Billing & A/R Tracking: This feature makes billing and A/R management easier than ever before. Generating line item detail billing statements, walk-out receipts and applying co-pays is fast and easy. Receivable views include account detail, and you can quickly assign collection tasks, and print A/R reports.
- Revenue Management: This feature allows office staff to find errors with pre-claim editing and ANSI validation. There are built-in views for the 835 electronic remittance advice which includes the ability to make revisions, and post transactions.
- ICD-10 Search Tool: This tool facilitates migration to new ICD-10 codes that carriers now demand. Users of this tool can search items by code number, description or anatomical diagrams.
Lytec Mobile – Increasing Productivity and Efficiency
Lytec Mobile helps your practice run smarter, optimize reimbursement and increase productivity. Lytec Mobile increases how a Doctor or staff can access information and eliminates the need to be at a computer work station to access information. Lytec Mobile works on a number of devices including Apple iPad®, iPad Mini®, iTouch® and iPhone®. This App works on Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G data connections.
A few of the benefits of having Lytec Mobile are:
- Electronically capture charges and diagnoses entries
- Enter charges and diagnoses from anywhere
- Submit claims to your biller at the tap of a button
- View your schedule on your mobile device
- Support simplified patient accounting
- Track practice performance efficiently and easily
Mobile App Screen Views
Our Practice Management Software Features Create a Win-Win for Patients and Doctors
In summary, medical practice management software provides automation to critical tasks for running a profitable practice. The best software developers understand the real-world needs for operating a practice and have the knowledge of emerging trends and legal requirements for data management and security. Clinics and practices which utilize the latest software solutions find improved operating efficiency without having to hire additional front office staff. The bottom-line effect is a better patient experience and a positive impact on profitability.
Medical Apps for Patients, Doctors and Staff
Medical Software with 24/7 Mobile Access
Medical apps should be part of every practice management software. Mobile apps certainly make it possible to access records and share information 24/7. As the use of hand held devices has grown, people have developed a strong preference for better ways to manage certain aspects of their life from a mobile device. Within the healthcare industry, from small medical practices to large healthcare facilities, there is a growing demand for having mobile medical apps to access information. The reasons for this are two-fold.
Give Your Patients What They Want – Mobile Access
Patients want convenient ways to access their information, pay bills online, and communicate with healthcare providers. With a robust mobile app patients may complete many of these tasks in small bursts of time, and when they are on-the-go. Medical apps for patients provide easy access to their healthcare provider’s systems which improves the overall patient experience.
How Mobile Apps Improve the Patient Experience
- Patients can schedule appointments without having to endure log wait time to speak with a person.
- Patients can access portals to manage contact and insurance information, and view test results, etc.
- Patients can access helpful articles or treatment reference information
- Patients can request prescription refills online
- Patients can easily pay a bill online
Preview the CureMD EMR Software Mobile App
Any tasks that a patient can manage online takes a burden off of an already overworked medical office support staff. Enabling a patient to pay a bill online can dramatically improve the receivables for a medical practice, clinic or hospital. Mobile access empowers the patient to help your practice run smoother.
Healthcare Providers Need Fast 24/7 Access From Anywhere
Doctors and other healthcare professionals spend a large percentage of their day accessing electronic medical records. It is widely believed that physicians actually spend more time accessing electronic medical records than they spend time face-to-face with patients. Mobile device usage will only go up as hospitals and practices invest in mobility to achieve various care goals. Unfortunately, as of right now, some practices forgo investing in mobility because of the initial cost, uncertainty about user adoption, and other reasons. However, as more is demanded of our healthcare system, an investment in mobile accessible software is an absolute necessity. Here is why every practice should make mobility a top priority.
Improved staff communication, quality of care, and collaboration
Software with mobile medical apps access better ensures staffers have the most up-to-date data. Per a 2022 Hospital Vision Study, 67% percent of nurse managers surveyed in a Zebra Technologies report said that clinical mobility improved staff communication, quality of care, and collaboration.
Many EMR systems found in practices are on a single desktop computer or legacy medical software that requires multiple clicks to access information. If medical office staffers must access the stationary EMR every time they want to access a chart or input new data, it robs the provider of precious time that could be used instead to provide optimal personalized care to patients. Mobile EMR software provides the solution for improving practice management at all levels.
Multiple Access Points for Timely Updates
Medical apps for doctors, nurses, and other staff enables them to provide updates on patients, and access pertinent information on a mobile device. This improves collaboration and allows everyone to be on the same page with the most current information. As doctors, nurse and support staff see these benefits, their trust in the software and app will increase, thereby improving the rate of user adoption. As the adoption increases the benefits for patients and practice alike will climb.
24/7 Global Access for Healthcare Providers
An added bonus of choosing cloud-based EMR medical software is that doctors and other critical staff members can access patient data, order tests, e-prescribe, and run various practice management tools outside of the practice. With mobile EMR software, all that is needed is an internet connection, so there are no geographic restrictions.
Lytec Practice Management Software View of a Superbill.
Medical Apps with HIPAA Compliant Security Measures
Cloud-based software features best-in-class security features to ensure patients data are safe, and inclement weather and outages aren’t an issue as the software is run on remote servers (cloud-based). As workflows and the need to access information are time-sensitive, upgrading to mobile EMR software can ensure positive results on the clinical side as well as the patient side.
Mobile Access Solutions for the Healthcare Industry
As more than ten thousand Baby Boomers retire each day, the healthcare industry must come to grips with the fact that it will need to deploy independent, innovative solutions to improve efficiency without sacrificing the level of patient care provided. Practices must be able to see the most patients in the least amount of time and provide quality care to all who enter the facility. Fortunately there are amazing new technologies that not only automate various practice workflows, but also provide better communication and scalability depending on the practices needs.
The truth is that EMR software that optimizes mobility is a need no practice can afford not to have. But, we also understand that the EMR cloud marketplace can be intimidating and difficult to assess, which is why we encourage you to contact us today for a no-pressure discussion with a medical software specialist. Another option is visit our website to learn more about medical practice management software options and electronic medical records (EMR) management software options . In a short amount of time you may discover new medical software solutions that can improve the efficiency and profitability of your practice.
Implementation and U.S. Based Product Support
When you find the best medical practice software for your practice, you need to also know that the implementation will be done by experts, and that service after the sale is just as good. We understand that you have a business to operate, and do not want any problems while implementing a new system. Our team of medical software specialists will do a superb job and help your staff to learn how to get the most from MediPro products and services. We’re confident that your experience working with us will exceed your expectations.
Medical Software Implementation Needs a Project Champion
Medical Software Implementation Best Practices
Medical software implementation should be relatively easy. Someone would recognize a need, find the best software to address that need, and everyone would be on the same page from the beginning of the implementation process to the end. Unfortunately, any new medical software implementation is likely to incur a few hiccups along the way. For this reason, a best practice is to assign a project champion that can control the process.
Where Does Medical Software Implementation Go Wrong?
Medical software aims to automate office work-flows and optimize various practice tasks, including those related to billing, record keeping, and patient care. The best medical software will meet practice-specific needs, enabling better patient outcomes, lower administrative costs, fewer errors, and full compliance.
However, problems can arise if the wrong software is chosen, employees and patients aren’t fully on board, the cost of use is deemed to be too expensive, a technical issue arises, or the practice’s employees aren’t fully trained on the new software.
All of these challenges can derail a medical software program implementation project, which is why a project champion is so paramount to a practice’s success.
What Does a Project Champion Do and Why Do You Need One?
It can be hard to classify or define a project champion. An article published in the Project Management Journal defined a project champion as “a person within the organization who uses power entrepreneurially to enhance project success.” This is a person who is not only knowledgeable about the project and has some power to ensure the project’s success, but also someone who is passionate about it and will do whatever possible to ensure the project gets done.
Who Should Be the Project Champion?
The project champion may not be the same person throughout the entire implementation. For example, a lower-level employee may come up with the idea for the project and may even begin the process of making the case to senior management. However, because of the limitations of the role or the politics necessary to get the project off the ground, the role of project champion may be assumed by someone else who can get the project over the finish line.
What is a Project Champion?
A project champion is not a project manager, although he or she can be, depending on his or her ability to go beyond day-to-day operations and be an advocate for the project to stakeholders and others financing the project and making decisions. A project champion is a cheerleader for the medical software implementation project, someone who aims to boost the morale of the team, and a liaison between leadership, stakeholders, the project management team, and everyone else involved.
Get Help with Your Project
From the initial planning phase where the case is being made for the medical billing software programs or electronic health records software to later phases where user adoption and ongoing management are concerned, a project champion is a necessary role someone in the organization must fill. Contact us today if you are a project champion looking for a proven medical software vendor that can help you save time, money, and hassle.
Patient Referral Programs – A Smart Way to Expand Your Practice
How Patient Referral Programs Work
Every patient referral is almost guaranteed to become a patient. People trust the advice and recommendations of friends and co-workers. Encouraging your existing patients to refer their contacts is a smart and relatively inexpensive way to grow your practice.
Every medical practice needs to establish a way to attract new patients in order to grow. The truth is that practices lose patients every year for a variety of reasons out of their control. As much as ten percent of a practices patient base will be lost annually due to regular attrition. Change of job and moving are two of the most common external reasons. Implementing a patient referral program is often thought of as a cost-effective marketing technique to attract new patients. A practice may be able to get as much as fifty percent of its new patients through referrals.
But is it right for your practice? In general, yes, if done correctly. Your patients are the best potential ambassadors of your practice who can relay to their family and friends about the high level of service you provide. Unlike social media or traditional mass advertising, you’re not trying to get the word out to people who are likely uninterested. The success rate of a patient referral program can be significantly higher than other advertising routes at much lower costs.
Where Do Patient Referral Programs Go Wrong and What Can Be Done to Change That?
Yes, the potential is there for a robust patient referral program that drives new traffic to your practice. But, if done incorrectly, the results may flatline very quickly. So where do patient referral programs go wrong?
The Practice Is Not Living Up to Current Patients Expectations
Theoretically, a patient referral program works because the patient is invested in the health of the person they’re referring to the practice. Therefore, the practice needs to be worthy of the referral. Long patient wait times, billing errors, and poor care are all problems that can deter existing patients of wanting to recommend a practice to a family member or friend in need of care. Our award-winning medical EHR software and other optimal workflow products ensure a practice can effectively provide the level of care and support needed to create the best overall experience for patients.
The Staff Is Not Trained or Invested in the Program
In general, it won’t be the doctor who will be speaking with patients about the referral program. It may be the receptionist, a nurse, or another staff member. Patients often build a rapport with staff members, and they are the ones who will best be able to discuss the program with the patient. However, if the staff doesn’t understand the program or isn’t interested in it, the program is not going to generate many referrals. Time will need to be spent to train staff members on the program and why its needed for the practice. Also, keep in mind that there should be one person in charge of referrals. This will create accountability and ensure the program isn’t an afterthought.
Too Much Time Is Spent on the Perks of the Program
Gifts and incentives are a bit tricky for patient referral programs. Many states outlaw practices ability to offer existing patients gift cards or discounted services to help them find patients. Practices can offer gifts or discounts to new patients, but these incentives should not be the sole selling point for the patient referral program. Instead, a practice should make an effort to deliver the best possible care and provide a quality experience, so patients will want to bring their family and friends there.
What MediPro Can Do For You
Medical practice management software and other automated solutions from MediPro, Inc. are a viable way to enhance patient care and practice efficiency. In addition to that, making patients aware of the program through signage and business cards and targeting patients with personalized pitches are much more beneficial to the success of the program.