Health Affairs’ study noted that increased ROI benefits arose primarily from efficiency gains and increases in revenue from EHRs. (EHR in Practice)
Implementing an EHR in your practice is necessary, but it’s a costly endeavor that can take focus away from patients when software is first purchased. It takes time, money, focus, and training to be done correctly. It’s important to understand the return on investment (ROI) for an EHR system, not only financially but with regard to time. Let’s look at some of the benefits of EHR/EMR use that determine how you can measure the ROI of your software.
Government regulations and quality metrics are all about standardized documentation. The goal here is not only to document your patient interactions accurately, but also to do so in a way that allows data to be easily extracted. The best way to achieve this is by creating standardized templates and order sets within your EHR. Also, consider utilizing decision-support notifications to keep you on track.
As healthcare organizations work to document in a way that will satisfy government regulations, they often feel as though the documentation process can be burdensome. However, through the use of an EHR and the harnessing of certain templates and check boxes, physicians can reduce the need to type full paragraphs during documentation and allow for some carefully monitored automation to make their job of documentation a little easier.
The use of an EHR often leads to more accurate coding and billing, ensuring that your practice is accurately reimbursed for the services it provides. This brings about an increase in revenue that you will certainly appreciate after the financial investment to implement your EHR system.
Increased Productivity for Providers
Providers are able to be more productive with their use of time through streamlining tasks. Some tasks clinicians are streamlining include documentation, orders, billing, and follow-ups. By being able to complete documentation during the office visit, this task is done in a more productive and accurate manner. This also leads to greater job satisfaction among providers.
Improved Operational Efficiency
Utilizing an EHR system with automation tools improves the efficiency of a medical practice. EHRs streamline billing, scheduling, and communication which can allow practices to limit their need for personnel. This allows for a decrease in overhead, thereby saving money.
Improved Satisfaction Among Patients
Patients who recognize the efficient and professional way in which your practice operates will be more satisfied. This, in turn, will lead to more loyal patients, which will ultimately help your practice’s bottom line. As an added bonus, happy patients tell their friends about their providers and what they like about them. Therefore, not only are you more likely to keep your current patients, but you just might add some new ones, too.
Improved Patient Health Outcomes
Patient outcomes are likely to improve for a number of reasons. Outcomes improve because EHR systems feature tools that prompt preventative screenings, and warn about medication interactions. These programs also suggest optimal treatment plans and more accurate and streamlined documentation. This leads to better patient care, which is truly the ultimate goal of a medical practice.
Can the road to implementing an EHR be challenging? Yes, but anything worth doing is. Instead of despairing over the potential difficulty, focus on the benefits for your patients and practice instead.