by Michelle Tohill
Making a decision to adopt or change your EHR software can be a major undertaking. Just thinking about picking the right software, training your staff, and making the capital investment is enough to force many physician practices to avoid EHR entirely or stick with a bad system just because of the costs involved. It’s overwhelming, it’s complicated, the fear of the unknown, then there’s the cost – forget about it! Consider a few things before you throw in the towel.
Let’s just take a few minutes to remember why EHR is important …
Benefits of EHR
EHR allows physicians to effortlessly share patient information across caregivers, get automatic updates, test reminders, and more. A result of EHR is frequently increased patient safety since EHR software can automatically identify potential issues. One study found that patient mortality decreased by as much as 48% in the three years following EHR implementation in New York City dialysis centers.
Challenges of EHR
One of the greatest barriers to EHR is choosing the right technology that will serve your physician practice today and for years to come. The cost ranges from $15,000 to $70,000 per provider for many systems. Once you have implemented an EHR, you will likely stick with it for as long as possible to avoid additional capital expense and re-training. But as EHR enters a new stage of development, technology has greatly improved, and there are even some solutions, like the ones from Bonafide, that allow you to get EHR for free with the purchase of its billing service.
Sometimes making the choice between the many EHR options can feel overwhelming when you are juggling a full practice, but don’t let that stop you from seriously considering EHR implementation.
Rather than staying with a system that you merely work around, I challenge you to find the right system that works for your practice.
Your EHR system should:
1. Be ready for ICD-10
There are fewer than 180 days until ICD-10 implementation, and your practice, including all of your practice software, needs to be ready to transition to thousands of new codes. From our software to our billing staff, we’re ready at Bonafide for ICD-10!
2. Meet Meaningful Use Standards
Avoid the penalty, as more and more insurances change to evidence based outcomes MU will play a larger role in reimbursements. Bonafide was a very early adopter for MU certification.
3. Meet your needs – web-based or in-house server
A recent survey showed that 61% of practices changing their EMRs were switching from server-based systems to web-based EHRs. Consider how many EMRs that were originally server-based have now “gone to the cloud” (nearly all), and you see that most practices now see the benefits of being able to log in anywhere, get regular updates and have your data secured safely off-site
4. Your EHR should not interfere with patient interactions
There is always a learning curve with new software. Patient interaction is not helped by having the doctor typing away on an EHR in the exam room, rarely making eye contact, and there are EHRs that offer a better kind of interface. Bonafide provides a streamlined process allowing you to chart, e-prescribe, and provide excellent patient care with a minimal amount of clicks and time spent on anything other than patient care.
5. Provide excellent customer support, without additional charges
Excellent customer support is vital to your success with an EHR; in fact, that’s one of the reasons many practices are switching to new EHR systems. “Many providers feel ignored by EHR vendors who provide poor or non-existent customer service,” according to an article on EHR switching. Bonafide is proud to say, excellent customer service and attention to your practice needs do not come at an additional cost, our experts and knowledge are included with our service.
Whether or not you choose Bonafide for your practice needs we encourage you to find a system that works best for your practice needs.
Michelle Tohill is Director of Revenue Cycle Management of Bonafide Management Systems and oversees all billing programs and processes. Her specialty is conducting AR audits to expose inefficient billing practices that fail to fully reimburse physicians for their work. She conducts AR audits and provides Bonafide customers with training and consulting on how to improve every aspect of billing and practice management to maximize revenue.