Independent physicians are concerned primarily, of course, with their patients’ health. They must also be concerned with the health of their practices, as they strive to manage them efficiently. Optimizing and enhancing workflows can help with both goals. A practice that takes advantage of electronic health records (EHRs) has the advantage in using the technology’s workflow process to manage both practice and patient health.
The first step in the workflow optimization process is to do a workflow analysis, initially on implementation, and on an ongoing basis. Work with staff to determine their experiences and needs. Review the EHR system to ensure it is providing what the practice needs. Find the inefficiencies in the workflow, as well as potential new opportunities with upgrades or improved EHR functionality.
What can an optimized workflow do for an independent practice? EHR Intelligence suggests a number of benefits, including:
- Improved care coordination: Using an established workflow process, care coordination becomes more efficient and more effective for the independent physician. As EHR Intelligence points out, “EHRs enhance care coordination by automating the communication process.”
- Streamlined clinical documentation: Optimizing the workflow through EHR enables the independent physician to enhance the quality of care provided to the patient as well as the efficiency of the practice itself. Elation’s Cockpit View surfaces everything the independent physician needs in a unique three-pane console, providing more flexibility. Having immediate access to the patient’s information significantly reduces the amount of time the physician spends looking up records and can increase the amount of time actually spent with the patient.
- Improved practice efficiency: Understanding how the technology works, gathering feedback from and training staff, as well as reviewing the workflow technology on a regular basis can improve the efficiency of the practice as well. Optimization “is an integral part of leveraging the technology to improve clinical workflow.”