Every independent practice has unique needs. What is imperative for one practice may not be applicable to another. The ability to adjust technology to fit those needs is critical for the efficiency of the practice operations as well as for the physician’s ability to provide quality care. Understanding the value of custom workflows for your EHR is important for your clinic operations to be successful going forward.
When an independent practice adopts an electronic health record (EHR) system, the flow of patients through the organization may need to change. This workflow design is the process of:
- Mapping out current workflows and analyzing how the organization gets work done (the current state)
- Planning for the future by mapping out how EHRs will create new workflow patterns to improve the organization’s efficiency and health care quality (the future state).
Taking advantage of custom workflows in the EHR will help the organization:
- Maximize efficiencies
- Enhance health care quality and safety
- Remove chaos from the current workflow
- Improve care coordination.
When the custom workflows are fine tuned and managed appropriately, resources can be used more effectively and that reduces stress, a primary cause of burnout, among the clinical team. Significant improvements can also be seen in patient satisfaction, throughput, and outcomes.
The full potential of an EHR in the independent practice can be unlocked with effective healthcare workflow management as well as efficient and effective communications systems. A custom workflow within the EHR will help ensure that patient information is readily available at the point of care, as the EHR serves as a central repository for all patient data. Accurate and current information must be readily available to inform healthcare decisions.
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A “one size fits all” EHR can be detrimental to the independent provider’s ability to expand in terms of patient panel, services offered, and expected revenue. Otherwise, the practice may face challenges such as missing information and misalignment of care as a result of ineffective workflows.
The value of custom workflows can be seen in:
- The practice becoming more effective with improving operations and optimizing internal workflows
- Employee efficiencies boosted by streamlined workflows that eliminate unnecessary and duplicative work
- Cost savings on an EHR solution developed for specific workflows applicable to the practice, rather than a generic solution
- Time savings on software adoption and training
- Reduced time spent on navigating through patient records and administrative tasks.
An EHR with custom workflows can make the difference in an independent practice’s ability to operate efficiently and effectively, benefiting the clinical team as well as the patients.