Primary care practices must operate efficiently to be financially viable. Optimizing a primary care practice involves a number of factors, streamlining practice operations, reducing overhead, and taking advantage of technology. An efficient electronic health record (EHR) system is also critical for the successful operation of a primary care practice.
Patient medical records, care coordination, and treatment plans are all housed in their EHR. Traditionally, this documentation has been kept on paper in files lined up at the nurse’s station or elsewhere in the practice office. Finding information in paper files was incredibly inefficient in itself, involving time spent searching through paperwork and waiting on paper documentation from other healthcare providers caring for the patient.
An inefficient EHR also causes the physician to spend time searching for information that could be critical to the patient’s healthcare plan. Streamlining the process results in less time spent on the computer, more time spent with the patient, and a higher quality level of care for that patient.
An efficient EHR, such as Elation’s Clinical First EHR, will benefit the physician, the practice, and the patient by enabling the provider to document visit notes, order lab tests, e-prescribe, and write referrals in any order, all from the same screen. The need to enter and re-enter information, often found in an inefficient system, is reduced with prioritized automation throughout the workflow.
Additionally, as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) describes, an efficient EHR is important for the physician and the patient as it will:
- Provide accurate, up-to-date, and complete information about patients at the point of care
- Enable quick access to patient records for more coordinated, efficient care
- Securely share electronic information with patients and other clinicians
- Enable safer, more reliable prescribing
- Enhance the privacy and security of patient data
- Reduce costs through decreased paperwork, improved safety, reduced duplication of testing, and improved health.