3 ways an EHR can reduce administrative burden
The move from paper records to an electronic health record (EHR) solution offers many benefits for you and your patients. Improved care, including reduced error and duplication, is the ultimate goal, of course. Reducing stress and burnout are also important goals. There are three ways an EHR can reduce administrative burden for you and your team.
The benefits of EHRs are outlined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). In particular, the ability to exchange information electronically can help you provide higher quality and safer care for your patients. EHRs also offer tangible enhancements for your organization. Benefits include:
- Better health care – improving all aspects of patient care, including safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, communication, education, timeliness, efficiency, and equity.
- Better health – encouraging healthier lifestyles in the entire population, including increased physical activity, better nutrition, avoidance of behavioral risks, and wider use of preventative care.
- Better clinical decision making – integrating patient information from multiple sources.
- Improved efficiencies and lower health care costs – promoting preventative medicine and improved coordination of health care services, as well as by reducing waste and redundant tests.
The three ways EHRs can reduce administrative burden for you and your practice result in those improved efficiencies:
EHRs reduce the amount of time you will spend doing paperwork and performing administrative tasks. Filling out forms, processing billing, and requesting reimbursements represent a significant portion of current healthcare costs. EHRs streamline these tasks. In addition, many practices report that their use of EHRs results in:
- Improved medical practice management through integrated scheduling systems that link appointments directly to progress notes, automate coding, and managed claims
- Time savings with easier centralized chart management, condition-specific queries, and other shortcuts
- Enhanced communication with other clinicians, labs, and health plans
- Easy access to patient information from anywhere
- Tracking electronic messages to staff, other clinicians, hospitals, labs, etc.
- Automated formulary checks by health plans
- Order and receipt of lab tests and diagnostic images
- Links to public health systems such as registries and communicable disease databases.
Elation helps reduce your administrative burden by enabling you to handle clinical documentation, practice operations, and reimbursement from a single, intuitive platform.
EHRs can help reduce costs for the practice and for the patient as well as improve revenue for the practice. Streamlining tasks can significantly decrease the burden and the costs involved in performing certain administrative tasks. Cost savings for practices who take advantage of the helpful features of EHRs for their practice include:
- Reduced transcription costs
- Reduced chart pull, storage, and re-filing costs
- Improved documentation and automated coding capabilities
- Enhanced ability to meet important regulation requirements such as Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) through alerts that notify physicians to complete key regulatory data elements
- Reduction of time and resources needed for manual charge entry resulting in more accurate billing and reduction in lost charges
- Reduction in charge lag days and vendor/insurance denials associated with late filing
- Charge review edits alerting physicians if a test can be performed only at a certain frequency
- Alerts that prompt providers to obtain Advance Beneficiary Notice, minimizing claim denials and lost charges related to Medicare procedures performed without Advance Beneficiary Notice.
EHRs reduce duplication and errors so you will spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on providing quality care. Practices using EHRs report:
- Reduced medical errors through better access to patient data and error prevention alerts
- Improved patient health/quality of care through better disease management and patient education
- Staff members spend less time interpreting handwritten notes that could lead to errors in care
- Less time spent ordering and reviewing results for unnecessary and duplicate tests and procedures.