EMR / EHR Software Systems
Implementing an Electronic Medical Record (EMR), also referred to as Electronic Health Record (EHR) software in your office can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your practice’s success.
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Benefits of Electronic Medical Records
No Pulling Charts: No more filing, pulling, re-filing or creating new charts. Charts are instantly accessible to multiple users all at once.
No Lost Charts: Eliminate the chance of having charts misfiled, misplaced, or lost completely. Think of how many hours of paid labor and frustration you can eliminate!
Less Time Filing: An EMR can automatically incorporate data into a patient’s chart from outside the local network, without staff members manually entering it. By creating interfaces to external sources, such as laboratories and hospitals, an EMR keeps patient records current without the time-consuming filing that a paper-based system requires. For example, at one site a full-time staff member had to file 600 to 700 reports from local hospitals every week. After installing an EMR system with an interface to the hospital, which allowed direct downloading, filing time was reduced to less than 10 minutes per week.
Universal Chart Access: Paper charts can only be in one place at one time. With EMR physicians can be updating a progress note, while a nurse is entering in-house lab results. No one has to slow down because someone else has the chart.
Easier Compliance with Chart Requests: Fulfilling chart request is another time-consuming administrative task. Staff members must pull the chart, disassemble it, copy its contents, reassemble it and re-file it. With EMR this process is consolidated to a few mouse clicks. After implementing EMR one of our clients in a primarycare office stated that she no longer refers their patients out to practices that are not on EMR because it takes those offices too long to get information back to them, whereas offices on EMR can respond instantly.
Improve External Communication: How many times a day does your office take messages from patients because your staff doesn’t have the information in front of them to assist the patient right away? With instant access to charts staff can handle a wider range of incoming calls, reducing the need to take a message, find the chart and then return the call and hope that the person that called in is available so they don’t have to leave a message and start the process over again!
Improved intra-office communication: No more sticky notes or waiting to catch people between rooms. Improve communication between staff by giving them the ability to track and send messages electronically. Patient data can be attached to the message, and urgent messages are automatically flagged and moved to the top of the list.
Fewer call-backs from pharmacies: By incorporating electronic prescribing calls from pharmacies are reduced because prescriptions are legible, drug-to-drug interactions are run prior to prescribing, and formulary information is available at time of prescribing. Refill requests are also sent back electronically and providers can refill, deny, or change prescriptions with a few simple mouse clicks.
Higher Quality Documentation: Standardize chart quality and minimize problems that occur as a result of illegible handwriting, inconsistencies in documentation, and other common human errors.
Spend Less Time Charting: Bright Note Technology allows you to document information one time in the progress note and automatically have it update other primary sections of the chart.
More Efficient Chart Signing: No more carting around stacks of charts and messages. Review progress notes, labs, prescription refill requests, and orders quickly and efficiently. Everything is organized and instantly available on your dashboard, and urgent information flagged and sent to your immediate attention so you can better manage both your patients care and your time.
Built-in Health Maintenance Protocols and Reminders- EMR can provide clinicians with important information at the time of care. For example, diagnosis-specific templates can help remind physicians about special protocols and tests related to the patient’s condition. EMR can also incorporate age, sex, medication and disease specific health maintenance reminders allowing practices to be more proactive in improving patient care.
Improved Medication Management: Improve patients’ quality of care with drug-to-drug interaction checks, drug-to-allergy checks, formulary checks, and up-to-date medication lists. All of these checks reduce the risk of improper prescriptions and related issues that can compromise quality of care. By prescribing through EMR systems practices can easily identify which patients are on a certain prescription in case there is a drug recall. E-prescribing can also reduce calls coming into the office because prescriptions are sent out legibly, and refill requests are sent back electronically to your message bin, once again reducing a labor intensive process down to a few clicks.
Improve Customer Service: When staff has instant access to a patients chart most calls can be answered immediately thereby eliminating the phone tag game.
Free up Space: By eliminating paper charts offices have been able to convert storage space in the office to an additional exam room, off-site storage cost has also been reduced or eleminated as offices move to electronic records.
EMR Cost Benefits:
Eliminate Transcription Costs: How much time and money can you save by eliminating transcription services.
Consider not just the cost of the service but also the cost of labor to manage the transcriptions. Reviewing the transcription, sending it back for corrections, pulling charts, filing paper, etc.
The average physician spends between $12,000 and $25,000 annually just on the transcription service alone.
Eliminate Chart Creation Costs: The cost to create a new chart is estimated at $5 per chart. (Chart Jacket $2-$3, Chart Tabs and Labels $1, Labor cost to assemble $1, Labor cost to Handle $1)
A Practice that sees 10 new patients a week would save $2,400 annually.
No More Paying for Staff to Pull & Refile Charts: Assuming an office sees 30 patients per day, an average number of chart pulls and refilings is estimated at 416 per day.
- 30 Charts pulled for patient visits / 30 Charts refiled
- 30 Charts pulled to file dictated notes / 30 Charts refiled
- 15 Charts pulled for lab results / 15 Charts refiled
- 15 Charts pulled for RX requests / 15 Charts refiled
- 40 Charts pulled to file or answer incoming faxes / 40 Charts refiled
- 60 Charts pulled to answer incoming calls / 60 Charts refiled
- 10 Charts pulled for coordination of care / 10 Charts refiled
- 5 Charts pulled for billing issues / 5 Charts refiled
- 3 Charts pulled to copy medical records / 3 Charts filed
Total Chart pulls and refiles= 416 per day. If you are paying your staff $12.00 an hour and it takes 2 minutes per chart pull or refile it is costing $.40 per transaction.
416 transactions per day at $.40 per transaction = $166.40 per day / $832.00 per week / $41,600.00 per year
No More Searching for Misplaced Charts: Assuming an office spends 25 minutes per day looking for misplaced charts, at $.40 per minute it is costing the practice $10 per day / $50.00 per week / $2,500.00 per year
Eliminating Paper Faxes: By implementing electronic prescribing, RX renewal requests will come back electronically as a message that is automatically routed to the designated users inbox, rather than as a fax that has to be manually routed. With Lab Interfaces results that are currently being delivered by fax are also automatically routed to the designated users dashboard eliminating the need for any manual handling. In addition to these paper and time saving features of EMR, one of the best ways to reduce paper and labor in practices is by implementing a fax server. With a fax server messages being sent out are no longer printed and faxes, they are sent directly from the EMR with a few mouse clicks. Incoming faxes are no longer printed and walked around the office, they are received electronically and can be filed and sent to a users dashboard for review simultaneously with a few mouse clicks. How much is it costing your practice now to send and receive faxes with a traditional fax machine?
Cost to Receive Faxes: (Cost to file the fax in a patient chart is calculated under a different bullet)
- Walking to the fax machine to check a fax
- Walking to deliver the fax to the appropriate person
- After the fax is reviewed it must be moved to a bin for filing
Average time to “handle” an incoming fax: 6 min. For a $12.00 an hour employee it costs $1.20 in labor to handle an incoming fax.
Average Cost for toner and paper for a 3-page fax received on a fax machine is $.24 ($.08 per page)
100 faxes/day, at $1.20 in labor & $.24 in materials per fax= $144 per day / $720 per week / $36,000 per year
Cost to Send Faxes: (Cost to pull chart needed for outbound faxes is calculated under a different bullet)
Improved Coding: E&M Coding tools ensure that doctors are not undercoding, but that they are getting paid for everything they do. With EMR documented diagnosis and charges are pulled straight from the note so bills are never lost or incomplete.
- Printing the fax or disassembling charts to get pages that need to be faxed
- Filling out a fax cover sheet
- walking to and from the printer and fax machine
- Monitoring faxes ensuring that they were sent successfully, redialing due to erros and busy signals, and refaxing if it fails.
Average time to “handle and outbound fax: 8 min. For a $12.00 an hour it employee it costs $1.60 in labor to handle an oubound fax.
Average cost for toner and paper for a 3-page document printed on a Laser Printer is $.15 ($.05 per page)
50 faxes/day at $1.60 in labor & $.15 in materials per fax = $87.5 per day / $437.50 per week / $21,875 per year
A study by Medical Economics magazine estimated that a physician who is regularly down-coding may be losing as much as $40,000 to $50,000 annually. A study done by Partners Healthcare System found an increase of 1.5%-5% in overall billing simply through improved charge capture. For our example we will use a conservative improvement rate of 2.5% to factor in a reduction in down-coding, resulting in approx. $25,000 per year.
What is it costing annually for an average practice to manage paper charts?
- $12,000 Transcriptions
- $ 2,400 Paper Chart Supplies
- $41,600 Labor to Manage Pulling & Refiling Charts
- $ 2,500 Labor to Find Misplaced Charts
- $36,000 For Inbound Faxes
- $21,875 For Outbound Faxes
- $25,000 Money Lost in Down-Coding
$141,375 Per Year to Manage Paper Charts
“We are able to accomplish so much more with EMR. We were even able to add another doctor without increasing the number of staff.”
-Velina, Office Manager, Thomas Laser Center
If you are looking for the best EMR for your small practice- look no further. With Several Online and Local EMR options we have one sure to fit your needs. Contact one of our EMR specialists today to find out which Electronic Medical Record is right for you!
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