Your Guide to the Benefits of Patient Portals

patient portal apps

Patient Portal Software – What You Need to Know

The primary purpose of patient portals is to improve the interaction between patients and healthcare providers. These portals are the product of meaningful use requirements, as they provide patients with timely access to their healthcare providers.

In different words, patient portals allow patients to access their health information efficiently, giving them a more active role.

What are the Benefits and Importance of Patient Portals?

  • Rapid Growth

As the medical industry shifts focus to patient-centered care, more healthcare providers are starting to introduce their patient portals. At the same time, the number of organizations that offer patient access to their medical records reached an all-time record.

The result of these actions is the increased number of people who are using the patient portal services.

According to a report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), more than 90% of hospitals have some system that allows patient access to medical records. Out of these hospitals, 72% provide patients with full view and download options.

  • Increased Office Efficiency

Implementing a patient portal for your medical practice can significantly optimize the efficiency of your office. By making communication between healthcare providers and patients easier, growth and efficiency are inevitable.

Patient portals also save time when signing up new patients since they can fill out personal information electronically.

Overall, this process leads to fewer errors and inconsistencies.

  • Streamlined Workflow

When you use a patient portal, you can also streamline workflows in your office. The process eliminates the need to answer simple questions over the phone by your receptionists and nurses.

Your phone lines will be free for more urgent matters.

  • Promotion of Telemedicine

Patient portals are also a great way to lower the number of unnecessary patient visits to your office. As a result, you will have more room for patients who need to see you in person.

Telemedicine software enables patients to consult with you through a messaging or videoconference platform.

Learn more about Telemedicine by clicking on this link.

Standard Features of Patient Portal

A certified patient portal platform comes in two types: a standalone system and an integrated service.

Patient portal integration comes with an EMR patient portal software, where patients can retrieve lab results and ask questions about their profiles/insurance providers.

Some patient portals also allow clients to schedule appointments and pay their bills through the platform. This represents an opportunity for providers to promote loyalty, increase patient engagement, and manage costs.

The Current Market Trend of Patient Portal

Growing Trend

According to Verified Market Research, Global Patient Portal Market is projected to reach 7.7 billion dollars by 2027, a significant number relative to the 2.27 billion dollars registered in 2019.

This translates to growth at a CAGR of 17.8%.

Experts predict that this trend will continue in the future, opening new avenues for patient portal integration.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the uses of a patient portal?

A patient portal is a website for your health care. Patients can use the platform to access their test results, billings, prescriptions, and more.

What is the security status of patient portals?

Patient portals have numerous privacy and security safeguards in place to protect your personal information. These portals are hosted on a secure connection and can only be accessed through an encrypted login.

What percentage of patients use patient portals?

Nearly 90% of providers offer access to a patient portal. However, only one-third of patients use this service. Experts predict that this number will increase in the upcoming years.

When did the medical field start using patient portals?

Patient portals were first introduced by a few large health care organizations in the late 1990s.

How much does a patient portal cost?

Typically, a patient portal costs between 30-40 dollars per provider per month.

Take Away

Patients have become accustomed to using telehealth applications and will continue to use them long after the current Covid-19 pandemic is finally behind us. Patient portals are the gateway to medical practices and are therefore an instrumental part of patient engagement and self-management. Patients will start to demand more control over their medical records and who has access.

Examining Healthcare & EHR Interoperability

EHR Interoperability

The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled the siloed nature of the healthcare industry. With doctors and patients unable to meet in person, the flaws of archaic EHR systems have been brought into public discourse. 

Medical practitioners need to disaster-proof their electronic databases. This article will discuss why interoperability is necessary, the problems with many EHR systems, and how to best overcome the challenges associated with advancement.

What’s Good About Interoperability?

Interoperability, or the ability of computer systems to exchange and make use of information, is something the healthcare industry has struggled to achieve. And the need is at an all-time high, as the pandemic has demonstrated.

COVID-19 restrictions left many people unable to visit their usual practitioners. Whether it was a result of quarantine, travel restrictions, or limits on how many appointments doctors could safely conduct, patients often needed to visit other doctors.

Other doctors needed access to patient data. And many systems were not equipped to seamlessly accept existing patient data because their EHR (Electronic Health Record) systems are siloed from one another.

Various Reasons This is a Problem:

● Without access to existing patient data, patients must add their data into the system. If they forget or misremember minor details, doctors will not have the complete knowledge needed to provide care.

● In high-stakes situations, such as ER visits, the required information as quickly as possible will take longer to obtain than necessary.

● The intake process becomes significantly more complicated, adding additional strain on administrators already strained by new regulations.

These problems do not go away with the pandemic. Concerns about reaching herd immunity or “curing” COVID-19 aside, these concerns are not unique to the current health landscape. They will continue to be a problem after the health sector reaches a semblance of equilibrium.

Per Statista, the worldwide digital health market will have an estimated value of 500 billion by 2025. If one’s system is not connected, it is not meeting market demands or patient needs. That is why we must do everything in our power to achieve interoperability, and that starts with our EHR Systems.

What’s Wrong With Our EHR Systems? 

Most medical practices implement some form of EHR (Electronic Health Record) system. The ability to electronically store patient data is a boon for our industry, but the technology is not advancing to meet modern demands.

The core issue is that these systems are often siloed, which disrupts the ability to transmit patient information. And unfortunately, at this point, it is challenging to connect many of them for two key reasons:

● Many of these systems were not built with the ability to transmit information in mind. Consequently, there is no localized method of getting it from one system to another.

● There is no standardized method for labeling patient data. It isn’t easy to transfer information that is not formatted to match the parameters of the receiving system.

Of course, there are various other hurdles associated with achieving interoperability. The cost of updating EHR systems is prohibitive for many practices, the secure transfer of patient data is sometimes difficult to maintain, and much more. 

However, resolving these two issues is crucial in solving the interoperability crisis. If we get to a point where information is readily accessible, then solutions for the other problems will follow.

What Can We Do?

Start interoperability

Medical professionals are working on numerous ways to work toward achieving healthcare interoperability. While a comprehensive list is not feasible, we have collected three of the most common solutions that are in the works.

Adopt a Common Set of Interoperability Standards:

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, or FIHR, is a standard means of data management across various EHR systems. Developed by Health Level Seven International, FIHR is a robust system that supports multiple legacy systems that would otherwise be siloed from another.

FIHR has received increased recognition in the U.S. In 2020, CMS — the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services — issued a ruling stating that certain health agencies must work toward implementing FIHR by 2020.

FIHR supports JSON, XML, and RDF for data representation. If your existing system utilizes these, we recommend reading more about the system.

If FIHR isn’t right for you, additional standards have been developed. DirectStandard allows users to directly send encrypted healthcare information to trusted partners, while DICOM facilitates the transfer and archival of pictures.

Encourage Collaboration Between Healthcare Alliances:

The healthcare industry is a maze of differing agencies whose interests interweave and conflict at different points. However, encouraging these healthcare alliances to work together in a more extensive association is crucial in achieving widespread interoperability.

These alliances vary in scale: local, regional, state, and lots in-between. If these alliances begin communicating and use their authority to achieve interoperability, then the speed at which clinics adopt practices like FIHR will be significantly expedited.

Even the slightest collaboration between alliances is a win for interoperability.

Implement a Master Patient Index:

Master Patient Index is an electronic database that hosts demographic information on patients. It seeks to use this information to provide unique Patient IDs, which can facilitate the rapid transfer of patient data.

The MPI allows users to maintain an up-to-date, central registry of all patients. This helps eliminate duplicate patient registration and reduce treatment errors brought on by misinformation.

While this is just one tool in the belt of interoperability, it is an incredibly efficient way of reducing administrative errors and consolidating patient information. 

Conclusion

COVID-19 may be a once-in-a-century medical crisis, but it’s revealed an underlying concern in our existing medical systems. Patients have suffered because our current systems did not adequately serve their needs, and we must do better for them.

Ultimately, healthcare interoperability is a standard we must continuously strive for. There is no overnight answer to the ongoing problem of siloed patient information, but if we orient our efforts toward solving it will help patients.

You can reach out to us by clicking on this link if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas about Telehealth and EHR.

Do Telehealth and EHR Technology Complement Each Other?

Covid-telehealth

Overview

In the United States, 95% of hospitals use a certified EHR platform. These entities provide various benefits to ensure the continuity of care, simple data collection, reduced mortality rates, and a decrease of the overall cost.

EMR Experts EHR Software Dashboard
Integrated Telehealth Platform

To take this one step further, certain hospitals chose to integrate their EHR systems with a telehealth platform, significantly improving clinical workflow. Fortunately, many telehealth companies provide the service of integrating their technology with the EHR system. As a result, patient data gets transferred from one platform to the other with ease.

EHR and telehealth integration can dramatically optimize the process of healthcare and eliminate complicated, time-consuming processes.

This article will cover the main benefits of EHR and telehealth integration and how your institution can reap these benefits.

How Telehealth and EHR complement each other

  • Automate Data Entry

When telehealth is not integrated with EHR, providers will most likely enter patient information twice. In other words, when a doctor conducts a telehealth session with a patient, he/she will create a summary of the virtual visit. Additionally, the provider needs to add the same information to the patient’s health records. As you can see, this can negatively impact the efficiency of the workplace.

On the other hand, integrating the two systems eliminate this issue. There is no need to enter the same information twice.

Here is How it Works:

How ehr and telemedicine works

When the provider creates notes about their patient during a telehealth visit, the saved information will automatically integrate into their health record.

Aside from saving healthcare providers a lot of time, which they can spend caring for other patients, this process reduces the risk of making an error when typing and updating the patient’s EHR.

  • Synchronize Patient Insurance Information 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of hospitals and healthcare facilities started using telehealth technology to reach patients without compromising their well-being.

However, this proved to be challenging for keeping track of telehealth coverage, especially when the doctor does not have access to the patient’s insurance information during the visit. 

For companies that integrate their EHR with telehealth, this is an easy process since providers get information about their insurance before signing them up for virtual visits.

As a result, healthcare providers get reimbursed for their time and services while also lowering confusion in the workplace.

You see, many EHR systems have a link to insurance databases, which allows providers to track their patient eligibility reasonably easily.

  • Streamline the Provider and Patient Virtual Care Experience

During a telehealth visit, the healthcare provider needs access to the patient’s health records to make an efficient diagnostic and therapeutic plan. This information increases the efficiency of the consultation and makes it as close to an in-person visit as possible.

The good news is that the integration of the telehealth system with the technology of EHR makes it so much easier to access the patient’s health records. The providers will also be pleased since they will be working with a system that they are familiar with.

This is part of why telehealth and EHR complement each other; you will get a simple, seamless virtual care workflow that comes as close as possible to face-to-face interaction with the patient.

Note that patients will get access to the summary of their virtual visit next to their medical history. This will make it reasonably easy to understand their diagnosis and provide context for any updates.

How integrating telehealth with EHR technology can improve clinical workflow?

Reading the sections above will probably make you appreciate the role of integrating EHR with telehealth in improving clinical workflow.

Merging the two systems allows for a more effortless flow of information, lower risk of errors, and better patient outcomes. The process of billing patients will also become much more intuitive.

The changes made by providers during a telehealth session should automatically pass to the EHR system. Healthcare workers already have enough on their plates and do not need to waste time entering the same information twice.

Overall, integrating EHR with telehealth can significantly improve clinical workflow and allow the medical staff to focus on other essential aspects of patient care.

EHR with telehealth during the COVID-19 era

Covid and Telehealth

During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth sessions reached a record high number. 

The reasons for this dramatic increase are clear; patients needed to get diagnosed, treated, and managed for their chronic conditions, and hospital visits were not an option due to COVID-19.

Unfortunately, this rise in the use of telehealth technology also coincided with an unprecedented workload for healthcare providers; some doctors spent weeks in the hospital without leaving because they feared infecting their families.

While we currently have better control over the pandemic due to vaccination and social distancing efforts, the rates of medical staff burnout are still very high.

For this reason, the last thing we want to do is to bombard healthcare workers with more senseless work, such as entering the same information twice. Adding efficiency by integrating EHR with telehealth can also help with providing care to more patients. 

The Top players who integrate their EHR systems with Telemedicine 

Telemedicine companies that integrate their platforms with EHR system include:

· Modernizing Medicine Healthcare IT Suite

· Athenahealth EHR Software

· PrognoCIS EHR Software

· Advanced MD EMR Software

· Drchrono EHR Software

· Kareo Clinical EHR Software

· eClinicalWorks EHR Software

· CareCloud EHR Software

· ChartLogic EHR Suite

Takeaway message

Integrating telehealth with EHR technology can be a great way to optimize clinical workflow and lower the wasted time in the clinic. It will also help patients better understand their diagnosis, management plan, and how they relate to their previous medical history.

We hope that this article managed to demonstrate the benefits of EHR and telehealth integration.

You can reach out to us by clicking on this link if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas about telehealth and EHR.

Outstanding Digital Marketing Strategies For Medical Practitioners

social media for doctors

Overview

Over the years, digital marketing grew exponentially and attracted giant companies to join this wave and promote their business.

The healthcare system is no exception to this rule, as thousands of healthcare providers and other business owners are shifting to digital marketing for growth and self-promotion.

This article will cover the best marketing strategies for a small medical practice and the power of social media in this field.

The best marketing strategies for a small medical practice

  • Content Marketing

This step is crucial if you already have a website.

Putting your contact information on a static webpage won’t do the trick anymore. Instead, modernize your website by adding visuals, videos, and audio content for your potential patients. You also need to make sure that the interface is easy-to-browse.

Additionally, make it easy for your patients to set an appointment via your website as it’s the preferred way to do anything these days.

The website can also serve as a platform to gather information about your patients to see which age groups, gender, and chief complaints commonly seek your help.

Collecting this information (with your visitors’ consent) will help you optimize your practice to enhance their experience and meet their needs. 2021 Content Marketing Trends

  • Blogging

Blogging is one of the best ways to attract new patients to your website since the traffic will most likely come from Google searches that patients type. Make sure to write helpful and new content to bring organic traffic your way.

However, with the increased competition in healthcare, you need to be careful about approaching this field.

Today, several reputable websites have been publishing content for years. Search engines prefer these websites due to various factors, including reputability, credibility, rich content, and a less known factor called backlinks.

When other reputable websites link back to your pages, Google and other search engines will interpret this as a good sign. Consequently, they will rank your blog posts higher on the search pages.

The collection of factors that control how high you rank on Google is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which you should learn or hire someone with the expertise to promote your content.

Examples of such websites include WebMD, Healthline, and MedicalNewsToday.

Note that websites of formal healthcare organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society of Hematology, are generally on top of the search page due to their reputation.

The best part about blogging is that it doesn’t cause you anything. You just need to afford your website’s hosting and domain name, which cost less than $10 a month.

The rest is up to you and how hard you work on writing and promoting your content.

  • Manage both your business and practitioner listings

Many doctors neglect this step, which makes them lose a substantial number of prospective patients.

You need to claim your Google listings and verify them for your business and practitioner listings. Make sure that both listings are verified to avoid having them modified by strangers and scammers.

Related174 Best Local SEO Citations & Directories List for Doctors

Completing this task will make it easier for potential patients to find and choose you.

Social media marketing strategies for doctors

social media for small medical clinic

If you are not a fan of content writing, you might consider promoting your website and services via social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Due to the massive traffic that these websites get daily, you will be digging into a goldmine, facilitating the process of reaching new patients.

According to Pew Research Center, more than 80% of internet users search for health information on social media, with 50% of them looking for information about a specific doctor.

After creating content on social media, do not forget to ask your readers for reviews. Positive reviews on platforms, such as Facebook, show new readers – prospective patients – that you are a reasonable, reputable, and trustworthy doctor.

You can do this externally by asking patients who visit your clinic to review your practice online (on Google and Facebook). For many doctors, this is an embarrassing step. Therefore, you can ask one of your assistants to do it.

Finally, you need to monitor your Facebook page and reply to negative reviews with reasonable clarifications.

Also Read Top 20 Social Networks For Doctors And Healthcare Professionals

Digital marketing tips for doctors

Using inbound marketing for medical practice proved to be an effective way to get new patients and promote yourself as a trusted medical figure.

Depending on your preferences, you can opt for written content, videos, or podcasts.

Here are some general digital marketing tips for doctors:

Be genuine – after becoming a digital influencer, many doctors fall into the trap of recommending products with questionable effectiveness due to lucrative commissions. When you grow online, you will inevitably receive tempting offers from companies that want you to promote their services or products.

If you believe that the company’s offering will truly help your patients, it is all right to promote their products. However, neglecting to research to confirm whether their offer is genuine or not will harm you in the long run.

A good way to choose which companies to promote is by asking yourself whether you will use the offered products or services.

Avoid scams – this tip falls into the category of the previous one. You need to avoid any potential scams that might hurt your patients and reputations.

Create a community – the online world is like a real community, which means you need to be regularly present to have conversations with your readers about things related to your field.

Takeaway message

Using digital marketing to grow your practice is a legitimate and lucrative way that gives you a head-start compared to other healthcare professionals who are still doing it the old fashion way.

Hopefully, this article helped shed some light on the importance of using marketing to your advantage, but if you still have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Why Communication is important for Good Telehealth Patient Experience

Doctor chatting with patient

Telehealth is becoming an increasingly significant part of healthcare in the United States. Most state Medicaid programs include at least some healthcare coverage. Many private insurers are adding additional coverage for telehealth services.

Furthermore, telemedicine solutions are even more popular thanks to the current COVID-19 pandemic, mainly because some regulations have been loosened to accommodate safer patient screening.

The Significance of Communication in Telehealth

Communication as part of the telehealth patient experience cannot be overestimated. Firstly, the advantages of being able to communicate with patients in different settings are numerous:

  • Reducing patient stress and improves engagement
  • Lowering the patient’s risk of infection
  • Eliminating the need for patients to travel for specialized care
  • Providing quicker and more efficient patient care
  • Decreasing non-urgent patient phone calls
  • Boosting patient reassurance
  • Helping to monitor continuous access to care
  • Allowing doctors to handle larger volumes of patients

Telehealth Communication Best Practices

Communication-with-doctor

Smart health practitioners will adhere to best practices for virtual patient appointments, whether they are conducted by phone or video, though the latter is more common. Best practices include:

  • Maintain privacy: Whatever space you are using for a telehealth consultation, you should maintain the same privacy level as you would in person. This includes ensuring that the patient has signed any necessary consent forms, that the room you use is private, and that your internet connection is secure. 
  •  Dress professionally: Dress as you would for a regular in-person appointment. This will make your patients feel comfortable and at ease.
  • Explain how telemedicine works: Before you have your first telehealth consultation, it’s essential to explain how telemedicine visits work. That way, your patients will know what to expect. You should also explain confidentiality, sharing patient information with other healthcare professionals, and prescribing policies. 
  • Outline expectations: Let your patients know what to expect from each specific telehealth appointment. This should include how long the virtual consultation will last, what it will cover, and scheduling a follow-up if necessary. 
  • Avoid using jargon: Speak clearly and concisely and avoid using language that your patients may not understand. Could you encourage them to ask questions? Listen carefully to their concerns. 
  • Be aware of telehealth etiquette: Set up your webcam at eye-level, so it’s just as if you were sitting in the same room as the patient. Always be punctual. During your virtual consultation, let your patient know if, at any time, you need to look away from the screen. 
  • Select one platform: Do your research and get to know the available technology. Make sure it’s a reliable software solution that suits your practice. Once you’ve picked one, stick with it.

Also Read – Effectiveness of Video Communication for Telehealth

Communication is vital in telemedicine, and not just during the virtual visit but also after. It’s imperative to plan effective communications to serve your patients now and in the future. When implemented well, best practices can increase patient engagement and retention and maximize your revenue. To know more about medical software, Start the conversation by giving us a call

Accessing Patient Data Made Easy with EHR Interoperability

Patient data with Interoperability

EHR (Electronic Health Record) interoperability allows the sharing of electronic patient data between multiple data systems and healthcare providers.

Importance of EHR Interoperability in Healthcare.

EHR Interoperability has multiple user-friendly applications that justify the importance of EHR Interoperability. EHR Interoperability provides easy, accurate, and reliable data sharing. In the modern healthcare system, organizations have to share patient data frequently, and for this purpose, they use multiple programs that make data sharing cumbersome. Interoperability allows easy, accurate, and reliable sharing of patient data so that data is easily interpretable.

EHR Interoperability increases the medical staff’s productivity and, in this way, decreases the overall operating cost of a healthcare organization. System Interoperability can increase the productivity of healthcare professionals by reducing the time they spend communicating with each other using outdated software and replacing paper documentation with digital storage of data that is easier to enter, store, and retrieve. 

Related – The role of interoperability in COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The importance of public healthcare data is undeniable in the prediction of long-term health outcomes. EHR Interoperability allows easy, fast, and accurate collection, storage, and interpretation of data from all the healthcare organizations of a country, allowing responsible authorities to retrieve data and use it for policymaking. EHR Interoperability is the most efficient technology for the collection of public health data. Due to automated data entry, it decreases the chances of error. Interoperability provides a better data flow as it enters and stores data automatically without the requirement of manual input. This data entry method is time-efficient, error-free, and easy to use.

EHR Interoperability improves the privacy of the patient as it stores digital data. Paper documents must be discarded with care, and any negligence in their disposal could leak sensitive information about a patient. In digital data, access is restricted, and data can be deleted in an error-free manner.

EHR Interoperability enhances patient satisfaction, as it provides access to patient data in a shorter time and in an efficient manner allowing healthcare professionals to analyze data more efficiently. It helps in providing specific services to the patient. In this way, interoperability enhances patient satisfaction.

Related Article: How to Replace your EHR

EHR Interoperability Challenges.

EHR Interoperability challenges involve technical and cultural difficulties, financial challenges, administrative challenges, and IT usability. Some technical challenges to EHR Interoperability are lack of standard development of the system, improper data storage, and lack of data matching between different healthcare providers. The cultural obstacles to interoperability involve facing legal hampering of patient data flow and lack of data sharing by some organizations for competitive benefits. The financial challenges that are hampering wide adaptability of the interoperability involve the cost of developing an IT system, maintaining it, and continuously upgrading it to meet the latest health IT requirements.

Administrative challenges for interoperability include requirements to acquire proper paperwork and frequent reporting for quality measures. These requirements add a high cost to the IT system of interoperability. The most hampering factor for physicians in the use of Interoperability is IT usability. Lack of interaction between interface developers and end-users of the system makes it difficult to design an easily understandable interface and compatible with day-to-day use.

Also Read: The Path to Interoperability

EHR Interoperability Solutions.

EHR Interoperability solutions for challenges involve Legislation changes, Changes in governmental administrative, reporting requirements, and development of an efficient interface. Legislations changes are required to allow free and seamless data flow. All the healthcare organizations should be bound to acquire, maintain, and provide data of each administered patient in a standard manner. Changes in governmental administrative and reporting requirements are necessary to decrease the cost of interoperability for hospitals. The interaction between developers and end-users can achieve the development of an efficient interface. This kind of interaction is not very much difficult as multiple EHR compatible device providers can work with physicians to develop such an interface in a short time.  

How to Improve Interoperability in Healthcare?

Some steps that will help to improve interoperability in the healthcare system involve. The involvement of representatives of patients and their families in the decision-making committees is required to eliminate confidential issues in unrestricted patient data sharing. All healthcare organizations should sit together to build a single platform for data sharing instead of using multiple platforms and add-ons.

All healthcare providers should use a standardized application programming interface (API), which allows different systems to interact and make it easy to provide interoperability. EHR providers and physicians can work together to develop an EMR system that will improve usability and interoperability. The government should provide incentives to hospitals for providing free access to data and penalties for hampering free access. Lack of trust among healthcare stockholders is a significant problem, and life science companies’ involvement can solve this problem. 

Why Telehealth is Here to Stay?

Female doctor talking with colleagues through a video call with a laptop in the consultation.

COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized the face of medical practice worldwide. Although telemedicine has been known for years, it has recently changed from a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have” necessity. Telehealth is in the spotlight now, helping medical specialists connect to their patients, provide online consultation, reach an expert diagnosis, and triage patients’ illnesses. Although telemedicine is having its moment right now, it is not a flash and is here to stay! According to a Global Market Insights’ report, the value of the telemedicine market will reach $175.5 by 2026. These statistics indicate the future prospects of telehealth.

The shift of telehealth from a “luxury” to a “staple” healthcare essential owes to many reasons as follows:

Patient Demand:

It has become clear that patients often choose virtual visits with their doctors when offered the opportunity. It’s easy and offers easier connections to their care provider. In fact, according to a report by The American Journal of Managed Care, telemedicine has increasingly become a popular option for patients relative to conventional office visits. When physicians search for ways to optimize and improve patient care, telemedicine will be important.

Convenience and Flexibility:

There is no doubt that telemedicine is very useful for physicians and patients alike.  It allows doctors the ability to handle their patient schedule more effectively and needs a shorter time period commitment from patients as they will attend the appointment from home. Telemedicine saves time with patients traveling to and from the Doctor’s office. And it allows doctors to spend more time diagnosing and treating patients.

Technology Continues to Improve:

The pace of development in healthcare is accelerating, and the pandemic is only accelerating this trend. As digital health companies continue to make efforts to improve their tools and offerings, we can expect further advances in virtual care products. With revolutionary features and improved capabilities that integrate patient reviews, these tools will increasingly be a realistic choice for more forms of healthcare appointments even after the pandemic subsides.

Reimbursement and Regulation:

Although the telemedicine payment mechanism is somewhat unclear for certain providers, it is likely that insurance agencies will be required to respond to the increasing need for such appointments and to refund them accordingly. Healthcare providers are expected to continue to develop permanent telemedicine services for patients living in remote areas or who actually want to access virtual care.

Health Equity:

Access to healthcare is not uniformly spread across the United States In remote and underserved areas, the closest clinic facility may be hours away. Previous to the pandemic, telemedicine technologies allowed patients to have access to high-speed Internet access. Unfortunately, there are still significant disparities in broadband Internet access based on age, income, education and race.

Myths and Facts To Know About EHR Software

ehr-myths-and-facts

Despite the rising power of EHR, they are still misunderstood by many practitioners

Over the years, the growth of EHR software has undoubtedly made it a popular choice for replacing time-consuming and tedious paper-based record-keeping procedures at hospitals and private practices. Many recent studies and surveys reflect how an EHR system streamlined workflows and made it more comfortable, error-free, and efficient. However, some common EHR myths exist and restrict medical professionals from making a switch to modern technology.

Let’s bust these common myths and explore some EMR facts to determine how an efficient EHR system would help your practice.

Myth: Implementing EHR is expensive

Fact: Implementation costs are often the biggest hindrance in switching to modern technology, and many medical professionals and practices believe EHR is expensive too. However, many certified systems exist today that are quite affordable, and EHRs are quickly becoming more of an industry standard. The growing competition among the EHR software vendors is also why prices are coming down, and even the solo and private medical practitioners can afford EHR now.

Myth: EHR Software makes patient/employee communications mechanical and unfriendly

Fact: There’s nothing like healthcare professionals feeding data into an EHR system that feels too mechanical and can deteriorate their relationship with the patients. Talking to the patients and explaining that the new system would help them keep accurate medical information more securely. It’s worth conveying to the patients that with EMR, there won’t be any flipping test results, missing charges, or similar mistakes in the future. Once the patients understand the importance of the new system, they’d be more than happy to take time and provide information that would keep their medical record up-to-date.

Related Article: How To Replace Your EHR Software

Myth: Spending time on the computer can lead to low face-to-face physician/patient interactions

Fact: Well, that’s not the case. When physicians and medical professionals can have instant access to medical records, they can spare more time for direct, face-to-face interactions. They can listen to the patient more without having to divert attention by sorting through the paperwork.

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Myth: EHRs are more of a security risk

Fact: An EHR system can make the patient records more secure by keeping everything in a cloud. The HIPAA laws cover the electronically protected health information (ePHI) of the patients. Besides, the cloud-based servers put in careful, tactical efforts (like data encryption, risk analyses, etc.) to ensure that they keep the patient’s ePHI private and secure.

Myth: It’s hard to learn and use an EHR System

Fact: The first EHR’s systems used to be quite technical and challenging to navigate for an average user. However, the growth of EHR software has changed the entire landscape. Today, EHR systems are designed for various industries like chiropractic care, mental health, and eye care rather than just the hospital settings. With the evolving technology, the EHR systems are continuously becoming more user-friendly. They have become more intuitive and easy-to-navigate.

With these EHR myths busted, you should carefully consider investing in an EHR system. This investment can potentially lead to high ROI, along with some added benefits such as better patient engagement.

How To Replace Your EHR Software

replacing new ehr

Replacing Your EHR Is Easier Than You Think

In an ideal world, your EHR system would allow you to quickly and efficiently share, search and add to patient records. But this is not the experience of many private practices. Instead, EMR software is clunky, loads slowly, and has an unpleasant interface that makes it difficult to use. 

Many primary care providers and medical specialists assume that this is just the way that it has to be. These systems, they come to believe, are inherently inefficient and difficult-to-use. 

The truth, however, is that there is no fundamental reason why medical records systems software has to be different from any other type of software. It can be fast, reliable, and efficient. And, importantly, it can be specialty-specific, boosting your workflow. 

Switching software is the best way to improve your experience. And it is easier than you think. 

How To Switch EMR Software

Switching to a new EMR system for private or small practice is nothing like as tricky as you might think. Most providers offer tools that make setup easy and ensure that you remain compliant with existing data protection laws. 

Find Software Providers Who Offer A Comprehensive Service

Selling EHR software loaded with features is necessary for upgrading your systems, but it by no means sufficient. Vendors not only need to provide you with solutions that meet your particular needs, but also assistance with implementation – the trickiest part of the process. 

Finding a comprehensive provider is, therefore, a top priority. You want to find a brand that offers the solutions you need and supports you as you install and operate it on your devices. 

Learn Everything You Can About Data Migration

Medical ehr data migration

The most challenging part of any switching to any new electronic medical record system is transferring all your old data to the new environment. Educating yourself about this process, therefore, can help significantly. The more organized and seamless your existing records, the simpler it will be to move them from the old system to the new, without losing any vital information. 

Quality vendors provide expert oversight for the entire process, ensuring that you accommodate any recording idiosyncrasies of prior systems. These professionals secure the transition to the new environment, making sure that your data maintains its integrity every step of the way. At the end of the endeavour, both specialists and non-specialists will be able to access the data they need intuitively.

Look For EHR Vendors Who Offer Guaranteed Support

Installing specialty specific EHR software and migrating your existing data is important. But as experienced practitioners know, patient record-keeping systems require ongoing maintenance and support. They don’t look after themselves. Clinicians, therefore, need to choose EHR providers who offer ongoing support and updates over-the-air. 

EHR Vendors quick support

Any solutions installed must avoid creating additional overheads or IT problems that take up their time. 

Reliability is a key issue here too. You need to ask the provider about how much uptime they can provide. And you need to discuss with them how fast they can resolve technical issues, should you experience crashes, data loss or other problems with your system. The more guarantees they can offer you (such as minimum downtime), the better the service, and the more likely you will be able to meet the needs of your patients. 

Create A Staff Training Schedule

While EHR providers do a lot to make the transition as seamless as possible, staff will inevitably require some training. As with any new system, it takes time to understand both the interface and the necessary steps to remain compliant. Practices, therefore, need to make advanced plans for training, ensuring that they have a schedule in place that they can deploy the moment the software arrives.

Remember, members of your organization will use the software differently. Physicians, for instance, will primarily use it for calling up patient records and creating new entries. Reception staff, however, may just need to be able to send patient records to various healthcare providers. Offering separate training sessions, therefore, might help. 

EHR training

Schedule Your Transition Wisely

Medical practices are busy operations, continually dealing with patients, often seven days per week. Finding time, therefore, to schedule your EHR transition can be tricky. The best time is off-peak when things are quiet – perhaps later in the evening or early in the morning at the weekend. 

Once you’ve fixed a date for the transition, book fewer appointments (or none at all if you can manage it), to give you space to get up to speed with the new system. 

Speciality EMR software and its contribution to proper medical services

medical-professionals

The success of an electronic medical record software stands in its compatibility with the practice. It must coordinate with the workflow and contain particular content for the specialty. In this way, the system will be easy to learn and it won’t make unnecessary actions. 

With specialty EHR software, practices save both time and money, as they reduce and also improve the administrative actions, which, according to the studies, represent nearly 25% of all hospital spendings in the US. 

The benefits of using medical software systems are more precisely described further in the article. 

Combining Specialty EHR & Specialists: 

EMR systems can be specialized in a singular domain, like Cardiology. Within cardiology, doctors can be divided into multiple categories, depending on what they are practising most often and the software needs to focus on the specific needs of each of them. If we consider for example a practice specialized in gynaecology, we must take into account that the practice needs to be effective in organising bills for smears, but not for prostate exams. Therefore, specialty-specific templates should determine due dates, have ultrasound analysis abilities, and track contraception records. This means that specialty-specific EHR software must accommodate every aspect of the practice, for it to achieve the highest standards of healthcare. 

Smooth workflows and procedures 

Healthcare environments are usually dynamic and EMR systems can make the processes a lot smoother and easier to adapt to. Specialty-Specific EHR software offers a standardized system for keeping top performance and reduces failures and redundancies, which is a great hand of help for the personnel. The staff can focus more on the patient, which will decrease the waiting time. 

Improved organisation 

Due to processes automatization (scheduling, billing due dates and patient tracking), practices can concentrate more on the services they are providing, rather than on the administrative issues. 

Better billing procedures 

The software comes with medical billing characteristics that help billers work diligently with the patients’ financial history and fill in gaps to lessen errors. This improves employee’s work and also hurries the entire process up, reducing rejected claims that often lead to costly suspensions. 

Flawless documentation 

Hand-written notes are a problem in many ways, including difficulties in reading and time spent during the process. EHR efficiently reduces errors and eases document reading and completing. 

Quality care is the primary focus 

While the software does almost every administrative task, the staff can be more careful with the patients, forgetting about the burdensome paperwork they needed to complete. 

Simpler and more effective scheduling 

Scheduling and calendar tools will allow the team to make appointments and calendar arrangements without much trouble and some of the systems will even include warnings that will notify when a balance is due or when the medical staff needs to address urgent patient concerns. 

Higher accuracy 

Contact information, as well as any other necessary data, is easily updated and features like copy functions, dictating and transcribing or reminders help the clinic or hospital achieve higher accuracy. 

Versatile technology 

EHR software is able to manage a lot of challenges and functions. The technology is scalable because its storage and processing capacities are unlimited, unlike traditional storage rooms. 

When we think about specialty software, EMR for small practice is just as efficient as EMR for private practice, as it adapts to each company’s requirements. 

Patient and providers are more satisfied 

Specialty-specific software is fulfilling for both the patient and the provider. As previously demonstrated, the software makes the administrative work more efficient, which will further benefit the actual work of the medical team. For patients, it is a huge benefit that the doctors can access their records anytime and so easily, as they will be able to offer proper urgent medication. 

Hence, every specialty has unique requirements for each aspect: medical billing, practice management and other administrative issues. Healthcare providers are in search of customizable systems that will help them achieve their goals and that won’t tangle them with useless services and technologies. The Specialty EHR Software offers personalized services for any particular specialty and contributes to a better patient-provider relationship.