Many physicians complain about having to enter so much data once they switch to electronic health records (EHR). It’s true, EHRs usually require much more data entry than paper charts. This is doubly true for meaningful use certified EHR systems. Meaningful use ups the ante, requiring more data entry at all points of care. How can busy physicians manage to keep up?
Delegation, of course, is the winning strategy. Physicians are responsible for the medical care of their patients, not entering data. Here are a few ways to delegate the data entry burden:
First, utilize your nurses and medical assistants. Ambulatory physicians seem to do this well, for the most part. However, we have worked with a few providers who micromanage the encounter. They want to chart all of the patients’ data themselves in minute and exacting detail. If you’re one of these physicians, it’s crucial that you open up and allow your medical assistants to share the load. The physician is the bottleneck of a practice, they limit revenue by the number of encounters they can complete in a day. Proper delegation will help your practice move fast.
Second, consider implementing Phreesia or another waiting room-based tablet or kiosk. Kiosks are tremendously helpful. They speed up the process of checking in and processing co-pays. In addition, most kiosks allow you to create custom forms, giving you the ability to collect data on chief complaint, history of present illness, medical, social, and family history, or just about anything else. The more data collection you can delegate to your patient, the more time you will save.
Third, look into patient portals and mobile applications. Patient portals offer online accounts for your patients to access their health information, which is uploaded by your EHR. In addition to health information such as labs, medications, and allergies, patients can also schedule appointments, message the doctor, fill out forms, and even pay their co-pay. Mobile applications offer a convenient way to collect health information during the day, such as symptoms or pain scores.
If your practice is looking for ways to increase your throughput, speed up your encounters, reduce costs, or increase revenues, delegating your data entry is the first step. Whether you need strategies on how to more efficiently utilize your office staff, or if you’re interested in custom integration to a kiosk or patient portal, let us help you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.