10 Ways an ENT EMR Can Help Improve Your Practice
Discover how an otolaryngology EHR can streamline several facets of your practice.
Of the multiple ways an intuitive, specialty-specific electronic health record (EHR) system can help your otolaryngology practice, some might seem obvious (e.g., greater efficiency) but others, perhaps, not so much.
Here is a list of the top ten features to consider – and hopefully check off your wishlist – when you are ready to search for the best ENT EMR for your practice.
#10. Improved efficiency. Many EMR vendors promise efficiency, but what does that really mean? Look for the following key features, which can help you automate common time-consuming tasks for you and your staff:
- Designed by ENTs, for ENTs – who else best knows the ins and outs of your everyday practice needs?
- Built-in otolaryngology ICD-10 code suggestions – for more efficient billing
- Helps automate notes and billing – spend less time catching up after hours
- Works on mobile devices – interact with your patients, not your computer
- Cloud-based, so you can access patient data virtually anywhere
#9. Care-focused. Chances are you’re all too familiar with scrolling through screen after screen on a desktop computer, entering patient encounter data, or even flipping through a paper file to find previous notes.
Your ideal ENT EMR vendor should include an intuitive interface that can be accessed via iPad, smartphone or even on a smart watch. You gain freedom to move unhindered around your practice, and your patients gain a positive office and exam room experience, including a physician who can spend more quality time with them, explaining important details of their diagnosis and treatment plan face-to-face.
#8. Patient education. As an otolaryngologist, you have a clear understanding of the complex anatomy of the ears, nose and throat. But your patients may have more difficulty visualizing what’s causing their swimmer’s ear, tinnitus or TMJ pain. No matter how carefully they pay attention to your explanation, they may not fully understand the diagnosis and treatment.
Great ENT EMRs display interactive, easy-to-understand diagrams of ear, nose and throat anatomy, and let you draw on the images to highlight specific areas or depict disease processes, procedures and other visualizations. Research supports the benefits of visual learning compared to verbal instruction alone.
#7. Adaptive learning. You may have 12,887 otolaryngology colleagues nationwide, but the way you treat your patients is unique.
The best ENT software adapts your style of practice, “remembering” your preferences and presenting information tailored to how you typically consult with your patients.
As an example, a system that works with you – not against you – will suggest the procedures, treatments and medications for diagnoses you give the most, and, when a treatment plan is selected, auto-populate the details in your patient notes. This can save you minutes – which can add up to hours – manually entering the same details for multiple patient encounters.
#6. Allergy knowledge base. This is a feature that may not seem immediately apparent, but can save ENTs and in-house allergists time narrowing down a differential diagnosis.
Look for an ENT EMR system that incorporates comprehensive data on a wide range of potential allergens. Certain allergies are common, while other presentations can be more challenging to nail down. Having information on-hand regarding inhalant, food and skin allergies can help streamline your patient consultations.
The right ENT EHR software can go beyond patient education, making it easier for you to quickly document testing, serum mixing and injections for your patients with allergies.
#5. MIPS and MACRA. Meeting Merit Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and other regulatory requirements is essential for making sure you get the credit you’re due.
An ENT EMR that helps automate data collection can save your office team valuable time and effort, eliminating the pressure to scramble right before the deadline to submit performance data, avoiding penalties and helping you to receive your full incentive.
Also choose a system that compares your performance with your ENT peers at a glance. Benchmarking your financial progress can help you make adjustments as you go. Keep an eye on how your practice is doing at any point throughout the year – instead of waiting for an annual or quarterly report.
#4. Cloud-based technology. The aforementioned ability to access your ENT EMR from an iPad can give you more flexibility within the walls of your practice. But what about those times when you’re traveling or working from home?
The most advanced ENT EHR software systems can make it easier when you need to consult patient records on the go. They offer functionality, including the ability to view patient charts and notes, review messages and send prescriptions, from virtually anywhere at any time.
In addition to improving record access, speed and performance, a cloud-based EHR can help reduce upfront costs and time-consuming server maintenance.
#3. Easy billing. Some ENT EMR systems can make it easy to collect the money you’re due.
Submitting billing data should be done as soon after the patient encounter as possible. With an EHR that suggests billing codes automatically during your consultation, you can more easily apply the appropriate codes as you discuss clinical observations and treatment options with your patient. By the end of the visit, the codes can be ready for submission.
Getting automated assistance with billing codes takes some of the heavy lifting off of your billing staff, while helping your practice’s bottom line.
#2. Stellar support. Some ENT EMR vendors might promise the world while you’re considering their system. But once you sign the contract, all of a sudden, they become hard to get a hold of. When your workflow comes to a sudden stop because of a technical issue, the old adage is proven right – time is money.
Consider choosing a system with a proven track record of excellent customer support. The onboarding phase can be like a honeymoon period when everyone’s happy. But what happens when you’re married to ENT EHR software that constantly disappoints?
Make sure you select a provider that offers dedicated customer support long after implementation and onboarding are over. Ask potential vendors what percentage of their existing customers are satisfied or very satisfied with the support services. A reputable ENT software vendor should be willing to share this information and/or provide references of existing ENT practices using their software.
#1. Boosts satisfaction. The right EHR system – one that streamlines your workflow, allows you and your staff better quality interaction with patients and automates billing and other data entry tasks – can improve the experience for you and everyone else in your ENT practice.
An ENT practice that ‘runs like clockwork’ can make all the difference, and lead to better online reviews for you and your practice. Refer to this list of 10 ways the right ENT EHR system can improve your practice the next time you’re considering how to do even better by yourself, your staff and your patients.
See our blog on how the right ENT EHR system can also boost patient engagement.
When you’re vetting potential ENT EHR software vendors, make sure you have Modernizing Medicine’s EMA® award-winning, specialty-specific EHR system on your shortlist. For five years in a row, EMA has ranked #1 in surveys conducted by Black Book™. You can also read what your ENT colleagues who use EMA have to say about the positive change it makes for their practice.