We’re making a list and checking it twice to find out if your electronic health records (EHR) system is naughty or nice. With so many options out there, selecting the right EHR system that is specific to your specialty and is ready for value-based care can be crucial to your success.
We put together a list of the top ten characteristics your EHR system should have to be on the nice list this holiday season. Thinking about making the switch from paper charts or another EHR system? Want to make a resolution for 2017? Learn what key EHR attributes you should be looking for.
1. A Specialty-specific System. When it comes to your EHR system, one size does not fit all. The workflows of a dermatology practice versus an ophthalmology practice or an orthopedic practice are all unique, and that’s the way your EHR system should be – flexible and specific to your specialty. At Modernizing Medicine®, we know that specialty physicians understand their own needs better than software engineers ever could, which is why we let them help build our products themselves. Taking a unique approach in the industry, we taught our team of practicing physicians to code so they could build their specialty workflows and medical knowledge into our cutting-edge software. One of the biggest advantages of this approach is that it eliminates the need for users to create templates — since all the information is preloaded, the system is ready to go from the first day.
Dermatologist, Gary Slaughter, MD, of Charlotte Dermatology shared: “The fact that I’m proud to be a dermatologist is one of the reasons why I wanted a dermatology-specific EHR system. I naturally gravitated toward EMA because it fits my practice style and has the ideology that I do. The system anticipates my next move yet gives me the ability to customize my documentation. My nurses didn’t think I could keep up with my patient volume but because EMA is so intuitive and learns my preferences, it’s been an effective tool for making me more efficient.”
2. Time Savings. Your EHR system should help improve your efficiency, not hinder it. If it does hinder you, it’s time to think about implementing a system that’s designed by physicians for physicians. With an EHR system that was built for your specialty’s workflow, you can get exactly what you need when you need it, while enjoying the flexibility to work the way you want.
Dermatologist, Tina Venetos, MD of Northshore Dermatology Center shared: “Since implementing EMA, when my office hours are over, my workday is done. I no longer have to take charts home with me and I’m saving 2-4 hours per day in addition to transcription costs.”
For instance, the preloaded medical knowledge and structured data in EMA allows physicians to enter information simply by tapping the iPad screen — no need for typing. Throughout the exam process, EMA minimizes the number of steps necessary by suggesting your preferred diagnoses and treatments, generating notes and superbills automatically and eliminating the need to enter data twice. This means that you can complete your documentation before the patient leaves the room instead of having to stay late to finish notes.
Orthopedic surgeon Daniel T. Stein, MD, of Coastline Orthopedic Associates, shared: “Before EMA, I would enter a room to see a patient, handwrite my notes and populate them into my homemade template later. Now as I see a patient, I’m able to document my notes in real time, so when I leave the exam room, my notes are complete and I’m ready for the next patient. Productivity has definitely increased in the sense that I can get out of the office sooner because I’m more efficient throughout my day.”
To help add even more time back into your day, Modernizing Medicine provides an Apple Watch app to augment EMA and our Practice Management system. During busy days, it can make your life easier by giving you instant access to key information, such as your schedule for the day, with just a glance at your watch. You can leave your iPad in the exam room and your phone in your pocket without losing track of where you need to be and when.
3. Automated Coding.
As a physician, you focus on the health of your patients, but what about the financial health of your practice?
To help make sure you get paid what you deserve, EMA uses patented technology to find the ICD-10, CPT and modifier codes automatically and generate a bill. Our clients frequently find that this helps improve their billing accuracy and increase their collections.
Orthopedic surgeon Spencer Schuenman, MD, of Granite Orthopaedics, explains: “Not only is EMA an efficient system, but also it has helped us be more comprehensive with our billing and substantiating E&M codes. Because EMA is so intuitive, I rely on the coding it automatically generates to make sure I capture all of the charges necessary, and I have the thorough documentation to back it up.”
4. Cloud-based Technology. It’s almost 2017, and if your system is based on an onsite server, it’s time to make the resolution to migrate to a cloud-based platform. When your EHR data is protected by robust security practices and stored in the cloud, it enables you to stay connected with patients even if you’re home or attending a conference. For instance, the EMA smartphone app allows you to access records and send in prescriptions fast while on patient calls. Having a cloud-based system also means you get to skip the time and expense of server setup and maintenance. To start using EMA, you can just log in from virtually any iPad or computer.
Jason Ross, MD, an ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Associates, stated, “Because [EMA] is cloud-based, there is no major requirement for IT networks within the practice which becomes often times an administrative and financial sink as servers go down or we need more capability.”
5. Adaptive Learning. Every physician works differently, so your EHR system should too. Recognizing each individual provider by their unique username, EMA uses an adaptive learning engine to remember your most frequent diagnoses, treatment preferences and unique style of practice. The plans that you utilize most frequently move to the top of the list, so there’s no need for additional clicking, searching or building preferences for each diagnosis. Plus, using a predictive algorithm, EMA even anticipates your next move. Having a system that helps you string together a list of diagnoses and interventions across multiple practice locations can save valuable time.
6. A Suite of Solutions. Finding a single trusted vendor that can provide a one-stop shop for all your practice’s needs is a wonderful thing. For one, using an all-in-one solution can make it easy to ensure that all aspects of your practice work together seamlessly. With systems made by different vendors, you have to set up bridges and sign into each system separately, whereas you may only have to sign in once with a single-vendor solution. Plus, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your vendor has expertise in your specialty and is focused on developing all products and services to create synergy that helps optimize your practice.
Below is an outline of the products and solutions that we offer at Modernizing Medicine within our specialty-specific suites of solutions.
- EMA: As noted previously, EMA is Modernizing Medicine’s specialty-specific EHR system that helps improve efficiency, income and outcomes for both small and large practices. Built with ICD-10 and value-based care in mind, our innovative cloud-based technology helps give you an edge in today’s challenging healthcare environment.
- Practice Management: Our game-changing system provides a simpler, more flexible approach to scheduling, document management, billing and reporting. Since it’s part of an all-in-one solution, clinical and financial information can flow seamlessly through your practice, giving staff quick, easy access to everything they need to complete tasks efficiently, collect balances promptly and improve patient experiences.
- Revenue Cycle Management: If you’re looking to improve your revenue cycle, lower claim denials, grow your practice and more, our specialty-specific Revenue Cycle Management services are an ideal solution. Going beyond what other vendors offer, we support you with our dedicated team, proven processes and innovative technology, helping you understand your revenue drivers and work to improve them.
- Pathology: Our Pathology module for EMA allows dermatology practices to streamline their pathology lab processes from beginning to end, while reducing the chance of data entry errors and eliminating time-consuming work. As a practice, you’ll be able to save time and free up resources, so you can do more with your time while improving patient experiences.
- modmed Telehealth™: Available only for dermatology practices at this time, our innovative telemedicine platform allows you to diagnose and treat patients remotely, so you can add a new revenue stream without adding to your office caseload. This can aid in boosting patient engagement and provide a convenient way for patients to seek your care while saving a time-consuming trip to the office.
- MIPS Readiness. With the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) just around the corner, you want to work with a vendor that is ready to set you up you for success and has the experienced team necessary to support you. Our EMA Cares program provides technology and specialist guidance to help you earn more money (think MIPS bonuses and avoiding penalties), save time by automating quality reporting and more easily navigate the complicated regulations while gaining peace of mind. Clients have shared the value they have experienced from our guidance services by saying:
“I appreciate the webinars, emails and one-on-one assistance all along the way. They are a valuable team.”
“Jayne has been an amazing resource. Doctors are busy and should be focused on patient care so having her monthly reports to let us know how we are doing and what to focus on is extremely helpful.”
Additionally, Modernizing Medicine’s solutions feature an easy-to-read scorecard showing how you’re performing in MIPS, and our Specialized Registries provide an effortless way to receive MIPS bonus points to help increase your income.
Definitely don’t forget the modmed Pledge™ which you can find out more about here.
8. Structured Data. While most EHR systems collect free text, EMA collects what’s called structured data as you tap the screen. This allows the data you enter to be understood and leveraged to benefit your practice. For instance, it makes it possible for you to easily visualize each patient’s outcomes over time and learn from a nationwide community of your colleagues to discover top treatments for specific diseases.
Plus, it allows EMA to power Analytics, our powerful population health platform that unlocks actionable insights from your data. Analytics shows you in real time how you compare to your peers, which can help increase your Medicare income when providers start being paid on a curve under MIPS. While other analytics platforms may show you a few basic metrics, our structured data approach allows you to access customizable, in-depth reports. By combining clinical and financial data, Analytics can facilitate population health, show your direct and indirect cost footprint and reveal opportunities for improvement.
9. Patient Engagement Tools. In today’s healthcare environment, getting patients involved with their healthcare earlier in the process is paramount for improving outcomes and meeting government regulations.
That’s why we designed modmed Telehealth and our Patient Portal to enable your patients to access information, receive treatment remotely and play a larger role in their own care. Under MIPS, your use of tools like these to keep patients connected may be vital for helping you avoid penalties and receive a bonus payment.
Meanwhile, in the exam room, an EHR system that forces you to turn your back to type at a computer may make patients feel alienated, while a mobile system can help you engage patients in more meaningful interactions. Since EMA was built for an iPad, it allows you to face your patients and engage them by showing them interactive diagrams, drawings, photos, outcome timelines and more on your screen.
Plastic surgeon Sonya Merriman, MD, of Plastic Surgery Associates of Valdosta, enjoys enhanced patient engagement with EMA. She shared, “The portability of the iPad allows me to better interact with my patients. The patients enjoy the photo gallery functionality, and the ease of note creation not only keeps me efficient but also enables me to focus more on them.”
10. A Team of Experts. An EHR system isn’t just about the software — it’s about the people who support it. To help ensure your success, you want to be able to rely on a team of skilled professionals that have a background in your medical specialty. Through implementation and beyond, our dedicated client services team has the knowledge necessary to help you transition smoothly, navigate compliance effortlessly and overcome any potential challenges down the road.
Ophthalmologist Alan Malouf, MD, of Malouf Eye Center stated: “When you use a remarkable, well-thought-out product like EMA, you aren’t going to experience many issues. If we do need support, the Modernizing Medicine team is always responsive. I would recommend EMA to anyone who is considering an EHR system for their ophthalmology practice; it was the best decision we ever made.”
How did your EHR system (or lack thereof) fare? If you’re looking to make a change this holiday season or as you start the new year, we look forward to helping you make the right one.
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