Improve efficiency with a full suite of software that helps connect your entire practice
By John V. Guiliana, DPM, MS
Of course, your choice of electronic health record system matters. I wouldn’t be a passionate team member of ModMed® if I didn’t think so. But no matter which EHR you use, how you use it also profoundly affects your job satisfaction, productivity and, ultimately, patient satisfaction.
More and more quantitative literature is emerging regarding the integration of support staff into the use of EHRs. While using a medical scribe constitutes a full integration, many healthcare providers can benefit from a lesser integration, resulting in a hybrid of how I often witness documentation being performed today.
I frequently see physicians struggling to keep up with their documentation, allowing the EHR to disrupt meaningful face-to-face interactions with their patients and completing chart notes long after hours and on weekends. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Let’s start by considering what a physician’s time is worth. Then consider one of my favorite business maxims: When you need something, you pay for it whether you buy it or not. Lastly, don’t just take my word for the benefits associated with utilizing staff to help document. Take a look at this peer-reviewed study.
Lower physician documentation burden
Having staff directly interact with the EHR can result in a lower physician documentation burden, a more efficient workflow, and improved patient-physician interaction and communication, according to a study conducted by Kaiser Permanente and published in JAMA Internal Medicine: “Association of Medical Scribes in Primary Care With Physician Workflow and Patient Experience.”
For those of you who merely want the “crib notes” of this study, here is a summary of the findings:
- Allowing staff to have direct access to the EHR led to better patient interactions.
- Seven hundred thirty-five patients were interviewed for the study, and 57% claimed their physicians interacted less than usual with the computer during the visit and focused more on them.
- Utilizing the team approach for documentation caused physician job satisfaction to rise, with many citing a significant improvement in their quality of work life.
- Seventy-nine percent of the physicians claimed that the team approach to documentation had enabled them to see more patients effectively.
- During the fourth-quarter test period, physicians reported an average rise in practice revenue of 7.7% year over year due to staff alleviating some documentation burden.
These facts speak for themselves, and we’ll probably see more studies corroborating these findings.
Enhance the patient experience
Our patients are more tech-savvy and pressed for time than ever and embrace the opportunity to engage with technology. Redirecting patient intake and allowing patients to enter data through patient portals or in-office kiosks takes significant work away from our stressed labor forces. Automated patient recall systems and patient surveys are rapidly gaining traction, allowing medical practices to optimize their workflows and enhance the patient experience. I have witnessed these results myself firsthand during consultations.
Making subtle changes in your use of technology can help your efficiency, patient satisfaction and profitability. Can your practice afford to make this change? In reality, can you afford not to? Because when you need something, you pay for it whether you buy it or not!
Explore more expert advice for podiatrists here
About John V. Guiliana, DPM, MS
Dr. Guiliana is a nationally recognized speaker and author on topics pertaining to medical practice management. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management and holds a master’s degree in healthcare management. He has authored numerous columns in various journals and is the coauthor of 31 ½ Essentials to Running Your Medical Practice, as well as The Million Dollar Practice…Keys to Success. Dr. Guiliana is currently medical director of podiatry for the award-winning technology of ModMed. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice. Please consult with your legal counsel and other qualified advisors to ensure compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards.