As discussion over the government's HITECH Act, EHRs, and documentation standards peaks, a new opportunity is reaching out to chiropractors, that
offers us a chance to streamline our care and unite our efforts while easing the cost of providing care. With strong encouragement towards an electronic network of communication, we can look towards a future of health care built upon shared knowledge and a collected community of combined information, helping to advance the treatment capabilities of all practitioners everywhere.
It's important to realize that there is more to adopting an EHR system than simply the $44,000 incentive. Adopting an EHR system can save you much more green in the long run, making the stimulus rebate a drop in the bucket when it comes to the benefits of converting to a paperless practice.
Among the many benefits of an EHR system, the hardest hitting reasons for a transition include automation, overhead costs and scalability, access, and communication.
1. Automation - Automating services can help you regain lost revenue from missed appointments and data loss, and can take over the tasks of paid staff members to help you pad your profit. Electronic systems can automatically request information from your patients online, send out appointment reminders, and secure your data without you having to even think about it; much less put in the time and effort it takes to manually call patients and back up precious patient data.
2.Overhead Costs and Scalability - Scalability is key in a growing practice, and space is always a hot commodity. Imagine doing away with all your patient files, all of the physical searching, all of the printing, and being able to add a new patient to your practice electronically within just a few minutes. EHR systems not only save space, they save you the cost of office supplies. Scaling up electronic resources takes up much less time and effort than their paper counterparts.
3. Access - As our world transitions from physical to virtual media, so do our health records. Paperless files can be transferred and viewed from any location that has an internet connection. They can also be transferred from location to location on small USB devices without the need to risk hauling around paper files and x-ray slides.
4. Communication - Imagine receiving a patient's files while still on the phone with the referring doctor and no longer having to print and fax forms, or send confidential information out the door with the patient for them to transfer to other providers. The speed of access that an EHR system can lend a practitioner within the office itself frees up time that can be better spent seeing additional patients.
Compliant documentation and audit-proofing are also major concerns that can be mitigated easily with the implementation of a software system that helps you speed up your note-taking while improving your thoroughness and consistency at the same time. Chart note macros, alerts, and customizable system presets can help you forget about the tedious details and focus on the bigger picture: your patients' wellness.
So think beyond the chunk of change being offered and focus on what the HITECH Act is encouraging you to adopt in your practice. An EHR system will help you automate daily tasks, lower your overhead, effortlessly add patients to your practice, access the information you need in an instant, and communicate with health practitioners far and wide.
Dr. Michael Failla is the CEO and Co-owner of Integrated Practice Solutions, the makers of ChiroTouch. Dr. Failla graduated from Life University College of Chiropractic in Atlanta, GA, and went on to run a highly successful chiropractic office in Seattle, WA, for 25 years. He sold his practice in 2007 and continues to promote health and wellness by helping chiropractors run streamlined and successful practices with more time for their patients and less time with their paperwork. Go to www.chirotouch.com for more information.