EHR and Health IT Consulting
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EHR and Health IT Consulting
Technical Doctor's insights and information collated from various sources on EHR selection, EHR implementation, EMR relevance for providers and decision makers
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Understanding Electronic Health And Medical Records: EMR VS. EHR

Understanding Electronic Health And Medical Records: EMR VS. EHR | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

Despite the costs and the difficulties surrounding the implementation of EMR and EHR technology, more than eight percent of hospitals and doctors have employed electronic health records and electronic medical technology.


We are going to take a close look at the differences and similarities, as well as how EHR and EMR help improve healthcare delivery services and patient outcomes.




An EMR is essentially a digital version of a patient’s medical report. It is primarily used by medical service providers to aid with treatment and diagnosis. The services provided by EMRs include:

• Immunization dates
• Medical history/chart
• Diagnosis
• Visit record
• List of allergies
• Treatment plan


An effective electronic medical record system manages the charting process by simply obtaining the preferences and medical history of a patient over a period of time.


It helps a doctor make smart medical suggestions about the diagnosis based on the data obtained. Electronic medical records trace patients’ medical information, allowing the doctor quick access to crucial information that may significantly affect the treatment.


EMR also acts as a legal record in case of an office visit.


EMR technology has effectively eliminated the need for paper charts. The use of EMR is restricted to inter-office communication, though it’s shareable among medical practitioners in case the patient visits a different clinic or lab.




If an electronic medical record is just a snapshot of a patient’s medical history, then an electronic health record is the equivalent of a whole movie.

EHR services include:

• Demographic information
• Medication history
• List of allergies
• Blood type
• Immunization dates
• Laboratory results
• Radiology images
• Encounter notes
• Diagnoses
• Physician recommendations
• Past procedures
• Past medical history
• Progress notes

The patient’s medical records are fluid because they are repeatedly updated over time. Both the patients and medical practitioners increasingly enjoy the benefits of EHR.




EHR software systems offer far more advantages than disadvantages.


• Electronic health record software provides clinical reminder alerts. It connects the health care expert’s decision support by analyzing the aggregate data for both the research and care management.


• The Electronic Health Record system focuses on the complete patient’s health. EHR is designed to share crucial patient’s information electronically to other healthcare service providers.


• EHRs software is the heart and the future of medical systems because the information shared and provided can be used to make clinical decisions and help to coordinate the care between all medical service providers in the healthcare ecosystem.


• There is a continuous movement of information from patient to the specialist or even across the entire country since the EHR systems are set in a way that they are accessible by all individuals involved and also the patients themselves.




Patients are big winners when it comes to the benefits of the EHR systems.


Patients’ EHRs is a combined and comprehensive medical data. When a doctor gets access to the patient’s medical cache of information, he or she will be able to conclude on the right choice about treatment-either for short-term illness or long-term chronic disease.


Since a patient can have access to his or her medical records, he or she too can get access the cache information they require hence making a better healthcare decision.


There will be no worry whenever the patient wants to transfer his or her treatment to another service provider as the transferring and accessing of the medical record is done electronically.


In some situations where a fast decision needs to be made, EHR gives the doctor the medical data needed to make the right medical choice as quickly as possible.




For the most positive and effective future in healthcare, EHR will be the primary type of system.


The healthcare industry must adapt to technological advancements to create the best results for patients.

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Collect More Patient Revenue by Improving Communication

Collect More Patient Revenue by Improving Communication | EHR and Health IT Consulting |

With more patients signing up for high-deductible health plans, many medical practices are looking to patients for a growing percentage of their revenue. As a result, experts say, it's more important than ever that patients — and your entire staff — understand the details of patients' coverage and how much they will be required to pay.

"Many patients are now self-insuring for the first $2,000 to $3,000 of their bills and there will be some tension around that change," said Lloyd Van Winkle, a family practitioner in a two-physician practice in Castroville, Texas, and a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. "Patients need to know their financial obligations in advance so they won't be caught off guard or placed in an embarrassing position when they arrive in the office."

Before implementation of the Affordable Care Act, insurance reimbursements accounted for the bulk of a practice's collections while patient copays were almost an afterthought, noted Scott Koenig, president of Lima, Ohio-based KeyBridge Medical Revenue Care. With patients now responsible for a larger portion of the bill through high-deductible plans, practices need to pay more attention to educating staff about coverage and payment issues and training them to communicate effectively with patients.

"In the past, patient satisfaction was based on the clinical experience but now patients are also taking note of what happens during the registration, billing, and collections phases," said Koenig. "Practices need to position themselves accordingly because the collectability of an account goes up drastically when a patient is satisfied with their experience."

Start by formally documenting your office's procedures and policies regarding payments so that everyone on staff can talk knowledgably about patient payment issues, said Van Winkle. A staff member should be available to review the policy with patients on their first visit and to discuss any questions they might have about their coverage and payment options.

Communication is key because patients are more likely to take their financial obligations seriously when they have a strong relationship with their practice, experts say. Consider the following tips:

• Look up and understand patients' coverage before their visit. Whether through a simple phone call or encouraging patient verification of demographic and insurance information via the patient portal, staff should be proactive in knowing what plan they are dealing with prior to the patient walking in the front door.

• Set expectations as early as possible. Let patients know that they will be getting a bill so they are not surprised when it arrives.

• Be prepared to discuss flexible payment plans. Make everyone on your staff aware of the financial arrangements available to patients. If staff members work with patients on payments, they may be more willing to make monthly payments via a debit card or credit card, especially if they understand the options well.

• Deliver clear and consistent messages. "When patients don't trust the information you give them, they don't pay," said Koenig. Make sure all staff can explain the details of a bill and answer questions in a way the patient can understand.

• Take advantage of the "inter-visit" space. Collection discussions aren't limited to in-office visits. Use prescription refill requests, upcoming patient appointment reminders, and other communications to remind patients about an outstanding balance.

• Build relationships. Any kind of communication, whether financial or health related, increases the likelihood of receiving prompt payments.

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