EMR adoption rates continue to climb, largely as a result of the government’s EMR Meaningful Use program. To qualify for incentives, providers must employ one of the over 600 ONC-certified EMRs. With so many choices, how’s a practice to know which solution best fits the needs of its physicians and staff?
Here are a few considerations. First, evaluate different EMRs in terms managing the Meaningful Use attestation process and minimizing the disruption to physicians and their daily work flow. To demonstrate Meaningful Use, providers must capture extensive clinical data during the EMR charting process. The EMR technology should provide efficient data capture tools and offer behind-the-scenes coding tools. To maximize physician productivity, consider EMR options that include pre-built templates that facilitate the capture of all required Meaningful Use data. Population Health and provider productivity related to outcomes will drive reimbursement contracts with providers. Systems must be in place to capture and quantify this data. Clinical integration is the foundation” for any population health management strategy.
Providers should also look for a solution with a flexible design and the ability to be upgraded to meet future Stage 2 and Stage 3 Meaningful Use requirements. Stages 2 and 3 are expected to expand on many Stage 1 requirements, such as the use of HIT for continuous quality improvement at the point of care and the exchange of information in a highly structured and secure format. Many EMRs already provide clinical protocols and decision support alerts at the point of care. Such tools enhance the care process without disrupting clinician workflow. The selected EMR should also offer continuity of care (CCD), including the full set of information required for the meaningful and secure transfer of a patient’s medical data to anyone requiring it. A patient portal option can further enhance the secure sharing of records between patients and providers.
Finally, providers should evaluate an EMR’s ability to go beyond simply meeting Meaningful Use and consider its ability to enhance care delivery and improve clinical outcomes at a reduced cost. To achieve these advanced goals, an EMR needs to include medical analytics that allow providers to compare their performance against peers. The analytics should be tied to real-time alerts that remind providers of care gaps at the point of care. The EMR also needs to be tied to a patient recall system that pro-actively sends reminders when needed care is due. Care is further enhanced when the product is intuitive and easy to navigate, and physicians have a variety of methods to capture clinical data, including free text, dictation, voice recognition, and codified templates.
If your organization isn’t considering population health while considering their EMR future then your organization will see lower reimbursement rates in the coming years sompared to their peers. Intelligy will guide you through the historical trappings of legacy EMR implementation and keep your eyes looking forward to the future.
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