Perhaps you are one of those physicians who, as in an article published this week pointed out, are just starting to prepare for the ICD-10 transition.
According to a recently-published article, improved documentation with the ICD-10 will likely lead to increased reimbursements, so carefully considering your EMR may actually help you improve payment amounts to your practice.
One of the best ways to improve documentation, and ease this coding transition, is with the use of electronic medical records (EMRs).
Depending upon your perspective, EMRs can either be a great help or a great thorn in your side.
I have had my EMR for more than two years, and although the system is working well, beginning the EMR process was quite a lot of work. The central issues surrounding EMR implementation included training staff, appropriating the necessary time to scan paper documents into the system, and simply researching all the systems that were out there to select.
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While I won’t formally endorse one EMR system over another here, I have some advice for those of you that are still shopping for systems:
- Make sure the EMR system is customizable. My EMR had a pain specialty template, but I still found I had to tweak it to make it work for my practice.
- Make sure your system will talk to your healthcare “neighbors.” Not all EMRs communicate with each other, so you’ll want to make sure, at the least, that yours will communicate with the local hospital. Taking that step still doesn’t guarantee you will be able to access all the files you’ll need on a specific patient, but it will definitely make things easier.
- Make sure that your system updates codes. This, as I mentioned above, is going to be key with the transition to the ICD10.
- Check to see if the EMR has a billing system attached to it. This system can streamline things a big, but these modules always cost more money, so you’ll need to carefully weigh the risks and benefits before committing to an EMR with a billing system.
- Make sure the EMR has an adequate support system, and call them before you commit to check their response.
- Check the terms of leaving the system. Many of these systems attach huge transfer fees if you ever leave, so you’ll want to consider that before committing.
- Make sure the system is secure.
Keep in mind that most major EMRs have online videos, and I learned these videos can be very educational to help you assess which system is best for your practice.
DISCLAIMER: Dr. Rosenblum IS HERE SOLELY TO EDUCATE, AND YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL YOUR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS IN RESPONSE TO ANY INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN.This blog and related podcast is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physician to a particular patient or specific ailment.