How to Lose Money with an EHR

  • Added:
    Apr 30, 2013
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The greatest wealth is health.  ~Virgil
The greatest wealth is health. ~Virgil
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How to Lose Money with an EHR :

Apparently, the easiest way to lose money with a new EHR in your practice is to do nothing, according to recent research supported by the Massachusetts Medical Society and American College of Physicians.

Electronic Health Records do not bring greater productivity and efficiency to your practice by themselves.  EHRs are a wonderful tool with great potential.  But everything depends on how you manage your time and staffing to manage that tool.  This article in Medpage Today, entitled "If Practices Don't Change, EHRs Lose Money," highlights this fact:

The average physician lost nearly $44,000 over 5 years implementing an electronic health record system, a large pilot study found, but the technology itself was just part of the reason.... 

But the vast majority of practices lost money because they failed to make operational changes to realize the benefits of EHRs such as ditching paper medical records after adoption, Julia Adler-Milstein, PhD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues wrote.

We would add virtual medical scribes to one of the operational changes necessary to ensure an effective EHR for your medical practice.  It's an argument we, and others, make throughout this blog, and in a growing body of medical practice management literature.  Medical scribes help answer the thousand-dollar question any doctor and practice manager has to consider when adopting a new EHR: Who is going to manage effectively for us all of this data in this new EHR tool we have introduced into our practice?

'For all their brilliance, computers can be thick as a brick,' said Tom M. Mitchell, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University.
And so, while programming experts still write the step-by-step instructions of computer code, additional people are needed to make more subtle contributions as the work the computers do has become more involved. People evaluate, edit or correct an algorithm’s work... Humans can interpret and tweak information in ways that are understandable to both computers and other humans.
 
The human element:  This is sorely lacking in the EHR adoption policies undertaken by CMS, and ignored by many investing hundreds of millions in EHR technology.  Too few are investing the time and energy to ensure there is a new, highly-trained generation of healthcare workers able to input and manage EHR data for doctors and healthcare systems. 

We need people - medical scribes, for example - to ensure the money devoted to healthcare IT and EHRs is well-spent. Fortunately, there more and more companies like Physicians Angels that are the addressing the needs and opportunities to improve the healthcare system for doctors and patients through better data management.  As more doctors and healthcare practice managers struggle with the crush and demands of EHR data, they will demand data management solutions, like medical scribes.  Articles like this one only echo the obvious to the thousands of doctors and office managers struggling with EHRs today.

For More Details : http://www.physiciansangels.com/

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