By now medical practices must have realized that EHR is not just about technology but beyond that. As EHR becomes mandatory in clinical and operational management, practices’ responsibility to comply by EHR mandate would also double up: while they have to ensure EHR compliance for avoiding penalization for being below the EHR benchmark, they should also strive to be eligible for incentives under the ‘Meaningful Use’ criterion as determined by the HITECH Act. Therefore, the whole task of living up to the requisite level of compliance would surely demand not just physicians’ knowledge of EHR, but the integrated effort of functional divisions of medical practices/hospitals.
Before expecting your support staff or divisional departments to contribute qualitatively into the integrated EHR system, care must be taken to identify and train them for orienting them to the mechanism of the EHR.
- To begin with you have the Front Desk, which usually attends to Patient Registration and Admission. As EHR marks a deviation from paper filing to electronic registration, the Front Desk needs to be taught of ways to enter in registration and admission processes into an automated and networked EHR module, which enables viewing and interfacing across the all the connective eco-system of hospital management.
- Next, you have support staffs, who take of monitoring and administering physicians’ instructions for clinical management of patients inside the hospitals. But, for the medical support staff that hitherto has been following instructions orally or from notes, the transition to deciphering instructions from an electronically automated EHR system would somewhat seem alien initially. But with proper orientation, they would not only be able to appreciate the change but also contribute positively towards the integrated EHR eco-system.
- Following the support staff is the clinical and diagnostic department, who play a vital role in screening and detecting the medical condition. With an integrated EHR in place, their task of collaborative sharing the clinical and diagnostic findings would surely get faster and more efficient.
- Then, you have the all important part in the hospital eco-system: the medical billing staff, who are crucial to the revenue generation from factual medical billing preparation, coding, submitting and realizing the medical claims from the Medicare as well as private insurance carriers. With a streamlined EHR that can ensure compliant billing and coding, you can always expect your billing staff to deliver efficiency and contribute to operational efficiency.
- Finally, you have the Executive Board or the Management, whose task of decision-making would surely be devoid of blemishes as they would have ready access to clinical and operational data from the integrated EHR eco-system.
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