Electronic Medical Records –  How to Implement?

Electronic Medical Records – How to Implement?

Although switching to EMR will make the documentation process better, there are some factors that need to be considered before expecting a smooth transition.

Nitin Chhoda points out that open communication with staff before, during, and after implemenation is important.  He will discuss how and why managing your staff’s expectations is crucial, and how to handle any rough patches during the change over process.

electronic medical recordsElectronic medical records are sometimes feared by clinicians and medical managers because of wrong implementation that may not actually improve the business and remain stagnant instead.

Implementation is going to be the toughest time, as everyone will probably be adjusting their workflow and accomplishing tasks more slowly than before.

But this shouldn’t discourage you from making the necessary changes. You will learn a lot through implementation of your electronic medical records and you can use that to your advantage.

Before Implementation

The best way to ensure that implementing electronic medical records goes smoothly for your practice is to plan and prepare beforehand. You should have a time leading up to implementation when all staff members can give input, voice concerns, and get the training they will need.

Remember this phrase: managing expectations.

If your staff expects the process to be difficult and frustrating, but things go smoothly, you will find that electronic medical records implementation will be easier. But if you try to convince the staff that it will be simple and straightforward, any problems will seem larger than they are in the grand scheme of things.

Make a plan, set goals, get buy-in and feedback, and give your staff the training they will need. Implementation will be a completely different experience if you prepare for the physical therapy electronic medical records implementation process.

When You Hit Tough Patches

electronic medical records implementationThere will be rough spots. Accept that now and you are halfway to dealing with them. The same is true for your staff’s attitude towards difficulties.

Let them know that you expect it to take a bit of time in implementing electronic medical records system before everyone has adjusted and that you want them to deal with problems rather than brush over them.

Problems that arise will educate you on how to improve the system to meet the needs of staff. Use each problem as if it is an opportunity. Talk to staff and the software developers so changes can be made right from the start.

Others Have Been There Before

Another important thing to remember is that you aren’t the first practice to implement physical therapy software for electronic medical records management. There are incredible resources out there that can help you along the way. From choosing the right physical therapy EMR to dealing with issues during EMR implementation, you can find resources online.

Electronic medical records system implementation could present some struggles for you and your staff. But those struggles don’t have to be disasters.

Makes sure that you and your staff have access to training materials and resources and that everyone is encouraged to ask questions. If you can manage the expectations of the staff, ensure that they are on board even before electronic medical records implementation starts, and give them support during the process, things will go more smoothly.

Electronic medical records of physical therapy software has been improving, but that doesn’t mean the prefect fit has been established. Another critical part of ensuring that implementation goes well is that you choose the right software. Take your time and do the research to determine what will work best for your practice.

Physical Therapy EMR Top Five Advantages

Physical Therapy EMR Top Five Advantages

Many physical therapy business owners are not yet convinced they should make the change over to automated documentation.

Nitin Chhoda enumerates the five advantages that physical therapy EMR can give, and how it can affect the entire process of a practices’ documentation from scheduling to billing.

physical therapy EMRPhysical therapy EMR system is obviously going electronic and is starting to look more and more like the obvious choice for physical therapy software.

Many physical therapy EMR systems handle everything from physical therapy documentation to billing to scheduling.

Just in case you’re not convinced, here are the top five advantages of physical therapy EMR for all of your PT documentation software needs.

#5: Integrated Billing

Many clinicians find this to be one of the most obvious benefits, but it cannot be stressed enough. When you implement physical therapy software that offers complete physical therapy EMR transition, your business has the opportunity to get much, much more efficient. Medical billing is a complex job, and EMR for physical therapy services can make it just a bit simpler.

Because billing, scheduling, and electronic medical records will all be tracked by the same system, you can expect things to be more intuitive.

Medical billing can involve many steps and should include aging reports and follow-ups. A good physical therapy EMR system will allow you to set reminders and collect insurance and patient payments in a more efficient manner.

#4: Professionalismphysical therapy EMR advantages

Your practice with an integrated physical therapy EMR services will give patients even more confidence about your services.

It turns out that the way patients perceive your office will make a difference – both new and continuing patients may decide your practice is not organized enough and walk out the door at any time.

If you show them a standard of paperwork, billing, and timely communications, they will respect the practice and feel more confident.

Additionally, physical therapy EMR can help busy therapists to keep all of their patients straight. No one is expected to remember every detail of every appointment. Electronic medical records make it quicker and easier to get caught up.

#3: Reporting and Profitability

A fully integrated physical therapy EMR will allow you to track the indicators that you want to check. How often do cancelled appointments remain empty? How often do referrals lead to a consistent new client? If you can get these numbers quickly and easily, you can use them to make your practice more profitable and efficient.

#2: EMRs are Coming

Physical therapy EMR and billing are the directions we’re all headed anyway. Why? Because they cut down on expenses and wasted time, which means you’ll be wasting less money on inefficient procedures. Implementing a physical therapy EMR now will ensure that you are on track to work with the rest of the medical community in the most efficient and practical way.

#1: Precision, Accessibility, Accountability

With physical therapy EMR and software that is designed by and for physical therapists, you can improve precision and accountability. When a system is intuitive to use and provides short cuts for a fast and constantly changing workflow, everyone gets better at their job. And if there is ever any question about why a decision was made or how a situation was handled, all the information will be together in one very easily accessible place.

Physical Therapy EMR Tips to Smoothen Implementation

Physical Therapy EMR Tips to Smoothen Implementation

Nitin Chhoda provides a guideline that can be used when making the decision about physical therapy EMR.   These tips are important, and if executed correctly, will positively affect the efficiency and productivity of your staff.

physical therapy EMRPhysical therapy EMR systems transition are often interpreted as an uphill battle by clinicians and managers.

Gaining traction with all staff members and ensuring that the product is actually more efficient will be a big challenge at first.

Here are a few tips to help implementation of physical therapy electronic medical records go more smoothly.

Assign a Project Manager or Team Leader

Usually this job is given to the office manager or other administrative executive. No matter who does the job, it is critical that someone is responsible for pulling everything together. They will be responsible for figuring out which physical therapy EMR software is best for your practice and they will need to get buy-in from the entire staff.

They will set up a schedule for implementation and manage expectations so that nobody feels surprised or overwhelmed by the changes. They will also need to assess and inventory your current resources and decide what needs to be purchased.

Include Everyone

Having a point person is very important to implementing your physical therapy EMR. And one of the most important jobs that this staff member will do is manage the expectations of the rest of the staff. One of the hardest parts of transitioning to physical therapy EMR and software is that staff members are set in their ways and do not want to change.

Staff member buy-in should be prioritized by adding meetings or interviews to the schedule and plan. Each staff member’s job should be reviewed, to some degree, and the changes they will need to make should be determined and discussed beforehand.

Asking staff what would make their jobs easier and attempting to find the right physical therapy EMR that incorporates the needed improvements can make the process simpler and smoother.

Invest in Training Programs

Another thing that staff will find difficult is learning on the fly. If you are changing the way things work, you’d better train the staff beforehand. Physical therapy EMR should improve efficiency. While there will always be a bit of a lag at first, the more training given before implementation, the smoother the implementation will go.

Physical Therapy Specific Software

physical therapy EMR tipsThere are a lot of physical therapy EMR systems out there. Many are general and can be adapted to any kind of practice, from a general practitioner to a chiropractor or even a dentist.

But rather than worry about making a system fit your practice, find a system that is made for physical therapy documentation.

Physical therapy EMR and software will make billing, scheduling, and patient management more efficient. If you are just starting out and are looking for an EMR that will be easier to implement, find specific physical therapy EMR software.

Be Flexible

Make a schedule, ensure that the staff are ready, and transition your practice to physical therapy EMR software. But remember that there are always going to be challenges and the adjustment period will never be perfect. Build some flexibility into your schedule and ensure that staff have opportunities to refresh any learning even once the EMR has been implemented.

Electronic Medical Records – What Is It?

Electronic Medical Records – What Is It?

The latest and most convenient way to process your physical therapy documentation is through the use of electronic medical records. Nitin Chhoda defines this system and how it affects the whole process within a physical therapy practice.

electronic medical recordsTechnology has allowed humans to achieve amazing things, even in the past couple of decades. Consider that less than 40 years ago email was a science fiction dream.

Sending messages instantly from anywhere to anywhere else in the world were seemed impossible then. Even electronic medical records are not developed yet.

Today we take that convenience for granted, even though email and the Internet have made it possible for improvements in efficiency that were previously unimaginable.

What is EMR?

EMR stands for electronic medical record, and electronic medical records promise to be the technology of the future for anyone with any kind of medical practice.

An electronic medical record (EMR) is the digital, or paper-free way for medical practices of all kinds to track a patient’s care, medical history, and progress.

From doctors to physical therapists to dentists, anyone who treats a patient must adhere to certain documentation practices like having electronic medical records. However, until recently the only option was to write everything down on physical forms and review the notes before each visit with a patient.

Electronic medical records allow healthcare professionals to review information more quickly and provide better care to their patients. Consider that a clinician may see anywhere between eight and fifteen patients in a single day.

Some may be new patients, others are coming back for check-ups, and others have specific diseases or conditions for which they need regular testing. Without a photographic memory, it is impossible to keep up with all the details that are important to caring for each patient.

That is why an effective and correct implementation of the electronic medical records is very important. In fact, some clinicians find that just remembering the names of all their patients is a huge challenge.

electronic medical records definitionRecalling Important Details

Medical records are critical to the process of recalling those important details, including things like which medications a patient is currently taking and what was discussed at their last visit.

Electronic medical records make reviewing this information quick and easy.

Rather than having to spend time looking for a medical file, electronic medical records make all the information carried around on a tablet or computer shared between the reception desk computer and the clinician’s computer with the click of a button. Files are pulled up instantly and are always legible.

Of course good medical recordkeeping is a continuous job. Clinicians and other healthcare professionals must update records during and after each visit. In fact, electronic medical records can even help a clinician to remember which questions they should be asking and which tests should be performed, based on what information must be entered into the electronic medical records.

EMR and Billing

Then, with automatic or manually triggered processes, a patient can be billed as soon as the appointment is over. All the appropriate filing for Medicare or health insurance company billing can also be handled by electronic medical records systems. And alerts can be arranged so that if bills go unpaid, the clinic staff can re-bill quickly and easily.

If you want to know what electronic medical records are, think about the way you would manage all patient information, billing, and recordkeeping. Imagine a system that integrates all administrative tasks with a system that allows all kinds of medical professionals to be more efficient and better informed when heading into an appointment.

Electronic Health Record Differentiated With EMR

Electronic Health Record Differentiated With EMR

Nitin Chhoda describes the difference between electronic health record and electronic medical record. He gives examples on how these two terms are intertwined, and how they relate to the whole process of physical therapy practice.

electronic health recordElectronic health record or EHR sounds like it might be the same thing as an electronic medical record. However, these two terms should be used differently, in different settings.

While an EMR is a focused digital record that is only used by a single medical clinic, an electronic health record (EHR) is a digital record that is produced so it can be shared between two clinics.

For example, if a patient is admitted to the emergency room with injuries sustained from a car accident, an electronic medical record is started by the hospital.

Until the hospital discharges the patient, they will continue to update the record with diagnoses made, procedures conducted, and medications that have been given to the patient. Electronic health record implementation is still not present at this time.

Let’s say that the major injury sustained by the patient is a broken leg. When the patient is discharged, they will still be in a cast and will not be able to walk until the broken bones have healed. But once they have healed, it’s time for physical therapy.

EMR to EHR

When the hospital or clinician who has been treating the patient up until this point decides to prescribe physical therapy, they will produce and send an electronic health record to the physical therapist’s clinic.

EHR or electronic health record is a form of communication between medical professionals that summarize the information in a medical record and ensure that the new clinic has all the critical information about each referred patient.

Of course, electronic health record is not entirely mandatory and even transferring patient information from one clinic to another is not required. If the patient did not go to physical therapy right away, but then had trouble reducing pain and limping due to weakness after their injury, they could go to a physical therapist without bringing their official medical history with them.

A patient can request a personal health record (PHR), which is the term for an electronic health record handled by the patient. Or, the patient can have an EHR sent from their previous clinician to the new physical therapist. If they cannot do neither of these things, they can always attempt to describe their injuries to the physical therapist.

electronic health record differentiatedWhile an electronic health record is a useful technological advance which allows for rapid and legible transfer of information, not all medical clinics prefer the electronic system.

Electronic Health Record as a Long-Term

In some ways, the benefits of sharing electronic health record are more long term. In a patient-by-patient situation, clinicians may find it much easier to communicate electronically.

But the broader implications have to do with aggregate data. If clinicians can readily share statistics on the success of certain treatments for particular diseases, they can make more educated and informed decisions when making new treatment plans.

For now, most people who are used to using email and communicating quickly and efficiently, electronic health record seems to be the smartest way to cooperate with other medical clinics. In the future, they may transform the way that clinicians make the most of all available information.

Medical Records and More

Medical Records and More

Medical records provide health information about a patient. Nitin Chhoda discusses the value of having a complete and accurate information of a patient’s health records so that practitioners can decide the best treatment for a patient’s health.

medical recordsMedical records of every individual contain personal, private information such as their blood type, previous diseases or conditions treated, and any medications being taken currently or in the past.

A medical record, which can also be entered in a physical therapy documentation process, will also include information about allergies as well as details about each visit to the healthcare provider’s clinic.

Like all legal documents, medical records are kept according to laws that usually relate to certification or licensing of a medical professional or medical clinic.

Maintenance of medical records is required by state or federal laws, depending on the specific requirements, and for good reason. Incorrectly maintained medical records could cause serious harm to the patient.

A doctor who neglects to record allergies to medications could be held responsible if a patient is administered that medication in the future because the information is not included in the patient’s medical record.

Medical and Health Records

Medical records can be the folder where all medical information for a single patient is stored as well as the cumulative history that a medical record provides.

A health record is the critical information about a patient contained in a medical record that is sent from one medical provider’s clinic to another.

Medical records can include charts, x-rays, prescription orders for physical therapies or medications, observations, test results, and the date of each previous visit to the medical clinic.

Any important type of note about the patient will also be included, such as pre and post operative notes and operative notes, admission notes, SOAP or progress notes, discharge notes, delivery and postpartum notes, and on-service notes.

medical records regulationsMany of these notes are also regulated, so that certain procedures are always followed. The information contained in medical notes can inform the way a future clinician treats the patient.

Medical Records and More

A medical record can also be useful for future clinicians who may not have the opportunity or the context to know to ask certain questions about the patient’s medical history.

Until fairly recently, medical records laws were kept and maintained by health professionals only, and patients had little to no access to their own medical record.

However, today patient’s have more rights and can not only view their own medical record but have the opportunity to comment on some entries that they feel are inaccurate.

The other way that has helped medical care to improve is the use of medical records as educational materials. Medical school students and resident physicians can get the next best thing to first hand experience if they can compare a real medical record, which would be anonymous, to a current problem they are trying to diagnose or treat.

A Form of Communication

Besides being a compilation of all medical information relating to a patient, a medical record is also a form of communication and a way to share knowledge.

Because medical records can be so important and so helpful, there are legal precedents for maintaining medical records correctly. Medical services providers are also required to keep medical records for seven years after the last recorded addition to the record.