42-50 of 50 Reasons to get an EHR or EMR – Higher Income and A More Robust Practice

Posted on July 10, 2006 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Here we go with the final installment from 50 reasons to get an EMR or EHR. What a ride. Reading through these reasons you can see why there is so much to think about when deciding to implement an EMR in your practice.

In this post, Ill cover reasons number 42-50 to implement an EHR or EMR. These reasons talk about higher income and a more robust practice because of an EMR.

Higher Income

42. Qualify for “pay for performance” bonuses by tracking the care you provide and the outcomes you achieve for various groups of patients.

43. Capture all your charges automatically as you record what you do.

44. Reassign your transcriptionist and file clerk to help collect accounts receivable.

45. Confidently code for higher levels of service based on thorough documentation.

46. Get automatic suggestions for E&M coding based on your documentation.

Pay for performance seems like a bad reason since to my knowledge it hasn’t been implemented yet. It is still just an idea. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Capturing the charges automatically could be a great reason, but that assumes that charges are being missed because of documentation. Also, many people don’t actually chart in an EMR in the room. I think documenting in an EMR is best in the exam room, but since not all people do that there’s still a high probability that charges could be missed.

Do you really want a transcriptionist and file clerk collecting accounts receivable? Seems like very different job descriptions to me. Plus, it seems like this saving has already been covered in a previous point.

The potential to code higher levels is great. This is a great reason for an EMR. In the recent implementation I did of an EMR for a new office, this was his favorite part of the EMR he chose.

Not all EMR’s offer E&M coding suggestions. Plus, from what I’ve read and seen you have to be careful how much you trust it. You still need to verify that it coded it correctly. The algorithms for this coding are just too difficult to implement. It needs a little brain power still and even then it’s still quite subjective.

A More Robust Practice

47. Convert your file room into an extra exam room.

48. Gain an edge in recruiting doctors fresh out of residency who’ve grown up using computers.

49. Retain topnotch staffers who otherwise would be burned out by the chaos of paper charts.

50. Impress patients by demonstrating that you run a modern, cutting-edge practice.

Finally they got the file room savings on the list. I posted about this in a previous post. I guess I should have finished reading the list before I commented.

Do you really want a doctor that’s fresh out of residency? I think there are pros and cons to this one and so I consider it a wash.

While I wish that I could say that topnotch staffers love computers and EMR, it is just not always the case. While I think it is a serious oversight for people to not use an EMR and gain its advantages, it is also true that some of the most qualified and caring staff don’t want to use an EMR. Plus, computer problems can burn people out almost as quickly as paper charts. I think this is a wash too.

Do patients really care if you are a cutting edge practice? I know that when I went to my doctor 10 years ago he used a computer. He documented while I talked and I was a little disappointed that he didn’t give me more attention. I did know he was listening, but in some respects I felt like I was talking to a wall. I think this was specific to my physician and can be overcome. Not to mention I loved the patient education he printed out for me. That was great. Now I definitely want my doctor to have an EMR. More importantly, I want to have a patient portal where I can do and ask whatever I want of my doctor.

Here’s the other reasons I’ve commented on so far in case you missed it:
13 reasons to get an EHR or EMR
12 reasons to get an EHR or EMR
14 reasons to get an EHR or EMR

There we go!! My review of 50 Reasons to Implement an EMR or EHR is complete. If life doesn’t get too busy I think I might takes these 50 reasons and narrow them down and merge them down to what I think’s important. We’ll see how that goes.

Maybe the moral of this set of posts is this:

“There are enough reasons to choose from. If you don’t implement an EMR is just because you don’t want to and not because it’s not a good idea.”