Many ODs are afraid to adopt an electronic health record (EHR) solution because they're happy with their existing workflow. Why fix something that isn't broken?
However, the improvements to your workflow that an EHR system provides greatly outweigh the hurdle of migrating your records. You can free up your staff's time, satisfy busy patients, and cut out calls to pharmacies.
Let us identify the best ways to weave an EHR software into your comfortable and reliable patient and exam workflow.
3 Ways EHR Improves Even Successful Patient Workflows
We've compiled 3 main parts of your workflow that EHR can seamlessly integrate into with little disruption to you and your staff. By decreasing the amount of administrative tasks, an EHR can increase face time with your patients. Increased face time can lead to deeper relationships, help further patients' understanding of their eye health, and leave room for discussion about frame and contact lens sales.
Current Process: You're most likely collecting patient health information through handwritten forms while patients sit in your office at the beginning of their exam. This process could be beneficial to allow ODs a break between appointments or extra time with a patient when necessary. However, this also means you're able to see fewer patients in a day because you have to account for form time.
How to Integrate EHR: Collect patient e-mail addresses so that you can send them digital paper work before their appointment. Then, you can send follow-up email or text message reminders to patients to remind them of any unfinished paperwork in the days before their appointment. This leads to fewer errors on the forms because you're not relying on additional data entry or deciphering handwriting. Additionally, patients who have tight work hours, large families, or limited time will be grateful that they can complete important forms at their convenience.
Current Process: After your patient has filled out their forms manually, you might have a few minutes to look over their medical history, chief complaints, and previous prescriptions while your technician is running through pre-exam procedures. However, when the pre-exam procedures are complete you have to look over the information and images the technician collected before finally calling the patient into the exam room. This process works fine if you have an available technician who is capable of completing all pre-exam tests.
How to Integrate EHR: Having to write down all exam results and information isn't efficient when multiple professionals in your practice need to input and access that information. An EHR system allows you to look at patient forms, data from previous visits, and enter new information into the same platform through a computer or tablet. Then, your optician can access this data when providing product recommendations. Also, embedded code verification ensures that your codes are compliant so that you can reduce any confusion or errors earlier in your workflow.
Current Process: After writing prescriptions for medication, lenses, or contacts on carbon paper, you probably have to call or fax the pharmacy. This can result in a delays and lead to more calls when you need to renew or authorize anything. You probably have to refer to past prescriptions and paperwork before writing a new prescription as well. Aside from the nostalgic feel of handwriting prescriptions, we don't see any benefits to this workflow.
How to Integrate EHR: With embedded ePrescribing, you input all prescriptions into your EHR as you're writing them. They'll be automatically sent to the pharmacy of your patient's choice and your system can let you know when it's time for a refill. If your patient loses any of their prescription slips or wants to see their assessment, you have everything stored securely online and can send them convenient digital copies.
We hope you can see that switching to an EHR platform could only lead to an improved, although different, workflow. If you want to grow your practice, you'll need to increase your efficiency to see more patients. How many patients can you see per hour in your current workflow?
An integrated practice management and EHR solution can lead to greater benefits to your bottom line. Our eBook below can help you achieve a fully efficient workflow.