Experts predict that, just as in 2014, many of the EHR sales in 2015 will be replacement systems. Whether or not it’s time for a switch or an upgrade is completely dependent on your own practice’s situation. New software is a costly investment, and you will want to make sure that you're getting the most bang for your buck, along with setting your practice up for a successful future.
Your practice management and EHR system should enhance and simplify the workflow of your optical practice. There are many things that can slow down or hinder your workflow, and that's why we compiled some of the most common problems that can occur in an optical practice. These warning signs can help solidify the decision that a new software update is not only recommended, but necessary! If you are unsure about your current optometry software or just don’t know about your other options, these tell-tale signs might help you see the light.
Does Your Practice Need More from Your Optometry Software?
When going through an exam, even when the tools of the software are performing perfectly, a complicated and disorganized interface can make finding important data difficult. Frantically scrambling around the computer trying to find data rushes the OD, wastes time, and can even result in errors in diagnosis and coding. As a practice, running software with a cluttered interface can have huge workflow consequences, and an EHR that increases time consumption can hinder productivity.
Spending less time dealing with IT issues and more time with your patients will help free up time and focus for your entire team. Security, upgrades, and backups can be handled by your vendor and will help you out big time if you don't have a lot of IT experience. Vendors can provide educational resources and training on IT functions, but if you're having to figure it out on your own it can be a mess.
If you're using a cloud-based software, IT hassles are easier to handle. You no longer have to worry about closing down the office in order to perform updates, or worry about the security of servers in your office. These routine things are now automatically and securely done by your cloud vendor. Using a cloud-based practice management system also allows all of your data to be stored by your vendor, and can function on a 3G or 4G connection if an Internet outage occurs.
Lacking a Patient Portal
A patient portal can help save your practice incredible amounts of time. Patient portals enable patients to do things like request online appointments, pay bills online, access treatment instructions, and fill out pre-appointment paperwork. Patient portals are a great tool for helping your patients help themselves. It's going to save your staff time from being on the phone scheduling appointments and answering questions. Most of all, the convenience of a patient portal is likely to boost patient satisfaction!
Meaningful Use and ICD-10 Convenience
Meaningful Use requirements have developed over the past few years and caused many practices stress and frustration. Whether you are participating in Meaningful Use or not, software that is completely certified for participation is going to have all the bells and whistles that your practice is looking for. On top of Meaningful Use, a system that is prepared for ICD-10 is going to help your practice prepare as well.
The shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is another complicated matter for some, and again requires updates and training. ICD-10 brings significant, and positive changes to the healthcare industry that will push forward EHR capabilities. If your system is ready to take on ICD-10 it's going to help you and your staff ease into the transition. Learning all the new codes won't be as challenging if you are documenting correctly which can allow the right system to suggest the right codes for you.
Any of the reasons above would almost always justify an EHR upgrade, but it all depends on your own practice. Try to analyze your practice’s situation to see what inefficiencies your EHR isn’t addressing, and see if these challenges can be met and solved with an upgrade or new vendor.
Want to learn more about the cloud-based EHR systems available? Check out Uprise!