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EMR-EHRS Blog

Check out our blog for the latest news and commentary in the EMR/EHR world.

Archive for the ‘EMR/EHR’ Category

Endocrinology EHR Software: Improving Care for Diabetic Patients

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Endocrinology and diabetology EHR software increases the efficiency of documenting patient medical records for physicians. In fact, using EHR software improves clinical documentation, ensures health records are safe and secure, and results in a faster and more effective retrieval process. Full-featured EHRs, like 1st Providers Choice’s IMS solution, can also make patients’ lives easier and result in better medical care overall by integrating with glucose devices and other self-monitoring tools.

Using recent advances in technology built into our IMS for Diabetology and Endocrinology EHR software, physicians can automatically download glucose meter results from patients’ portal glucose devices. All you have to do is connect the patient’s device to a laptop or PC running the EHR. You can then import results from the device into the EHR directly into the health record of the patient you select. Not only will your endocrinology practice save by having patient data automatically documented and analyzed, but patients will no longer have to manually keep track of this data.

Endocrinology EHR

At 1st Providers Choice, we have years of experience working with endocrinologists and diabetology practices. This has given us the experience necessary to implement highly successful EHR solutions. Our technology is tailored to the endocrinology specialty throughout the application, from documentation templates and custom forms and billing.

Aside from certified EHR software, we also offer fully integrated patient portal and practice management software. Practices that use our patient portal software, in addition to our endocrinology EHR, have the option of allowing patients to upload glucose readings themselves. Once approved by a member of your staff, this data can be added automatically into the patient’s EHR chart. When patients get involved in their care, everyone wins. Endocrinologists can ensure their patients’ health records are complete and accurate, allowing them to deliver better care.

Interested in learning more about how our EHR software for endocrinologists and diabetologists can benefit your practice? Call 480-782-1116 to contact us today.

1st Providers Choice Joins Pain Management EHR Exhibitors at ASRA Fall Meeting

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

ASRAPain medicine experts and pain management EHR vendors alike will be descending on Phoenix, Arizona this year, from November 21 to 24, for the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine’s annual meeting. The 12th annual scientific and educational event will provide a variety of opportunities for attendees to network with other physicians while learning about new and innovative pain management practices and techniques.

Healthcare professionals attending ASRA Fall 2013 will be able to attend lectures, courses and workshops, with topics ranging from “Botulinum Toxin Injection for Headache” to “Complementary and Alternative Medicine.” Other new and Special Session workshops announced for the fall meeting include:

  • Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Pain Medicine
  • Pharmacologic Controversies in Pain Medicine: Pro-Con Debate
  • Long-Term Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness of Pain Interventional Techniques: Pro-Con Debate
  • Anticoagulation and Interventional Pain Procedures

Pain management specialists will be able to select content based on their preferred learning styles and individual educational needs. In fact, many of the workshops will be hands-on and interactive, allowing participants to practice skills on live models and/or cadavers.

ASRA Fall 2013 is also set to feature an Exhibit Hall where attendees will be able to talk to pain management and anesthesiology EHR software vendors, like 1st Providers Choice, and learn about other pain medicine-related products and services. EHR software designed specifically for the pain medicine specialty can simply workflow and improve the efficiency of many clinical and administrative processes.

To learn more about the 12th Annual Pain Medicine Meeting, click here.

About ASRA: The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine is the largest subspecialty medical society in anesthesiology. Their mission is to advance the science and practice of regional anesthesia and pain medicine by addressing the clinical and professional educational needs of physicians and scientists. Originally founded in 1923, ASRA has about 4,000 active members, including pain specialists, physicians and scientists from around world.

Mental Health EHR Software Gets Behavioral Health Groups on Track

Monday, November 4th, 2013

For behavioral health organizations the advantages of switching to a mental health EHR are many. Yet, few EHR vendors have produced a tried-and-true software solution suitable for behavioral health providers. With 1st Providers Choice, psychiatrists, psychologists, professional counselors and other mental health providers have finally found an end-to-end EHR solution that meets their extensive charting needs.

mental health EMR software

Senior PsychCare (SPC) recently implemented our mental health EHR and billing modules across its various Texas locations and has achieved improved results in billing and patient care. Their more than 60 mental health providers have benefitted from simplified workflows, more efficient documentation, customized reports, and more. Following are some of the features that SPC’s behavioral health specialists have benefitted from:

Specialized content and customization: EHR systems designed with mental health providers in mind include features that are most relevant to behavioral health specialists. The systems also allow for a high level of customization in order to meet the specific needs of providers practicing within the mental health field. For SPC, this has included specialty-specific diagnoses and treatment plans, preventative care resources and psychiatric management tools, among others.

Real-time data: With mental health-specific EHR software, providers can create reports to conduct analyses of patient progress. All it takes is a few quick mouse clicks to export the data from the EHR.

Alerts and reminders: EHR software for mental health facilities allows providers to set up daily, weekly or monthly alerts. This can be useful for following up with suicidal patients or with those taking antipsychotics with potentially harmful side effects. This has been beneficial, in SPC’s case, for treating patients at Long Term Care facilities, as they need continuous monitoring and follow-up care.

Continuity of care: SPC maintains active contact with other physicians regarding changes in their patients’ mental status, diagnostic services, psychological treatments, and medications – and EHR software allows for thorough documentation of these changes. With mental health EHR software, behavioral health specialists at SPC are also able to share visit notes with other providers responsible for their patients’ care.

Learn more about our mental health-specific EHR features. Contact us today to speak with one of our expert EHR consultants or to schedule a free demo.

About Senior PsychCare: Senior PsychCare was founded by physician and specialized psychiatrist Dr. Leo Borrell, a leader in innovative care for stress and age-related problems. SPC is affiliated with Medipsych and Senior Psychological Care of Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, and employs more than 60 mental health providers in facilities throughout these major Texas cities. SPC provides independent evaluations, psychiatric management and mental health services. They also work in collaboration with mental health programs and medical providers who lack the resources of a comprehensive team of medical health specialists.

Advanced Clinical Editing Software Takes Claims Scrubbing to a New Level

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

claims scrubbing softwareDenied claims are a large source of lost revenue for many healthcare organizations. Yet, physician practices often lack the resources to process them in a timely fashion. It is important for claims to be submitted accurately and error-free the first time around, to avoid revenue cycle setbacks and ensure timely reimbursement. One way to accomplish this is by using a medical billing or electronic claims scrubbing EMR.

Claims scrubbers analyze the data attached to a claim to ensure that all required data is present before the claims is submitted to the payer. This includes patient demographics, insurance information, procedure and diagnosis codes, and date of service. It is important to note, however, that not all claims scrubbers offer the same features and functionalities. In fact, while a basic claims scrubber might check that certain fields are filled out on the claim, it might not verify the accuracy of the entered data. Therefore, it is important to use a claims scrubbing system with advanced capabilities.

It is also helpful to rely on software that uses the same tools as the major insurance carriers, meaning that if a payer’s tool is updated your practice gets the same update as well. This allows healthcare professionals to fully identify errors that an insurance carrier might catch, thus avoiding a delay in payment.

With 1st Providers Choice’s Advanced Clinical Editing electronic claims software, not only can billing staff submit clean claims the first time, reducing denials and rejections and increasing revenue, but partially-billed procedures can also be corrected in order to ensure maximum reimbursement. Through automated alerts, staff can be notified when edits might be necessary, and they can also review any guidelines and regulations that may have triggered the alerts.

Additional features and benefits of our advanced claims scrubbing software:

  • Integrate superior clinical editing features into existing claims management workflow
  • Actively track, control and prevent denied claims
  • Streamline claims editing with our extensive knowledgebase of coding relationships (from commercial payers to Medicare)
  • View multiple claims rules on the same screen
  • Increase efficiency and revenue with electronic billing

For more information about our electronic claims practice management software and how it might benefit your healthcare organization, contact us at 480-782-1116.

Facilitating Patient Documentation with Voice Recognition Software for EHRs

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Voice recognition softwareThough electronic health record software is relatively new to health care, voice recognition software has been around for quite some time. In the past, healthcare professionals used the software to dictate notes when charting on paper, and the notes eventually made it into patients’ charts with the help of medical transcriptionists. With EHR software, however, things have changed.

Most EHR systems, for example, now include a voice recognition feature – and its capabilities are much more advanced than they were even a few short years ago. In the past, when the software produced a block of text, it had to read carefully and edited for spelling and grammatical errors and other inconsistencies. Today’s voice recognition software, however, is much more complete. It includes medical vocabularies for multiple specialties, and it can learn speech patterns, voices and inflections.

Doctors are able to use speech recognition software to document patient data in real time, eliminating the middle man and saving time. Instead of dictating notes for a transcriptionist, for example, physicians can simply talk into a mic and see their notes in front of them on the screen, already in the patient’s chart. This helps ensure that EHR software records are kept up to date and that the most accurate information is being saved in each patient’s chart at the time of the encounter.

Aside from allowing doctors to add free text into patients’ charts, voice recognition software also allows healthcare professionals to perform other tasks. This includes selecting items from drop down menus within the EHR and navigating through other options within visit templates and EHR menus and screens. This not only makes documenting patient visit easier, but adds to the ease of use of electronic health record software.

Are you considering switching to an EHR and looking for a software system with voice recognition capabilities? Learn about the cost and time-saving benefits of medical speech recognition software by contacting us online today.

Making EHR Software Work for Patients and Providers

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Doctor using EHR softwareAdopting EHR software can modify provider workflow and charting processes. This means that healthcare professionals must strategically implement the new technology in order to provide high quality care without affecting productivity. What providers often fail to take into account, however, is that patients must also get used to the EHR’s presence in the exam room. Therefore, providers must implement the software in a way that does not affect patient satisfaction.

Here are a few ways that physicians can use their EHR software to improve the doctor-patient relationship.

Use the Chart View screen to review the patient’s medical history. Doing so before entering the exam room will allow you to interact with the patient straightaway without having to go straight to the computer. 1st Providers Choice’s Chart View menu provides physicians with important patient information, such as:

  • Problem list
  • Chronic conditions
  • Past and current medications
  • Patient allergies
  • Family and social histories

Engage the patient in the visit by explaining how the EHR software is being used. Though most patients aren’t wary of what their doctor is doing, too much time spent typing can make the visit feel impersonal and the patient feel neglected. Instead of having the patient wait while you send out a prescription electronically or transmit a lab order through the EHR, involve them in the process and show them what you are doing. After you type visit notes into the EHR, let the patient know that they can view their visit summaries through your practice’s online patient healthcare portal.

Make sure your computer is positioned in a way that is easy for the patient to view. This is critical if you plan to show the patient test results in the EHR or demonstrate how an e-prescription is sent. It is also important in order to prevent the computer from becoming an obstacle that hinders free-flowing communication. Instead of positioning your EHR-enabled computer on a desk between you and the patient, put it somewhere that the patient can easily see.

To learn more about our EHR software solutions and how they can benefit your practice, call 480-782-1116 or contact us online.

Internists Use EHR Software to Improve Patient Care

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Internal medicine doctorDoctors of internal medicine often take on the role of primary care providers for adults who are at risk for developing diseases, as well as for patients already suffering from a particular ailment. Seeing as internists must help patients manage their diseases and take steps to prevent others from occurring, it is important for these doctors to have useful tools at their disposal, such as internal medicine EHR.

Two major facets of internal medicine include disease prevention and disease management, each playing an equally important role in patients’ health outcomes. Practicing preventive care is particularly important for patients who are susceptible to diseases that can be spotted early on and even prevented from occurring.

Take diabetes, for example. Using screening tools and questionnaires included in their EMR, physicians can examine certain factors to determine whether a patient is more likely to develop the disease than the average person. These factors can include:

  • Race
  • Weight
  • Blood sugar level
  • Dietary habits
  • Family history of diabetes

If the internist determines that a patient is at risk for developing diabetes, the patient can be counseled regarding appropriate preventive care measures and pointed in the direct of the physician’s online patient portal for educational resources. The physician can also set reminders in the EMR to ensure that the patient is showing up for routine appointments.

For cases where prevention efforts were unsuccessful – or where a disease was not caught early on – internal medicine EHR software also helps. For example, internists can use decision support tools to help determine a plan of action for how to proceed with treating and managing the patient’s disease.

Interested in learning more about the EHR features available to doctors of internal medicine? Contact us online or call 480-782-1116 to speak with one of our representatives.

Why ER Physicians Should Use Pain Management EHR Software to Treat Children

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Pain management EHR software is used by anesthesiologists, physiotherapists, and other physicians to provide comprehensive treatment plans and improve the quality of life of patients experiencing chronic pain. However, the software can also be used by emergency room doctors – specifically to manage pain in young patients. Here are a few of the ways that pain management EHR systems are making that possible:

Tools for pediatric pain assessments

According to a report released this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), providing pain relief to child patients in the ER requires taking a systematic approach to medicine. This includes establishing pain management protocols and educating staff about the best ways to provide comfort to children. One way to provide more effective pain management care to children is by using tools included in the pain management EHR, such as the Faces Pain Scale and the Neonatal Infant Pain Scale. These evaluation tools are necessary considering that not all children can tolerate pain the same way or accurately describe it.

Guidelines for safe sedation

While it is common for an ER physician to sedate a patient before a procedure, according to the AAP’s report, in order to provide safe sedation for children physicians should abide by certain guidelines, such as performing a structured risk stratification, which includes examining the patient’s airway. The information should all be documented in the patient’s electronic health record. Additionally, a personal My Tasks list can help doctors make sure that all areas of concern are monitored both pre- and post-sedation.

Rules for medication administration

Keeping in line with the systematic approach to pediatric pain management recommended by the AAP, it is important for hospitals to have policies in place for how medications should be administered to children, as well as what steps hospitals caregivers can take to ensure that procedures are performed with minimal discomfort to the patient. One of the things the AAP suggests, for example, is applying topical anesthetics before placing sutures or an IV. By creating custom templates and checklists in the EHR, providers can ensure that the proper steps are taken when treating young patients whose pain thresholds differ greatly from adults.

Physicians interested in learning more about our pain management EHR’s features and benefits can contact us at 480-782-1116.

Data Conversions Enable Allscripts MyWay Users to Switch to a Certified EHR

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Many Allscripts users were shocked earlier this month when the company made public that it would no longer be selling the MyWay product and that further development on the software would be coming to a stop. The fact that the MyWay system will not meet requirements for meaningful use stage 2 (nor will it be able to process ICD-10 codes) has led many users to consider other electronic charting alternatives. One of these options is 1st Providers Choice – a fully certified EMR system with custom solutions for more than 30 medical specialties.

While Allscripts has offered to upgrade MyWay users to their Professional Suite system at no cost, Professional Suite isn’t likely to meet the needs of all physicians – specifically those in smaller practices. Another important thing to note is that, because MyWay and Professional Suite are starkly different system, making the transition from one product to the other will require a data conversion, implementation and training. Knowing this, physicians may choose to take on a new EMR implementation with a software system that best meets their needs – and that might not necessarily be Allscripts Professional Suite. Plus, amid rumors of an Allscripts buyout, healthcare professionals may feel more at ease with a stable, more customer-oriented vendor.

With countless Allscripts data conversions completed, 1st Providers Choice remains committed to providing a quality EMR solution for healthcare professionals across a wide range of medical fields. Our EMR software is both meaningful use and ICD-10 compliant and physicians find that learning to use our EMR has never been easier.

Are you dissatisfied with Allscripts MyWay or Allscripts Enterprise? Thinking about transitioning to a new, fully certified EMR? Contact us today at 480-782-1116 for more information about converting your Allscripts data to 1st Providers Choice.

What Can I Expect From Meaningful Use Stage 2?

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Providers cannot begin attesting to meaningful use stage 2 until 2014 – and even then, they can only do so after having successfully attested to stage 1 for two full years. Still, a growing number of healthcare professionals are preparing for the second phase of the federal incentive program and leaving no stone unturned in their quest for meaningful use incentives. Are you wondering how you can start preparing? Begin by familiarizing yourself with the final guidelines, including how stage 2 requirements differ from the ones you are working on now.

Building Blocks

If you understand stage 1 and have successfully attested to meaningful use, you won’t have much to worry about. Stage 2 essentially builds on the core and menu objectives outlined in stage 1. One difference, however, is that hospitals and physicians must meet a greater number of objectives. In addition, percentages have been increased, meaning that providers will need to step up their game. For example, instead of documenting demographic information for more than 50 percent of patients (stage 1), physicians will be required to record specific demographic data for more than 80 percent of patients (stage 2).

Core and Menu Objectives & Clinical Quality Measures (CQM)

For stage 2 of meaningful use, eligible hospitals and providers will be required to meet a different number of objectives using their fully certified EMR. Additionally, although CQMs are no longer listed as a core objective, healthcare professionals participating in the meaningful use program will need to report on CQMs in order to attest to meaningful use. Following are the separate requirements for hospitals and providers:

  • Hospitals must meet 16 of 19 core objectives and 3 of 6 menu objectives. They will also be required to report on 16 of 29 CQMs.
  • Providers must meet 17 of 20 core objectives and 3 of 6 menu objectives. They will also be required to report on 9 of 64 CQMs.

Patient Engagement

There are a couple of new core objectives in meaningful use stage 2 that aim to increase patient engagement. One objective requires the use of secure electronic messaging to communicate with at least 5 percent of patients. (Physicians in limited broadband areas are exempt from this.) Another objective calls for physicians to provide at least 5 percent of their patients “the ability to view online, download and transmit their health information” within four business days of the information being available to the provider.

Data Exchange

A new core objective that focuses on data exchange requires physicians to provide a summary of care record for more than 50 percent of patients that are referred to a another care setting or provider. Additionally, more than 10 percent of these care records will need to be sent electronically. Provider will also need to send at least one summary of care record to a physician with a different EMR or to a CMS-designated test EMR.

Other Notable Differences in Stage 2

  • 2014 is the only year that there will be a three-month reporting period for all healthcare professionals regardless of whether they are reporting for stage 1 or stage 2. To find out when your reporting window is, visit CMS’ website.
  • With stage 2, healthcare groups will be able to submit attestation information for different providers all at once. Currently, each provider must submit attestation data separately.

If you are looking for a fully certified EMR than can help you meet meaningful use, check out one of our specialty-specific EMR systems. Our software solutions feature interactive reporting modules and integrate with billing and practice management software.