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Archive for October, 2012

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.

EHR Vendors Exhibit Software at Physical Therapy Conference in Las Vegas

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The annual PPS/APTA Conference & Exhibition is kicking off today at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Physical therapists in attendance will be able to interact with other physicians in their specialty, peruse the booths of exhibitors such as physical therapy EHR vendors, and even earn continuing education credits. Organized by the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, the event ends Saturday, October 27.

Physical therapists, their assistants, and even practice administrators who arrived in Vegas early were able to benefit from two pre-conference workshops. Held on Wednesday, the workshops focused on accountable care organizations and shared savings environments, as well as the claims process, which includes coding, appeals, and audits.

Over the next three days, there will be lectures, discussions and seminars for physical therapists to attend and participate in. Aside from covering medical topics of interest to practicing physicians, there will also be a great focus on health IT-related topics. A few sessions to note include:

  • Health Information Exchange and Its Impact to the PTPP
  • Green Means Go:  Using Dashboards to Improve Financial Performance
  • Moving Your Practice into the “Cloud” (for physicians considering a cloud-based EHR)

After attending the cloud-themed session, physical therapists who want to learn more about electronic health record technology can stop by Booth 517 to view a live demonstration of 1st Providers Choice’s physical therapy EHR and practice management software. Physical therapists will find that cloud-based EHRs are efficient, cost effective solutions for electronic charting.

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.

Physicians Use Telemedicine and Document Data in EHR

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Doctor using telemedicine EHR serviceTelemedicine services support the patient-centered medical home model by allowing physicians to provide long-distance care to patients. This can be accomplished through the use of videoconferencing software, mobile health applications, and other technologies with video and audio capabilities. Through the use of multi-specialty EHR software and other EHR solutions, physicians can easily document data that is learned during the teleconsult, ensuring that patient records are accurate and complete.

Telemedicine contributes to more collaborative, comprehensive care in the following ways:

Patient well-being: Through the use of teleconferencing equipment, healthcare professionals can maintain contact with patients who require follow-up consults but do not necessarily need to make the trip to the doctor’s office or hospital. It also allows physicians to monitor factors that could indicate a worsening condition. Most importantly, it makes it possible for patients who might not be able to make it to their doctor’s office to receive the care they need. Patients with transportation difficulties are less likely to make follow-up appointments and to follow through with their indicated treatment regimens.

Physician collaboration: Telehealth services allow physicians to share data and to work with other caregivers in distant locations. This benefits patients in rural settings with limited access to certain specialists. Instead of traveling long distances for a specialist consult, for example, their physician could set up a teleconsult. With EMR software, the physicians would also be able to share data, making it possible for the specialist to reach an accurate diagnosis.

Who benefits from telemedicine services?

Telemedicine eliminates certain barriers that impede physicians from providing continuous, comprehensive care to patients who need it most. This includes:

  • Patients in rural areas with limited access to healthcare facilities
  • Patients in communities that are underserved by certain medical specialists
  • Patients who no longer require hospitalization but need critical follow-up care
  • Critically ill patients who cannot be transported easily
  • Patients without access to transportation

Is your healthcare organization considering using telemedicine services? To learn more about how telemedicine EMR features can benefit your practice, contact us to today.