As more healthcare systems continue to push toward cost-saving processes that improve efficiency without sacrificing customer satisfaction, dermatologists are turning to EMR integration as a strategic and secure way to streamline office processes. It also positions their practice for collaborative opportunities that cater to a value-based model.
So, why do some dermatologists struggle with it?
A recent study shows that 86 percent of dermatologists surveyed use EMR. While a portion of participants claim EMR improved their documentation process, many believe that EMR has a negative impact on their workflow efficiency and interferes with face-to-face appointments with patients, with many complaints targeting the amount of time spent updating patient records, for example.
“While some practices can manage to get by using old-fashioned paper, the drawbacks can no longer be ignored,” says Stephen O’Connor. “Paper records are simply too insecure and it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify using this outdated method of maintaining patient files.”
Despite the clear advantages of implementing a digitized system, such as better security, accessibility, collaborative capabilities, and data collection, is it the EMR-user technology that prevents an efficient delivery of patient care or is it the office workflow?
If you have recently implemented an EMR system into your practice, your work process will likely need an update to better accommodate the new digital formats. Once you learn of new ways to work with your EMR system, you’ll discover the advantages this technology contributes to your dermatology practice.
Here are four time-saving tips that are worth trying for optimizing your EMR system.
Get EMR training
Although doctors may understand the general premise of electronic patient records, it’s only through training that you discover the true capabilities and time-saving features of EMR technology.
Your vendor should be available to provide role-based training so your office and support staff can transition seamlessly to EMR use. For example, training may include adjusting the way you add notes to a patient’s file. Since the EMR interface pulls data from other sources, your notes may not require adding additional links to your documentation.
Promote Patient Portals For Routine Services
The goal of digital technology isn’t to replace face-to-face visits. But by offering an online platform that enables patients to access their test results, for example, or to schedule a follow up appointment online can save doctors and the medical support staff valuable time by reducing phone calls. You can even set up automated messages for patients to schedule their checkups.
By eliminating tasks often associated with routine phone calls, you can focus on the more complicated medical cases that require customized treatment.
With seamless data exchange within your EMR interface, your practice can offer expanded virtual health services that reduce the amount of appointments ending in no-shows, opens up possibilities for collaboration with expert dermatopathologists on patient cases, and streamlines the turnaround time for test results when you partner with a dermlab using digital pathology.
Partner with a Dermlab Using Digital Technology
When you partner with a dermlab that uses a digital workflow, the results can be directly linked to your EMR for quicker review and faster follow-up with your patients. No shipping. No waiting. No lost results.
Digital dermatopathology “has introduced measurable advantages that modern practices can use to improve workflow, decrease turnaround time, reduce errors, experience the instant access of an EMR interface, and take advantage of academic-level dermatopathologist reads,” says Greg Osmond, a board-certified pathologist, dermatopathologist, and chief medical officer and cofounder of PathologyWatch. “Put simply, digital dermatopathology cuts down on physician time and error, resulting in a simpler, more streamlined workflow and a high level of patient care and satisfaction.”
Partnering with an experienced lab improves patient access to specialized care and customer satisfaction. ultimately help physicians take better care of their patients.
Ready or not, the future of dermatology is digital, with experts estimating EHR/EMR adoption rates are higher than ever. By taking the time to learn more about EMR capabilities and adapting your workflow processes to work in harmony with this technology, your practice will be geared for tomorrow’s technology–today.
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