When is it time to make the transition to EMR?
Michael Connors, PT, DPT, OCS
Health care is at a crossroads. Daily, we face increasing pressure to maximize efficiency and create a more streamlined method of care delivery. Along with advances in the practice of physical therapy, there is a push to migrate toward an electronic platform for medical records. As a practice approaches making a smooth transition from paper to electronic medical records (EMR), one must consider many factors.
Does the use of an electronic medical record system have a negative impact on our patient care?
By Dena Aitken, PT
Over the last 10 years, electronic medical records (EMR) have become commonplace in all aspects of health care and physical therapy. With today’s increased regulations and coding requirements, good software that guides and assists is essential.
However, I would like to caution all providers on allowing our EMR systems to replace our professional skills and knowledge. I see this repeatedly in health care, when doctors go through a list of questions, and based on the answers to the prompts the computer produces, they generate a diagnosis. As a patient, you might leave thinking, “Did the doctor really listen to what was actually going on with me or did I just conveniently fit into one of their computer based categories?”
Utilizing an electronic medical record system and practice management software can dramatically save time while providing powerful and useful statistics.
By Jerry Rush PT, MPT, OCS, CEAS
Successful private practice owners understand that there is one thing that they need to have a profitable business: data. Data has been important for practice owners to see the performance of their businesses and identify areas that need to be improved or changed. Traditionally, the data needed contains certain critical statistics and information about their practice. However, it is becoming more apparent that practice owners also feel increased pressure to supply data about their practices to insurance carriers for payment negotiations. Further, companies that utilize physical therapy practices for ergonomic, worksite rehabilitation, or contracting services require data about quality, cost, and bottom-line savings up front. Data collecting and analysis can require considerable time and energy. However, utilizing an electronic medical record (EMR) system can save time and provide powerful statistics. An EMR also allows you to put stream-lined operations in place.
Ask any physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech language pathologist (SLP) this question: “Of all of the things you do every day in your clinic, what is the most important?” Some typical responses are likely to include:
- “Educating my patients to help them understand their condition.”
- “Encouraging my patients.”
- “Evaluating my patient’s condition so that we can provide effective treatment.”
By Jean Darling, PT, LAT
According to InMedica, the telehealth market is predicted to grow by 55% worldwide in 2013.1 This growth rate is based on the number of devices available to individuals and on service revenues. These facts can be difficult to swallow by someone like me, who did not grow up with a computer, did not use one during college, and did not even use one during my first 10 years of practice. With the continual barrage of new applications and technology that are conducive to improving our daily efficiency as physical therapists, I now find that I am unable to ignore these technological developments as they relate to our profession. I am forced to go along for the technological ride or abandon ship!