There are many electronic healthcare record software that are still not completely coherent with the practices’ working environment. There are challenges for providers to mitigate with EHR, with every improvement that is made or required. Providers are partially satisfied with the improved patient safety and accuracy of clinical documentation by using EHR systems, but they have also encountered several challenges ranging from quality reporting programs to poor system usability.
Why Interoperability is the major issue?
The term interoperability not just refers to the ability to exchange information. There are numerous government-certified EHR products that are being used by different practices across the country. Each one of them have different functional capabilities, clinical terminologies, and technical specifications. This makes it difficult to create just one standard interoperability format for sharing the data.
Must contain standardized coded data, so that receiving system can interpret it, for the two EHR system to be truly interoperable. In the healthcare system, this requires close coordination and collaboration, which is not easily feasible. In many cases both the providers and vendors have been accused of ‘information blocking’.
What about EHR usability?
Instead of making it possible to collaborate across these technologies, the health systems routinely emphasize on adapting the use of certain EHR technology. As more health-related activities take place in daily living settings, the EHR software must be able to open and to accept data from outside resources such as nursing homes.
Many still say that EHR technology rather adds to, than subtracting from the practices’ workload. For instance, many nurses are dissatisfied due to technological glitches getting in the way of their workflows. They face difficulties when the medical devices are not upgraded and they cannot integrate data.
Even the providers have to spend too much time on their clinical documentation after they spend certain amount of time face to face with their patients. In other words, spending valuable time dealing with non-intuitive system is hard to use and understand and as a result less time is spent with the patient, leading to possible misdiagnosis. This proves that providers have to put in more effort as it is getting in the way they deliver personal and patient-centered care.
Meaningful Use adds to the burden
Meaningful use does provide incentives, but is also reducing the practices’ efficiency. As the system rewards providers for adapting and applying Meaningful Use of the EHR systems, it also penalizes those providers who do not use the system.
Getting certified at every stage of meaningful use is a challenge for the providers. But since past few years, the meaningful use incentive program was folded into Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). This was done along with the proposed rule on the implementation of MACRA.
Some other challenges range from data that is not being readily available for providers, specialists and nurses. The EHRs are very functional in gathering information into one tool, but to manage its workflow is an overwhelming task. Due to these problems, the providers are opting more towards, EHR customization.
Customization reduces some hindrance that comes with rigid systems and slow workflow. Some argue about the high cost and time it takes for implementation of the new system. But it is important to understand that even though there might be initial cost and little decrease in the workflow; in long term it can be very profitable investment.
Earlier the EHR customization was more popular among small or solo practices because they were not completely satisfied with the basic features of the EHR. Though some small practices still focus on the basic functionality and are likely to remain with a particular EHR for prolonged time, if the system provides the primary tools they need, and those that work well with them.
Larger practices, with ten or more providers make use of clinical decision support and electronic messaging system quite extensively. Therefore, the larger practices are opting for customization too, as they have realized its increased functionality, more available customization and integration, healthcare revenue cycle management, ICD 10 codes and also practice management.
Many providers feel that their current EHR system does not allow them to modify to meet their specific needs. They are looking to improve their electronic health records and are inquiring for more advanced tools. For example, the larger practices are showing more interest in cloud-based solutions that uses smart phones and computers to be on track with the demographics. They are also giving more priority to the systems that provide tools for their virtual visits and telehealth. The providers want tools that offer quality goals, on-demand data, and visibility into financial performance and compliance tracking.
Larger practices are preparing themselves to embrace artificial intelligence and machine learning so as to give optimum level of healthcare services to their patients. The other tools most commonly used are clinical decision support, electronic messaging, patient engagement and record sharing. By enhancing these tools and features, it is beneficial for both, patients and providers. Everyone is realizing the significance of innovative solutions that provides better and accurate healthcare services without any difficulty.
iPatientCare EHR software is readily available with easy to maneuver features. It gives providers flexibility to choose what features and templates to keep. It also allows providers to design their own template, which gives them ease while working and more time is allocated for the patient care.