E-prescribing goes way beyond efficiency
For the past decade, I have been singing the praises of e-prescribing and electronic medical record keeping as important business solutions for DME/HME providers and physicians.
Increasing government regulation and the pressure to reduce costs are driving demand across the healthcare industry for information technology-based solutions. E-prescribing has become a recognized solution for some of the most challenging aspects of running a business in the healthcare field.
In recognition of these benefits, as many as 42% of all physicians and 70% of pulmonary physicians have transitioned to some type of electronic medical/health record. The elimination of faxing, printing and e-faxing saves time. Real-time notifications eliminate call-back and fax-back
Without e-prescribing, it can take 45 to 90 days to complete the cycle from referral to billing. e-prescribing can reduce this cycle to a single day. The electronic processing of data also reduces fraud and the number of audits and associated costs.
But there are other very important reasons to get on the bandwagon with electronic medical record keeping. E-prescribing solutions can also provide patient management tools within the same software.
Many of the features of electronic medical record keeping that provide shorter billing cycles and reduced cost, and assure more accurate data input, also result in benefits that directly impact the care a patient receives.
Time is valuable. Time not invested in paperwork can be converted into time spent improving patient care. The ability for a physician to immediately access the most accurate and up-to-date patient information assures timely diagnosis, correct prescriptions, and quicker assignment of needed equipment and services.
In the case where a patient switches his or her insurance or healthcare provider, the ability to maintain continuity of care is critical. With all the patient data accessible at the press of a keystroke, the transfer of information between different healthcare providers is facilitated without
Respiratory therapists and other medical care providers working in the home can also access these records. Proper therapy is assured by increased accuracy of the records, especially updated prescriptions or changes in therapy.
Maintaining accurate records is key to tracking the proper use of the prescribed equipment by the patient. Proper use of the equipment on the prescribed schedule is necessary for maximum therapeutic value. Electronic record keeping allows the therapist and the physician to keep track of how the equipment is used. The records can also keep track of any problems—such as an ill-fitting breathing mask—that may be the reason the equipment is not being used properly. Better record keeping and easier access to the records provides faster recognition and remediation of such issues.
Reducing the billing cycle is a key economic benefit of e-prescribing and electronic record keeping solutions. Streamlining the billing cycle also reduces possible interruptions in care that can create additional stress on the patient.
E-prescribing can also reduce potential fraud in the system that uses up resources that could be applied to improved patient care. CMS audits are one method of assuring integrity in the healthcare system. Accessibility of the data reduces the time and cost of audits. Audit requirements are subject to change. E-Prescribing solutions provide for fast updating and the timely addition of new regulations and requirements. Simply type in a patient’s name and ID number and all the information is immediately available for review. E-prescribing creates an “audit ready” environment at all times.
E-prescribing and electronic medical records are essential business tools that will help HME providers and physicians save time and money. HME providers and physicians will also appreciate the fact that many of the business benefits created through the use of e-prescribing tools will also be translated into improvements in patient care.
Roxie Murray is vice president at Jaysec Technologies. She has more than a decade of experience developing and marketing e-prescribing tools and services. Reach her at email@example.com.