Okay, so EHR isn’t really hurting MACRA. It’s actually necessary to complete some of the MIPS measures, particularly in the “Advancing Care Information” category. More than 90% of healthcare professionals report using the systems in their daily work. The problem, though, is that EHR doesn’t make reporting easy on providers. The top satisfaction score for various EHR platforms was only 3.7 on a 5-point scale. Here are a couple of problems healthcare professionals encounter when using EHR systems:
Too Much Click, Click, Clicking
Isn’t it frustrating when you can’t find a file on your computer? How about finding a patient record in your EHR? And what about a particular detail in that record? When doctors are performing an exam, they have to navigate to the right place and input provided patient details, all without overly extending the time of the visit. That vital data is exactly what gets sent out for MACRA reporting, so if providers miss details, they may also be missing out on payment incentives. Oh, and that distraction probably takes away from delivering quality care and attention from the patient’s issues.
Divided Attention Leads to Bad Data
Doctors, despite having extensive medical knowledge, are not superhuman. They can’t multitask any better than their patients can. That causes problems for providers when they have to simultaneously take in what the patient is saying, interpret it, respond, and record it all in their EHR system. We know that when people divide their attention, they’re more likely to make errors in one task or the other. Considering that, there’s risk during every appointment of the physician making an error in their patient’s record. Faulty records are definitely dangerous for the patient, but they also lead to false reporting on MACRA measures.
Wrong System = Huge Delays
From a logistical standpoint, MACRA reporting can only be completed efficiently through the use of a Certified EHR (CEHR) platform. Granted, there are about 326 platforms out there (you can check if your own software is certified by clicking here), but EHR has been around for a while. None of the products released back in 2011 currently meet certification criteria. Practices who still use these older versions will need to replace or otherwise upgrade their system to take advantage of MACRA’s incentive payments. Doing so may initially present a significant financial setback.
Of course, facilities can submit some reports through third-party health data registries, but transmitting that sensitive patient data requires special security considerations. It can also be more difficult to submit reports by a deadline due to unforeseen delays on the part of the registry.
Issues with EHR usability are being resolved, however, by mobile EHR apps. Apps like iScribe feature a more intuitive interface, voice-to-text functionality, and predictive terminology functions that conventional EHR systems don’t. Together, those tools make doctors more productive, more ready to care for patients, and more able to comply with MACRA.
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