Calculating the ROI of Mobile EHR Apps

Mobile EHR apps save doctors and other professionals in a medical practice tons of time on patient documentation. That has some qualitative benefits, like spending more time on patient care or actually getting out of the office at a reasonable time, but what about the money? How does investing in another piece of software actually put money back in doctors’ pockets? Let’s put a dollar value on your time to figure that out.

Saving Time Saves Money

Based on median and average compensation numbers across specialties, doctors make $140/hr, assuming they work 40 hours worth of shifts each week. In a month, they’ll put in 160 hours. To put this into context, a recent study showed that medical residents spend about five hours each day working on patient records in an EHR system when they cared for up to ten patients. If we assume billable hours are spent with patients, that means that doctors are missing out on $700/day, $14,000/month by using hours at the office to work on data entry. Doctors can potentially recoup that revenue by setting time outside of the office to catch up on EHR data, but then they run the risk of making errors. Also, at the risk of sounding cliché, time away from the office is arguably priceless – certainly not worth spending time on documentation.

Let’s look at this another way, in terms of the lifetime revenue gained from a patient. For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume your practice holds scheduled appointments of one hour per patient. Based on the 2:1 ratio of time with patient vs. time spent on EHR entry we saw in the residents’ study, we can calculate that in a regular work day, you can see a maximum of five patients (five hours on patients, three hours on EHR and other work). Based on MEPS statistics from 2013, let’s assume the patient charge is $165 per visit, netting you $825 per day. By completing documentation during an appointment, you’d have time for at least two more patients each day, generating $330 per day, and a total of $85,800 per year.

Advantages of Mobile EHR Apps

Mobile EHR apps have a drastic improvement on system usability, and most users are able to cut their documentation time in half. What’s more, with a mobile-optimized interface, documentation can be completed during exam time without posing a significant distraction from administering care, giving the patient a more pleasant experience. With immediate data entry, the risk of data errors is also reduced – an additional benefit that not only saves time spent on corrections later, but is important to MACRA compliance and reimbursement through incentive payment programs. In short, taking your EHR mobile not only saves money, it makes you money.

Of course, this only is made possible if you have a mobile EHR app that you feel comfortable with. In order to truly get an idea of how much time and effort an app like that can save you, you have to see it up close.

Try iScribe and realize just how easy EHR entry can be.

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