How an EHR Mobile APP Will Help You Better Focus on Your Patients

As 2015 comes to an end, many late-adopter providers are scrambling to become EHR compliant. In the interest of ensuring the majority of practices deploy EHR systems and can demonstrate meaningful use, the government instituted penalties for noncompliance.

Practices not able to adequately demonstrate meaningful use by the start of 2016 are subject to the following repayment adjustments on Medicare claims:

  • 2015—99% of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount
  • 2016—98 % of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount
  • 2017 and each subsequent year—97% of Medicare physician fee schedule covered amount

If less than 75% of eligible professionals have become meaningful users of EHRs by 2018, the adjustment will increase by 1% point each year – up to the maximum of 5% (95% of Medicare-covered amount).

The threat of a financial burden caused by not implementing an EHR in time has resulted in systems that have been hastily designed and deployed and a disappointing experience for both physician and patient. Practices that have had time and a surplus budget are in better shape, but even in the best cases, the picture is that of physicians burdened by carrying around laptops from one examination room to the next, splitting their attention between the patient examination and entering data via the keyboard.

Less prepared practices or those with budgetary constraints are further hampered by desktop computer stations (as opposed to somewhat convenient laptops) located in each examination room requiring login, locating the patient’s records, and reading check-in notes, all before even examining their patient.

Anecdotally, I recently sat through an appointment with my father-in-law where the physician easily spent 85% of the exam focused on the computer monitor – asking questions and filling in forms – rather than establishing a physician-patient rapport.

The problems resulting from many of these hastily assembled systems include:

  • Lack of connection with the patient
  • Missed physical issues and diagnosis due to excessive focus on the computer
  • Extended time spent transcribing notes from audio recorders (after work)
  • Expense of employing transcribers to interpret recordings and update records (riddled with human error)
  • Inefficient workflows (check-in notes, past records review, prescription writing, follow-up, etc.)

In many cases, these problems can be corrected by revisiting and ultimately redesigning the EHR user experience – which will greatly impact and improve the physician-patient experience. This doesn’t mean replacing an existing EHR software package, it means redefining the way that physicians interact with their patients and create medical records by introducing a better approach. This approach is the EHR mobile app.

An EHR mobile app connects directly with the EHR system from a smartphone. The beauty of these streamlined systems is that they provide the physician with everything he or she needs before, during, and after the exam.

These applications allow for the completion of the entire patient encounter – from updating medical history information to diagnosing and ordering to e-prescribing medications – so that physicians can get out from behind the computer and pay their patients the attention they need and deserve. Expensive (and intrusive) scribes or transcription services can be removed as well due to improved speech recognition software. Information is directly transmitted to the EHR system for billing, analysis, prescriptions, and other purposes. Post-visit surveys and follow-up appointment reminders can also be handled by these enhanced systems completing the patient encounter cycle.

Take a look at iScribeHealth’s EHR mobile app solution as an example of this powerful advancement in mobile physician documentation. Click below to try iScribe at your practice.

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