The Per-Provider Impact of Mobile EHR Apps

In a previous article, we ran some math on just how significant the ROI impact is for doctors that use mobile EHR apps in everyday practice (in case you don’t feel like checking, it’s pretty big). Well, considering that more than half of medical practices in the U.S. have between two and twenty-four physicians on staff, we figured it may be useful to put this into another perspective. In this post, we’re going to look beyond the single practitioner and scale up those savings. Let’s also take it one step further and break it down by time as well as dollars saved.

The Model: To make our calculations a little simpler, we’ll assume that doctors have identical workloads. The average physician, using a typical EHR system, works 8 hours each day and can see a maximum of twenty patients.

Time Savings at Scale

With a traditional EHR system, doctors spend roughly half the time of a given appointment solely on documentation. If we consider appointments take about 16 minutes on average, an additional 8 minutes will be used for data entry per patient. According to a pulmonary physician who recently incorporated mobile EHR use into his practice routine, he is now able to complete his documentation about 33% faster than before. Using the example of 8 minutes worth of documentation, a physician can shave about 2.5 minutes off of his or her schedule, per patient, by using a mobile EHR app.

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Now, admittedly, 2.5 minutes would seem to make only a minor impact on the workload, but let’s scale that up. Still talking about a single physician, they’d save a total of 50 minutes by the end of the day, and a little over 4 hours by the end of the week. Here’s what the collective time savings would be for one week if each physician at different sized practices used mobile EHR apps for their work:

 

As you can see, the time savings from using a mobile EHR app for one week at a mid-sized practice would be equivalent to hiring a part-time employee just to take care of patient data entry.

Cost Savings at Scale

Based on compensation figures reported by MedScape, the median rate of pay for physicians is $140/hr. Practices using desktop EHR systems, then, are paying their doctors more than $370 every day just to complete data entry work. Do you know how much the average rate of pay for a data entry clerk actually is? About $12.31/hr. Of course, having someone other than the care provider enter information could lead to errors that are even more costly or violate patient privacy laws, so it’s probably best to have the doctors do it themselves. With a mobile EHR app in place, practices can at least cut down on cost, saving a little under $120 per physician per day. Once again, let’s scale that up for the different practice sizes, and see what the savings are after only a week:

A mid-sized practice with ten physicians using mobile EHR apps will see approximately $6,000 in savings after just one week of use. What’s more, when considering time savings, it may be possible for each doctor to see five additional patients per week, generating additional revenue for the practice.

Learn the Reasons Behind It All

It may be difficult to believe that by simply incorporating mobile into healthcare, practices can experience this degree of time and cost savings. The truth is, the healthcare industry has been heading in a mobile direction for some time now because system usability and the ability to access information in seconds are ideal for care delivery.

Learn about the rise of mobile in medicine by downloading the free Ultimate Guide to Mobile in Healthcare today.

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