As the adoption of the electronic healthcare system gathers pace, healthcare providers are adopting EMR/EHR to achieve meaningful use objectives. The main benefits of electronic health records are easy sharing of patient information, improved security of protected health information (PHI) and reduced cost of care. However, physicians are finding that entering information in EHR is an arduous and time-consuming task. A report in Information Week says that the EHR is falling short of expectations, causing physician burnout, and leaving them with less leisure time. Data entry by physicians in EHR has resulted in loss of physician productivity, reduced focus on patients, and incomplete capture of information in patient records. The solution lies in getting professional assistance to deal with the demands posed by electronic documentation.
Hiring Medical Scribes or Assistants Can Help
Studies say that physicians nowadays spend, on average, eight to 12 minutes per patient to fill out the EHR. According to a 2012 survey of more than 7,000 doctors using EHR, about 45.8% displayed at least one characteristic of burnout. Moreover, when they entered information into the EHR during the patient encounter, it often happens that they pay less attention to the patient and may miss out on important nonverbal clues which could be pertinent to care.
The doctors can benefit from real-time, in-parallel documentation and relieve themselves of administrative tasks by hiring a professional assistant or medical scribe. When filling out EHR right after the exam or procedure, the physician may miss out certain activities and insights which may be quite significant. A medical scribe, a professional physician’s assistant trained in medical documentation and other tasks would efficiently perform the data entry task. The assistant would capture every billable procedure on the chart, freeing up the physician from the administrative task which would give them more time for patient care.
Medical Transcription Outsourcing for EHR Support
Another option that physicians have is medical transcription outsourcing. Medical transcription services are playing a significant role in the adoption of the electronic healthcare system. A professional medical transcription company ensures accurate, prompt, secure creation of medical records and eases EMR/ EHR adoption. The documentation provided by the company ensures that the entire patient encounter and narrative is recorded. This improves care as well as medical coding and billing. HL7 interface allows the transcription company to interface with the electronic health record system. They can even provide proofreading and editing services for the transcripts that the physician creates using speech recognition software.
Benefits of Professional Support for Electronic Documentation
Professional support for digital documentation improves the efficiency of the physician and enhances overall productivity of the practice in the following ways
- Helps the physician see more patients
- Results in detailed and better documentation
- Reduces the time physicians spend on administrative tasks and documenting patient visits
- Helps prevent physician burnout by giving them more free time
- Increases practice compensation
- Saves time for training to use EHR/EMR
- Eliminates chances of wrong entries caused by stress
- Enhanced charge capture
- Increases EHR/EMR adoption rate
- Improves compliance
As far as hospital productivity is concerned, it is not sensible to use a doctor to type or fill out forms. Getting professional assistance for electronic documentation allows physicians to utilize their time productively, see more patients, and ensure comprehensive care.