Millions of Americans are affected by chronic and acute pain which interferes with life and work activities. Electronic health records (EHRs) supported by pain management medical transcription services offer the opportunity to improve care for people suffering from pain by allowing for better documentation, information access, sharing and decision making by healthcare providers and patients.
Pain management EHRs are designed to help physicians work more efficiently and effectively, minimize risks, and improve decision making. The software also comes with features that help patients manage their check-in process and work with their physician to manage their care. Using the EHR correctly is a vital element in effectively running a pain management practice and keeping accurate health records to provide proper and timely care, especially for complex and costly patients. Here are 8 strategies to implement when using EHRs to improve the quality of care in pain management practices:
- Use customized templates effectively: Pain management EHRs feature customized, flexible templates that allow physicians to modify their documentation process to suit their workflow or patient. Using templates effectively can reduce the time required to chart for patient visits, findings, referrals, etc. Importantly, physicians need to leverage the customized template to accurately chart and enter all details pertaining to the patients, which is critical for continuity of care.
- Have a clear idea about patient’s visit history when using the scheduling tools: To schedule patient visits, physicians should have a proper understanding of a patient’s visit history (www.isalus.com). Quality pain management EHRs provide a clear picture of the patient’s visit history along with a user-friendly interface to generate pre-determined requirements. Patient scheduling tools in the pain management EHR will enable the physician to gain awareness about the patient before their visit and also provide the patient with access to important reminders.
- Activate the patient portal: People experiencing pain find it difficult to fill out paper forms to get registered as a patient in the practice. Activating the EHR’s patient portal feature will allow them to get set up quickly. A secure quality patient portal will give patients 24-hour access to their personal health information (PHI) from anywhere. They can track their vitals and test results, and message their pain management physician. With a pain management EHR patient portal, patients can also schedule or cancel appointments, make payments, and more.
- Utilize patient scheduling tools: Quality pain management software comes with a feature-rich user-friendly interface that offers the ability to create pre-determined requirements. Before scheduling a patient visit, the physician should review the patient’s information and history using the software patient scheduling tools. These features also provide the patient access to reminders that help participate in their treatment.
- Leverage the software’s unique features: In addition to the standard features, top pain management EHR comes with unique features. Leveraging all these capabilities will allow pain management physicians improve productivity and efficiency. These features include:
- Dynamic reporting
- Extremities window
- Neurological section and assessment and treatment sections
- Referral letter, messages, and address book
- Find information, order, and view labs, analyze patient results, or graph patient vitals, and much more on a single screen
- Digital prescription – prescribe on-the-go while being able to monitor patient health information to support clinical decisions
- Reporting – use custom templates to develop customized reports quickly and act on them
- Electronic patient consent
- Automatic transcription
- Integrated digital imagery
- Look at the patient: Precise and systematic pain assessment is essential for making correct diagnosis and deciding on the most effective treatment plan for patients presenting with pain. As both EHR use and communicating with the patient require focused attention, providers need to effectively balance the time given to the patient with computer use.
Physicians should also take care to enter data only after the patient has explained their concerns. Pain management specialists should take their patients’ needs into consideration when entering information into the EHR. They adjust their typing style and allow patients to express themselves and not interrupt them or turn away to look up information or write down something. Even if they need to enter data into the record at the encounter, they should continue communicating with the patient.
Providers of EHR-integrated medical transcription services can ease EHR data entry challenges. Outsourcing transcription is a viable strategy for pain management physicians as it will allow them to focus on managing their patients more effectively using the advanced features of their EHR. Even with automated transcription available in the EHR, having the documentation edited by professional medical transcriptionists is crucial for accuracy.