When people talk about electronic health records (EHR), they often fixate on professional-level features and financial incentives, overlooking the technology’s many benefits to patient care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are using incentive programs to encourage physician practices and hospitals to adopt certified EHR technology because it promotes improvements in healthcare and efficiency. Many of these healthcare improvements directly impact patients, such as ePrescribing, reduction in errors, facilitated information-sharing, simplified reminders and better patient education.
Electronic prescribing, or ePrescribing, makes the process of ordering prescriptions and managing refills faster and more accurate. With the Care360 ePrescribing module, physicians can send prescriptions and refill orders directly to pharmacists, which saves patients time they would have spent waiting for their prescriptions to be filled after drop-off. Electronic entry also eliminates the risk of transcription errors caused by poor handwriting, which can result in patients receiving the wrong medication.
Physicians can even use ePrescribing to identify which medications are covered by a patient’s insurance plan and what alternatives are on their insurance formulary. This can save patients a significant amount of money by substituting generics for brand name medications or finding an alternative with a lesser insurance co-pay. Perhaps most importantly, electronic prescriptions are shown to reduce the risk of adverse drug events by giving physicians direct access to patient medication history and alerting the physician to potential interactions.
Widely adopted EHR solutions, such as Care360, make it easy for healthcare providers to exchange health information quickly and securely. Using an EHR to share patient information eliminates phone tag between providers, making the process for referrals and transfer of care faster and easier. Patients don’t have to wait weeks for a new provider to put together a complete medical record, and physicians seeing the same patient can communicate securely with one another about the best course of care through Direct Clinical Messaging.
EHR saves valuable time in other ways as well. Filling out traditional, paper-based records is not only time-consuming; it also reduces the time physicians and clinicians could be spending with patients at the point-of-care. In addition, a majority of patients look very favorably upon primary care physicians who are willing to implement and utilize such cutting-edge technology in the office.
Using Care360 EHR, you can set up email reminders for patients so that they don’t miss regular lab testing, as well as automatic staff alerts to help identify patients who require follow-up. Healthcare professionals can securely send patient history and lab results to a personal health record (PHR) where other authorized providers can access a patient’s complete record, improving overall coordination and continuity of care. EHR systems also make it easier to store and print off patient education materials, so office personnel don’t have to worry about running out of documents or locating the correct ones for patients.