Wednesday Oct 3 is the last day for EPs to begin their 90-day reporting period for the 2012 MU EHR incentive program.
Park Avenue Associates in Radiology (NY) selects McKesson to provide revenue management services for its 15-physician group.
MedAptus makes available its Mobile Schedule application for the Apple iOS platform, giving physicians access to their schedules and patient information.
Most patients would like access to their health data online and are interested in emailing their physicians, however most providers don’t offer the capability. An Optum Institute survey also finds that 70% of physicians have at least basic EHR capabilities, though only 40 percent have EMRs that support e-mail communications or patient access to health records.
Wood River Health Services (RI) goes live on NextGen’s EHR; the practice also uses NextGen for its billing and dental applications.
Rosemarie Nelson of MGMA Health Care Consulting Group argues that cost is not the only reason for low EHR adoption rates among small practices. Key issues include a shortage of personnel to oversee the EHR project, staff’s limited knowledge of technology, and insufficient time to stay current with changes:
Implementing an EHR is a full-time position for at least three to six months even in a small practice. And, after that, the ongoing support (optimizing, implementing new releases and features, managing incentive program participation, etc.) will require about .20 or .25 FTE for the system guru in the practice. Given the challenges facing medical practices of all sizes, is it any wonder that it’s a daunting task to select and implement a PM/EHR system in a small practice?
Data conversion failure is the most common issue reported by practices that have replaced their practice management system. Other problems noted include reduced cash flow, increased days in A/R, and increased number of claims denials.
The local paper highlights Duke Primary Care Hillsborough (NC), one of Duke Medicine’s first clinics to go live on Epic’s EHR.
Marketing and communications consultant Cindy Thomas Wright offers several tips for using EHRs as a practice marketing tool and to increase patient satisfaction. Suggestions include using automated test reminders; analyzing practice demographics to develop a targeted media plan; and, analyzing patients’ geographic locations to assess expansion possibilities and identify and foster relationships with referral sources.