As a doctor of chiropractic (DC), you must make many decisions about the day-to-day operations of your business. It’s up to you to determine what hours you are open, the services you will offer if you will sell any products, what type of clients you will treat, and who you will bring on board as staff.
There’s one additional decision you must make and it revolves around the type of electronic health record (EHR) system you will use to collect and store your private patient and practice-related data. What are some of the most common mistakes DCs make in this regard? (more…)
The average chiropractor sees between 20 and 50 patients per day according to the Association of Chiropractic Colleges. When choosing an electronic health record (EHR) system to use at your practice, you have two basic options: a cloud EHR or a server EHR. If you don’t know the difference, a cloud EHR is an internet-based recordkeeping system that stores your important data on your provider’s servers whereas, with a server EHR, your information is kept on-site at your office. Nowadays, more and more online users are beginning to appreciate the value that cloud-based systems have to offer. However, there are also a few myths about this type of EHR that you want to be aware of before making your final decision. Here are three of the most common. (more…)
Choosing the right electronic health record (EHR) system for your practice is incredibly important because you and your staff will be interacting with this system daily, relying on it to keep track of and protect all of your confidential patient and office data. One of the first steps in this process involves deciding whether to use a cloud or server EHR. However, when doing your research, you may come across information about both that isn’t entirely true. With that thought in mind, here are three of the most common myths that seem to be perpetuating about server EHRs. (more…)
According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey, before doing business with a local company, 63.6 percent of consumers check Google first in an attempt to discover what people are saying about it. Numerous others take the time to read review-based sites like Yelp (45.18 percent) and TripAdvisor (30.03 percent), and even social media sites like Facebook (23.14 percent) are used to see what others are saying about the company itself. If you’re one of the majority then, you’re probably using online reviews to help you determine which electronic health record (EHR) software to use. While this may appear on the outset to be a fairly simple process, it’s important to realize that not all reviews are equal. In other words, if you demand to know which EHR software has the best reviews, you’ll want to pay fairly close attention to three specific areas: review ratios, review quality, and review source. (more…)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 86.9 percent of office-based physicians currently use some type of electronic medical record (EMR) or electronic health record (EHR) system. Though this relatively high number is likely in part due to the implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, using this type of practice management software also provides a number of practice and patient-based benefits. For instance, using an EMR or EHR enables healthcare practitioners to keep all of their patient data in one convenient location, where it can be accessed via any device that is connected to the program. It also allows for ease of patient scheduling and billing via a highly automated, patient-centered processes. EMRs and EHRs also provide DCs the ability to quickly and easily compile all of the reports required to run a successful, legally compliant chiropractic practice. But which integrated applications should your software offer, better streamlining the process and providing the most benefits? The answers to this question can be broken down into four basic categories: revenue cycle enhancement, patient engagement tools, multiple specialist adaptability, and linked diagnostic equipment. (more…)
According to a Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, “More than 80 percent of U.S. companies indicate their systems have been successfully hacked in an attempt to steal, change or make public important data.” This study also found that small and medium-size businesses are most at risk, primarily because they tend to not allocate as many financial resources to this task as some of the larger companies in existence today. While this particular finding paints a pretty grim picture about data security in chiropractic offices across the nation, the reality is that you don’t have to put your private information or that of your patients at risk. In fact, there are at least four things you can do to begin hack proofing your electronic health record (EHR) system today. They are: backing up your data, securing your internet, protecting your emails, and locking your network. (more…)
According to an article published by Epoch Times, there are many reasons that it’s great to be a chiropractor in today’s day and age. Among them are having a growing patient base (job security), making a comfortable wage while working for yourself (good income potential with no boss). However, being a chiropractor also means that you need to choose the right software for your practice, a task that many DCs dread. It can be especially confusing when there are so many different options available. So, which one is best? In order to answer that question for your individual office, you must first understand the difference between the three main types of software—EMR, EHR, and PM—as well as the differences between them. Let’s look at each one now. (more…)
According to a review published in Administration and Policy in Mental Health, burnout—which the authors define as experiencing “emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment”—is rampant in the medical field. In fact, after looking at a number of different studies, it was concluded that these types of negative feelings affect as many as 67 percent of those with careers in a health-related occupation, on at least some level. As far as causes go, one Mayo Clinic study identified a strong correlation between the use of electronic health records, or EHRs, and burnout. Specifically, researchers found that “physicians who used EHRs…were less likely to be satisfied with the amount of time spent on clerical tasks.” So what factors could have contributed to this finding? Here are three biggest reasons to consider before choosing your EHR. (more…)
According to an article published by Harvard Business School, there are a few telltale signs that a business is withholding important information from you when trying to negotiate a sale. Among them are using a minimal number of words or using shorter sentences. Other tip-offs would be swearing and speaking in third-person. Any of these behaviors can indicate the sales associate is exaggerating the truth or outright lying. Of course, when looking for an EHR (electronic health record) for your chiropractic practice, you’ll want to avoid such unscrupulous companies and choose the best—a.k.a. Most reputable—vendor possible. And while many honest vendors exist, there are still some things that a few don’t want you to know, primarily so you’ll choose them over their competitors. Knowing what companies are maybe hiding is critical to finding the right EHR system for you. With that in mind, here are the top 10 things EHR companies likely won’t tell you so that you can make a more informed buying decision. (more…)
Inefficient processes at your busy chiropractic office are not only a waste of time for both you and your staff but also a waste of your hard-earned money. In fact, in Business Efficiency for Dummies, it’s estimated that inefficiencies overall “cost many organizations as much as 20 to 30 percent of their revenue each year.” Just imagine what you could do if you added that amount of money back into your bottom line. Maybe you’d decide to use it to get rid of that old, ratty office equipment (like your rundown chiropractic table and x-ray machine), replacing it with newer and more advanced models that respond instantly and effortlessly to your commands. Or perhaps you’d take the saved cash and take your family on a much-needed vacation to the tropics, or invest it toward your retirement. Regardless of what you would decide to do with it, one thing is clear – you won’t have to worry about that extra revenue if you want to clean up your inefficiencies. While this may at first seem like an insurmountable task, one way to start is to choose an electronic health record (EHR) that uses patient-assisted applications. The most important applications to research would be online patient portals, waiting room kiosks, online scheduling, and digital intake forms. (more…)
Business Dictionary defines a contract as an agreement between two parties that is “voluntary, deliberate, and legally binding.” It goes on to explain that, “while all parties may expect a fair benefit from the contract…it does not follow that each party will benefit to an equal extent.” What does this mean? What this definition is saying is, just because you have a contract, doesn’t mean the terms of the contract are always in your best interest. That’s why it’s critical for you to know exactly the contract says, as well as what it doesn’t say. For healthcare providers, this is especially true when signing electronic health records (EHR) contracts. To help navigate an EHR contract, there are certain essentials you’ll want to be addressed. These can be broken down into four main categories: adherence to system performance, adherence to EHR safety, assignment of database control, and responsibilities in risk and liability. (more…)
Committing to provide nothing but high-quality care shows your patients that you’re a DC with a genuine interest in raising the quality of life for those you treat. It tells them that, as a healthcare provider, you put them first as you’re willing to invest the time and effort necessary to make sure they’re delighted with their chiropractic sessions.
But making your patients happy doesn’t just benefit them as there are distinct advantages for you, the practitioner, as well. In fact, one piece of research found that higher levels of patient care are positively associated with the success of your chiropractic practice and the profits you’re able to generate as a result. (more…)
Maintaining your records via electronic health records (EHR) system offers many benefits for you and your chiropractic patients. The University of Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine outlines just a few of the advantages of electronic patient files, some of which include making fewer errors, greater ease when keeping track of patients’ conditions and overall health, improved doctor-patient communication, and having immediate access to patient information, thus saving time and improving productivity during and after treatment sessions.
That said, there are pieces of hardware that, when used with your EHR, can maximize your system and experience, simplifying your network (and your practice) as a result. These pieces of hardware can be broken down by three key areas: your reception area, your waiting room, and patient treatment rooms. (more…)
When it comes to being a DC, many legal restrictions and limitations apply. For instance, in chapter 38 of The Florida Healthcare Professionals’ Medico-Legal Guide, author George F. Indest III, JD, MPA, LL.M, talks about how Florida’s statutes define a chiropractor’s scope of practice. As an example, they allow a DC to engage in adjustments and manipulations, but prohibit the performance of surgeries, the prescription of drugs, or from “using diagnostic instruments or instruments for the treatment of patients, the use of which are not taught in the regular course of instruction in a college recognized by the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine.”
In this chapter, Indest goes on to share the numerous and lengthy requirements and regulations related to insurance and trust account payments, and other various actions (or inactions) that could place you at risk of facing disciplinary action should you violate them. Although this publication is directed toward DCs in Florida specifically, it’s clear that, regardless of which state you choose to make “home” for your chiropractic practice, legal boundaries apply.
With this in mind, wouldn’t it be nice to use a record-keeping system that helps protect you legally? One that was an asset, instead of being a possible liability to your practice? If you answered yes, then an electronic health record (EHR) system may be what you’re looking for as its use offers many legal advantages for a practicing DC. Here are just four of them: (more…)
Using practice management software provides a number of business-related benefits. According to Chiropractic Economics, the top five for chiropractors specifically include: 1) speedier reimbursement for treatment sessions; 2) financial savings due to increased staff productivity (which occurs with software-related process automation and integration); 3) streamlining of relevant office functions; 4) more simple records management, and 5) having a record-keeping system that is scalable as your business grows. While these five advantages paint a picture of an effective and swift office, sadly, few practice management software systems can deliver on all of these benefits.
That’s why it’s important for practice management software to have certain capabilities that maximize the productivity of your office as it grows. This requires that the software have these four basic, yet absolutely essential elements: EHR/EMR capabilities, billing options, ease of scheduling, and report-based functioning. Now let’s take a closer look.
1. EHR/EMR Capabilities
Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, prior to 2015, healthcare providers were eligible to receive financial incentives for “meaningful use” of electronic health record (EHR) systems. However, this same act calls for penalties if no EHR is in place after that date, which means that you can save your practice from government-imposed fines by ensuring that your practice management software has EHR or EMR (electronic medical record) capabilities. What type of EHR/EMR capabilities?
Integration Ideally, the EHR/EMR portion of your software should integrate and automate as many documentation tasks as possible, thereby improving productivity and patient care. This means at a minimum, providing patients with a waiting room kiosk that allows for quick and easy check-in. Many kiosks allow patients to record their chief complaints, medical history, outcomes questionnaires, or other intake forms.
Your EHR/EMR should also be capable of sending reminder alerts to providers to support their clinical decisions and patients to follow up on their care. Provider alerts would remind users of when patients need a re-exam or when treatment is contraindicated. Patient alerts would send reminders for follow up appointments or updated health information.
Additionally, the software should integrate with reports to show statistics on diagnostic and treatment data. Such clinical reports help providers coordinate care plans over a broader patient base. They also prove to insurance auditors the quality and effectiveness of your care.
Lastly, the EHR/EMR system should manage patient health summaries through both online patient portals and document management tools. Patient portals allow patients to view and download their health records online 24/7. Document management tools allow users to scan paper records or digital files to the patient’s EHR. Together, patient portals and document management tools keep provider and patient care on the same page. (more…)
Have you ever driven somewhere you’ve never been before and gotten lost? Of course, you have. We all have at one time or another. And does this make the idea of trying to find a new location on future trips cause you anxiety or stress, possibly even to the point where you’re ready to cancel your plans so you don’t have to go? These are some of the same feelings healthcare providers face when it comes to switching their electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR) systems.
Whether based on past experiences of software transitions that didn’t go well (such as when you get lost and suddenly realize you’re in the bad part of town) or by hearing tales of horror from other medical professionals of how their switch went wrong, the idea of transitioning from one record-keeping system to another can sometimes be enough to make you break out in a cold sweat.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Switching EHR and EMR software can actually be a fairly smooth and seamless process, a drive-in which you safely arrive at your destination with your wits and body intact. That is, as long as you follow four basic steps. (more…)
The Institute for Healthcare Communication (IHC) states that studies conducted over the last 30 years have found “that the clinician’s ability to explain, listen and empathize can have a profound effect on biological and functional health outcomes as well as patient satisfaction and experience of care.” Additionally, after reviewing results from 29 different survey-related studies, researchers Rashid Al-Abri and Amina Al-Balushi concluded that patient satisfaction is “an important quality outcome indicator to measure success of the services delivery system.” What does this mean in real-life terms? Simply put, your ability to communicate effectively can significantly affect patient happiness and patient happiness is directly related to your healthcare business success. So, the question is: how do you create a more positive patient experience via better communication, thereby improving your chiropractic practice as a result? Fortunately, using an electronic health record (EHR) system can help. (more…)
According to Security Week, there were more than 121 million database breaches in the first eight months of 2015 alone, an amount that is nearly double all of the breaches that occurred in the entire year before. This may make DCs think twice about switching to an electronic health record (EHR) system.
While at first glance this may seem logical, in reality, EHRs provide higher levels of security. Because, unlike paper records, EHR’s can offer backups, restricted access, and improved file integrity. Let’s take a closer look. (more…)
HCPro, a healthcare education company, shares that incomplete patient clinical records can impact doctor and patient alike. For the practitioner, failing to put all of a patient’s personal and exam-based information can result in decreased rates of reimbursement, uncollected claims, and lower levels of patient care. In extreme cases, you could lose your license. For the patient, missing health information can easily translate into sub-par care and possibly even misdiagnosis and treatment.
That’s why it’s so important to have complete and accurate records of your patients and the services you provide them. This reduces the risks for both of you while increasing the quality of your care. One way to achieve these goals is by using electronic health record (EHR) technology – a tool that can dramatically improve the quality and accuracy of your health records. (more…)
In “Doctor-Patient Communication: A Review,” authors Jennifer Fong Ha, MBBS, and Nancy Longnecker, PhD, indicate that “Patients reporting good communication with their doctor are more likely to be satisfied with their care, and especially to share pertinent information for accurate diagnosis of their problems, follow advice, and adhere to the prescribed treatment.”
Thus, establishing and keeping those communication lines open is not only a great way to improve your patient satisfaction level but also help them achieve higher levels of health. One way to achieve that goal is by using a certified electronic health record (EHR) system. This helps four different ways. (more…)
With all the new legal mandates involving electronic health records (EHRs), many doctors can be heard grumbling over all the extra work needed just to get paid and avoid fines. Indeed, some of this resistance comes from the fact that no one likes to feel forced to do anything. Change is hard but in most cases – especially with EHR’s – such change is meant for good reasons. Let’s distill the most common EHR complaints down to what they mean for the provider and how to resolve them.
Complaint #1: “EHRs Require Too Much Documentation”
When your chiropractic office doesn’t run as efficiently as it could, one of the most noticeable impacts is lower revenue at year’s end. In fact, some business experts suggest that 20 to 30 percent of a company’s annual income is wasted on various types of inefficiencies. That’s one-quarter of your profits that could be used to purchase new office equipment, acquire new patients, or even fund your retirement instead of being thrown out the window never to be seen again.
Indeed, using electronic health record (EHR) software that is inadequate contributes to this all-too-high number, which makes selecting an effective and efficient system essential to the financial health of your chiropractic practice. But choose the wrong EHR, and your costs could be more than just income. (more…)
The use of electronic health record (EHR) systems have consistently been on the rise. In fact, in recent years, the number of in-office healthcare professionals using EHRs increased from a minimum 20.8 percent to an impressive 82.8 percent according to statistics provided by The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Additionally, the use of electronic systems is projected to continue to grow, with Healthcare IT News indicating that this market alone will increase at a rate of 7-8 percent (or by $35.2 billion) by the year 2019.
These numbers are particularly impressive considering that some studies have also found that two out of every three chiropractors still don’t have an EHR system in place. These figures also indicate that the chiropractic profession is falling behind in a healthcare industry that is increasingly moving from paper to electronic records. And the growing demand for this is the need for more efficient and effective healthcare management.
Indeed, there are many different EHR systems available, making it difficult to select the best one for your chiropractic practice. But whether you’re purchasing an EHR for the first time or you currently have an EHR, and you’re looking to update it or switch to a newer, better system, there are four elements you’ll want to consider before making your final buying decision. These are:
This guide intends to go through each one more thoroughly, providing you with the information you need to help you select the best EHR system for your specific chiropractic office. With that in mind, let’s look at what each area means and how it can impact your office by choosing an EHR that meets specific guidelines within it. (more…)
A cloud EHR system is a software application that is operated within a users web browser whereas a server EHR system is an application that is operated by a program installed on the user’s computer. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology reports that the number of office-based health professionals using electronic health record (EHR) systems has “nearly doubled” in recent years, rising from 42 percent to 82.8 percent. It comes as no surprise then that the electronic management of medical records has grown as an industry, climbing to a projected $35.2 billion by the year 2019. This means that if your chiropractic practice doesn’t already use an EHR, it’s likely that it will in the near future. (more…)
Many DCs are using electronic health record (EHR) systems to make their lives easier when it comes to office organization and record retention. These types of systems also improve chiropractic care for the patient. By offering some convenience-based services such as free online patient portals, email and text reminders, and sign-in kiosks, there’s no denying that an electronic records system provides many patient advantages.
However, there is one issue with some EHR systems that are common but rarely talked about. It’s a matter that impacts patient care, job satisfaction, and EHR adoption. And this issue can be summed up in two words: cognitive drift. (more…)
According to the latest statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost three-fourths of all office-based physicians have an electronic health record (EHR) system in place. This figure is up from the previous year, when just over two-thirds of these health professionals reported the same.
However, one study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health indicates that chiropractors are extremely underrepresented in these numbers. In fact, in this case, they found that only 25 percent of chiropractic offices were currently using an EHR, with another eight percent reporting that they were working on implementing one. That’s a huge difference! Whether you’re part of that eight percent looking for an EHR system or the 25 percent using an EHR system, you’ll want to know four factors to consider before purchasing. (more…)