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…)
EHRs Improve Patient Care
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 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 which 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?
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 auditor 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 patients EHR. Together, patient portals and document management tools keep provider and patient care on the same page. (more…)