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?
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 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…)
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…)