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.
Compromised Patient Care
Take a moment and think about your practice from the eyes of your patients. When they’re in the room with you, how much time do you spend interacting with your software? Are you waiting to pull up their records? Does it take too much time entering notes? If your computer time is more than your patient time, do you think your patients are getting quality care? Probably not. What’s worse is your patients likely know it.
Additionally, using an inefficient EHR system increases the number of medical mistakes because of inaccuracies in records as a result of software limitations. This inefficiency not only affects your patient care but make you a target for malpractice claims, an issue that costs healthcare practitioners $3.6 Billion a year.
All of your reimbursement requests from government healthcare plans rely on your ability to prove your services are medically necessary. So it’s pretty hard to verify what you did when its missing from your records system. Omissions like these can lead to missing out on money that is rightfully owed because you couldn’t justify treatment. Not to mention, it also puts you at risk of being audited.
Insurance audits can be very costly. They often result in either, prepayment penalties, recoupment penalties, and legal fees to defend you. Regardless of the outcome, you as the provider will be blacklisted by the insurance companies because it appears as if you are distrusting.
Probably the most costly issue when using an inefficient EHR software is the time wasted on managing patient records. The most common cause of this lost time is from slow or unresponsive software. Even if it takes just an extra minute or two to complete a chart, at 30 patients a day, 50 weeks a year (assuming you take a couple of weeks off to enjoy life a bit), that adds up to 250 hours in lost time annually.
Wasting your time is bad. But wasting your staffs time is worse. If they’re spending their time using an EHR system that’s inefficient, then you’re paying wages for employees mostly doing nothing. Add this to the 30 minutes or more employees admit they’re already wasting by browsing the Internet, socializing, or having personal calls, and now you’ve got some major productivity issues on your hands according to one Salary.com survey.
Finally, any EHR system that fails to demonstrate Medicare Meaningful Use is inherently inefficient. Meaningful Use demonstration prevents reimbursement penalties. So if you can’t demonstrate Meaningful Use and you see a lot of Medicare patients, you’re losing a lot of money in the form of uncollected reimbursement fees. This will significantly impact your profit margins.
Additionally, only government certified EHR systems can demonstrate meaningful using rigorous standards in data security. Therefore, any system that is not certified may put you at risk of lost or stolen data. When it comes to the security of the patient’s health records, any compromise will severely impact a patients trust. It can also sink you financially as a 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study conducted by IBM and Ponemon Institute found that “the average total cost of a data breach…increased 23 percent over the past two years to $3.79 million.”
Save Yourself Stress and Aggravation
In the end, all of these issues can affect your chiropractic practice financially, but they can also negatively impact your business due to lower quality patient care (whether perceived or real), excessive wasted time and greater distrust by auditing agencies.
Why not save yourself the stress and aggravation, as well as the money, and choose an efficient chiropractic EHR system instead? It’s hard enough to run your own business. Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.