How Are EHRs Eating Up Physicians’ Time?

Guest post by Abhinav Shashank, CEO and co-founder, Innovaccer.

Abhinav Shashank
Abhinav Shashank

Time is money, an adage the world follows. When providers realized paper medical records were time-consuming, Electronic Health Records were developed to make things streamlined. Early EHRs were only meant to capture basic clinical information, and over the time EHRs have taken the form of a digital version of paper medical records. In an industry as dynamic and as focused on value as healthcare, it’s not feasible to have physicians spend almost half their time on EHRs.

Challenges physicians face with EHRs

EHRs, in their current state, not only consume a lot of physicians’ time, but they also draw their attention away from their direct interactions with patients. Some of the several significant challenges physicians face are:

 Why can’t we do away with EHRs?

While EHRs are not without their own set of challenges, their implementation was necessary, and that still holds true. Only recently, under the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), providers have started to make an effort to enhance value in the care they deliver and the meaningful use of EHRs has been included in MIPS with other substantial quality reporting initiatives. Besides that, there are many offerings of EHRs:

EHR Optimization: Boosting your EHRs

EHR optimization is the process of enhancing and refining the operations of an already installed EHR, to enhance clinical productivity and efficiency. As more and more practices have begun the push for value-based reimbursement, they are demanding more integrated and efficient EHRs.

Opportunities for EHR optimization vary for every practice and range from simple to complex. However, the primary objective of every optimization is reducing the time consumed. Here are some ways healthcare IT platforms can optimize time spent on EHRs for improved patient outcomes:

The road ahead

When time is of the essence, being able to flow efficiently through the workflow is critical. Healthcare providers should not worry about how data is being fed into EHRs and how it is being utilized, they should focus on how to realize their goals as efficiently as possible. EHRs were developed with the aim to unify disparate and paper-written data and to make the entire process of documentation time-effective, and value in care can not be realized if physicians are overloaded with type-and-click tasks. It’s time to bring about a change and optimize the functioning of EHRs to obtain clinical, financial, and professional satisfaction outcomes.

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