Northwind Pharmaceuticals

Using Electronic Health Records to Reduce Mistakes

Using Electronic Health Records to Reduce MistakesWhile it’s not a brand new subject around the water coolers, the subject of EHRs is still on the tip of everyone’s tongue. From the potential to the actual, from the expectation to the performance, EHRs are actually making a difference when it comes to reducing the number of mistakes made between physicians and pharmacies.

To recap a few details, we want to ask a few key questions:

What are EHRs All About?

EHRs or electronic health records are a system which capture a picture of a given patient and his or her health. The record contains:

  • Patient records
  • Prescriptions
  • Lab Results
  • and More

Organizations which serving Medicare or Medicaid Patients can receive extra government payments if they prove they are making “meaningful use”of electronic health records (EHRs). What is key for hospital organizations to understand is eligibility. To be eligible for incentives, medical organization EHRs must follow strict standards. They also have to be certified as meeting those standards.

What is Required to Make them Work?

Outside the medical community, it’s not uncommon for others to imagine an EHR as a magic black box somewhere in the hospital that somehow controls the ebb and flow of information, a box that magically and easily accepts and produces information for physicians, other healthcare workers and patients. But that is far from the case. EHRs are systems which must be built to fit the organization it serves. What’s more , the software must be interoperable, allowing information to transfer between different systems completely and unchanged.

Where we are in 2014 with EHR Adoption?

Taking a look at most recent numbers, the statistics immediately reveal that we aren’t near 100% participation. Considering that 41% of healthcare centers have no plans for adoption, the presidential mandate seems like an ideal rather than a reality. As for those centers which have adopted or which are planning to the numbers reflect that 12% are using EHR, 13% are in the process of adoption and 34% have planned adoption within the next two years.

Do EHRs integrate with In-House Dispensaries?

Yes, they can! Your software vendor can build a software program that integrates with your existing EHR and lets you confirm patient eligibility, bill electronically and dispense to patients all at the same time. The costs can be pretty affordable, and medical practices that utilize an in-house dispensary enjoy additional revenue streams of up to $5,000 per month (and that’s just for small practices by one estimate.)

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