6 Ways to Optimize Your EHR

Tag Archives: EHR Solutions

6 Ways to Optimize Your EHR

optimize for EHR success with your EHR vendor

Whether you are moving from paper, a hybrid system or an existing EHR, now is the time to think about how to optimize your EHR. It’s not an easy task. It has a lot of moving parts. But, putting this effort in before you search for an EHR vendor and implement a system is key to your success.

1. Make it a Collaborative Effort

EHR optimization is a collaborative effort. All of your key stakeholders should be involved. This includes personnel from billing, program management, practice administration and clinical. However, don’t forget to include your EHR vendor in this list. They will help you work through this process and help provide insight and best practices.

2. Re-imagine your Operations

Begin by re-imagining your day-to-day operations with technology in mind. For instance, if you used to pull and file charts, how would you do that differently with electronic files? What are your patient-centric activities? Then, think about how these activities can be streamlined so you can provide more effective patient care. This is where you begin developing your workflows. Believe it or not, your EHR can be optimized to follow your organization’s processes.

3. Go beyond the Basics with Documentation

Go beyond the basics. What works and what doesn’t work for your organization? What information do you need for every client? Are there things that can be templatized to make your process more streamlined? Do you need check boxes or free text? Also, think about how your current documentation processes can be improved and work those changes into how your EHR functions.

4. Really Think about your EHR Workflow

Just because you’ve always done it a certain way doesn’t mean you should continue with it. People moving from paper often try to recreate their workflow in their EHR. But, if you are trying to leverage the value of an electronic system, you should consider how your organization can capitalize on that functionality. Think about the possibilities of how your clinic can function now that information is available for any authorized staff member.

5. Keep your Eye on the Bottomline

Cash flow and revenue cycle management can be a real business issue. Create goals or benchmarks for your key financial performance metrics, and use your integrated EHR system to monitor critical reports on a regular basis. In addition, you can share results with the entire team around daily collections, insurance claims outstanding, and your insurance Aging Report. When practice management, electronic health records and billing systems are integrated, you will see a direct impact on your revenue. You’ll begin seeing increase cash collections, a decrease in aging and better reporting for earning government funding.

6. Personalize. Configure. Customize.

Think about how your solution can be tailored for your organization. For example, how can your EHR be personalized for your users so they only see the information that’s relevant to their role? Similarly, how can it be configured with your programs, templates and forms? And, as often is necessary, how can your EHR be customized to meet your unique needs?

As you’re on your journey to implement an EHR that is optimized for your organization, ensure you select a vendor that will truly be a partner for you. One who will help you implement best practices for clinical workflows that meet the needs of your care setting. Optimizing your EHR will help you improve quality of care while also improving your team’s productivity. It’s a win-win.

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Do the MACRA – Changes are coming sooner than you think


To end the year on a high note, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Final Rule on October 14, 2016, for the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). The changes provide the most complex and significant change to reimbursement in over 20 years. But how soon will these changes affect you?


Probably sooner than you think. The timeline is aggressive and performance measures will go into effect this year. It is already important to be tracking services and patient information in an easily reportable format. As healthcare providers, you will still be expected to provide the best care to your patients and you will be rewarded for doing so. You have choices, but ultimately the changes can help increase your payout and ability to provide care for patients, if you know the intricacies of the plan.


Education will be key for your team, so make sure your leaders (especially your C-suite) understand how the changes will affect your health center. Optimize what knowledge you have from Meaningful Use to help estimate your Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) score.


One of the easiest ways to get ready for the upcoming changes is to make sure your EHR partner is up to the task. Your EHR should be certified and capable of adapting to payment changes quickly and efficiently. An effective EHR must be able to provide important reports easily. You should also expect more service from your vendor to help explain changes and decide the best path for your clinic, community health center or local health department. A true EHR partner will provide dedicated billing experts to guide you through the new details in the Final Rule. Your billing team is sure to have questions, as with any major change to reimbursements, and they should know where to go to get help.


Don’t lose out on reimbursements with an old system or a system that expects you to figure out complicated government changes by yourself.


For more details on billing to Medicaid and Medicare, visit the CMS website.


For more information about the new payment models, check out the new Quality Payment Program Website.

Clinicians soon to be rewarded for providing quality patient care with new Medicare Payment System (MACRA)


With efforts of providing clinicians the tools and flexibility to provide high-quality, patient-centered care, the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) recently finalized and published a new payment system for Medicare clinicians, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).  This new system was designed with input from thousands of clinicians and patients across the country.  MACRA repeals the Medicare Part B Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) reimbursement formula and replaces it with a new value-based reimbursement system. It also signifies the largest and most complex change to Medicare billing in many years.


Partnering with clinicians provided the Administration a clearer understanding of patients’ needs allowing them to build a system that will help deliver higher quality care; a system that will streamline Medicare payments, and put patients at the center of their healthcare. The changes overall are an honorable effort by CMS to reward clinicians for providing expert care to their patients.


“It’s time to modernize the Medicare physician payment system to be more streamlined and effective at supporting high-quality patient care. To be successful, we must put patients and clinicians at the center of the Quality Payment Program,” said Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “A critical feature of the program will be implementing these changes at a pace and with options that clinicians choose. Today’s policies are designed to get all eligible clinicians to participate in the program, so they are set up for successful care delivery as the program matures.”


Clinicians at local health departments, FQHCs or other healthcare agencies can choose one of two payment models:  the Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) or the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).  According the new Quality Payment Program website, “if you decide to participate in an Advanced APM, through Medicare Part B you may earn an incentive payment for participating in an innovative payment model.  If you decide to participate in traditional Medicare Part B, then you will participate in MIPS where you earn a performance-based payment adjustment.” Ultimately, having more options will give clinician flexibility in choosing the path best suited for their health center or department’s needs.


As stated in the DHHS press release released on October 14, 2016, “the first path gives clinicians the opportunity to be paid more for better care and investments that support patients. The second path helps clinicians go further by participating in organizations that get paid primarily for keeping people healthy.”


For more details on the two new payment models, and determine which track would best suit your needs, check out the new Quality Payment Program website.