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    EHR Best Practices: Making the system work for your practice

    Plan for EHR post-implenetation to maximize your systems features

    Functionality and expenses are the two biggest sore spots most physicians feel regarding their EHR choiceMedical Economics found that 70% of doctors feel that their EHR system wasn’t worth the cost or effort. By now, you are aware of your EHRs perks and problems. But there may still be more ways to maximize your system, with the goal of doing business more efficiently. Your staff may need more training, and your workflow processes may need to be evaluated to work more in your favor.

    Here are tips to fine-tune your EHR to fit seamlessly into your practice workflow:

    Attesting to Meaningful Use

    Use the quality metrics dashboard provided by your EHR vendor
    Many vendors have a dashboard that tracks quality measures. Follow the instructions provided by the vendor to ensure proper documentation. George Ellis Jr., MD, FACP, a participant and Medical Economics chief medical adviser, says his practice was able to attest to Stage 1 of Meaningful Use 100 days after his go-live date simply by following the instructions provided by his vendor, athenahealth.  

    Consider joining a health information exchange
    Of the 17 core objectives in Meaningful Use Stage 2, three involve the exchange of electronic health information. This has been a concern for providers because many EHR systems lack interoperability. Health information exchanges (HIE) give members access to a centralized electronic repository where they can send and receive patient continuity of care documents.

    Connect with local hospitals and providers to exchange information
    Many physicians site exchanging electronic health information as their biggest concern when attesting to Meaningful Use Stage 2. One solution is to contact your local hospitals and other healthcare providers in your area. Start building a small network with them and discuss other data exchange opportunities.

    Documentation is key
    If you accept Meaningful Use money, then you may be audited. A failed audit means giving back incentive money.
    A primary reason practices fail these audits is because they do not have the documentation to support their attestation numbers. Read more about preparing for an audit on page. 14.

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