Is Your EHR Working Hard Enough? 5 Features a Contemporary EHR Needs

The people you choose when staffing your hospital or practice make a difference. You want staff with experience, and an abundance of knowledge, and who put patient care first in everything they do. Even if you’ve found a hardworking staff, your practice may still be missing another hardworking aspect of an effective workflow: a high-quality EHR. With such great employees, it’s difficult not to wonder whether your EHR is working equally as hard. At Iron Bridge, we know what it takes to make an EHR carry out the functions that make a real difference in your day-to-day functions, which is why we’re here to break down 5 key functions your EHR needs. From EMR integration to CDS alerts, we’re sure these features can make a difference in your ability to provide quality care while increasing your bottom line.

EMR Integration

Interoperability exists at the core of your EHR’s Success

EMR Interoperability doctor

EHRs were originally developed to streamline the storage and communication of medical records beyond what can exist in a manila folder. Now that technology has developed enough so that health data can be stored and communicated with ease, it’s time to go a step further. Interoperability permits EMR integration with other vendors, allowing healthcare providers and other actors in the healthcare industry—insurers, lab technicians, and billing specialists—to access and use the appropriate information to streamline their workflow processes. 

The ability to centralize data and communications with interoperability, however, has been a major hurdle in the Health IT field for years now. Issues with data formatting and backend coding have prevented the ability to share data from an EMR efficiently, bringing interoperability to a screeching halt for many vendors.

Iron Bridge—a leader in EMR integration—created a solution that makes interoperability accessible across the industry. As a managed EHR integration service, Iron Bridge offers interoperability tools for a rate only a fraction of the cost of building it yourself, allowing EHRs and hospitals to provide the highest quality service possible. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Make the Most of EMR Integration by Integrating a CRM

EMR CRM Integration

A recent paradigm shift in the medical industry has made healthcare a more competitive industry. Providers and hospital systems are forced to focus on more than quality care and outcomes, and instead must consider the healthcare industry as a customer-service driven industry as most businesses do. 

As a means of ensuring patient satisfaction (which keeps them coming back and away from your competitor), CRMs help monitor patient satisfaction metrics, conduct surveys, and pinpoint problems where they exist. The ability to have a CRM integrated within your EHR allows you to make patient satisfaction a priority and address issues as they occur. This way, hospitals can make adjustments to scheduling and wait times that lead to disgruntled patients to improve the customer experience from start to finish.

Patient-Provider Communication Portals

Create a Secure and Informative Communication Portal within your EHR

Patient Record Portal Digital

Due to regulatory practices like HIPAA, secure communications in the healthcare industry are key. Emailing your doctor about a specific question makes it easy for a clinician to violate HIPAA, and it’s not realistic to have patients scheduling an appointment for every small concern. 

This is exactly why a patient portal is a vital part of any EHR. Improved patient-provider communication using a patient portal, according to one study, helps ensure patient satisfaction and decreases the likelihood that a patient will be readmitted.

Additionally, EHRs can aid in providing patients with supplementary activities. Many people want to be able to take a more front seat approach to their own health, and EHRs are capable of providing patients with educational materials that inform patients about side effects, reinforce medication adherence, and provide access to on-demand educational materials.

Risk-Based and Clinical Decision Support Alerts

Support Clinician Judgement with Alerts from the EHR

clinical alerts doctor medical records

With EMR integration, physicians are able to order prescriptions and tests with ease. An EHR is capable of checking up on the judgments and orders made by the clinician, showing alerts about potential drug interactions and discrepancies in traditional treatment. Clinical Decision Support alerts (CDS alerts) are not designed to replace the judgment of a physician but can aid in helping team members make timely, informed, high-quality decisions.

This works because your EHR should be almost as smart as your clinicians. When initiating a potentially inappropriate order, the provider receives a real-time notification about the deviation. This second round of checking helps ensure quality care and provide recommendations that can help physicians cover all their bases.

A study published in the American Journal of Managed Care studied more than 26,00 patient encounters and found that adherence to CDS alerts was correlated with improvements in length of stay, rate of readmission, rates of complications, and the direct cost of care. In other words, these alerts are proven to provide better care to patients— all thanks to the power of your EHR.

Speech Recognition

EMR Integration with Voice Transcription Improves Patient Care

EMR Speech Recongnition

As a contributing factor to physician burnout, data entry exhausts physicians and takes up a great amount of time that could otherwise be spent with patients. Speech-enabled EHRs allow the clinician to speak into an electronic device, translating speech into text that is kept within the EHR. This reduces medical data entry times greatly, leading to a number of benefits within the day-to-day practices of a practice. Right now, more than 62% of providers are currently using speech recognition and transcription in their practices, and this number is expected to rise as voice recognition technology improves and is more true-to-speech in its transcription ability.

Think it’s time to get an EHR that works as hard as you do? Get in touch with the team at Iron Bridge today to learn how EMR integration can centralize communications, improve patient care, and increase your bottom line.

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