Analyzing your EHR ROI figures: what you should consider
It is important that the practice realize that EHR systems are not simply tools to document patient encounters. They serve as a business management tool that helps to streamline work and make operations more efficient. They help in meeting federal and insurance regulations as well as optimizing coding and billing. Remembering these features can ease the pain in regards to the cost of the EHR investment.
However, not all journeys to EHR implementation run smoothly. If your practice is not sure that the ROI your EHR has give you was worth the price, work and time, it is important to determine what went wrong and what can be done to move forward.
Besides for the actual financial data put into your EHR ROI spreadsheet, here are other things to think about:
Clinician and staff job satisfaction
Did the EHR system bring about an increase in job satisfaction for your clinicians and staff? Or, did the new system cause so much work and frustration that their jobs became less enjoyable? If the administration does not know, then be sure to ask the staff for their feedback.
Patient satisfaction and patient outcomes
How have patients been affected by the new EHR system? Are they happy with operations, visits and billing practices? How is their patient care and how are their health outcomes? Again, asking for patient feedback is appropriate.
No matter the EHR system chosen, the practice should have improved operations. If operational tasks are no better or even worse, it is important to figure out what is going wrong. Has the practice established new work flows and do the staff know their roles and responsibilities? If not, this should be addressed.
When analyzing why your EHR has given a poor ROI, consider all aspects of the implementation process. Was it due to poor planning? Did certain members of the administration have unrealistic expectations or was there an unrealistic timeline for making up for the cost of the investment? Additionally, what were the goals for this investment? Were clearly defined goals established?
When determining how to move forward, it is important to establish new goals. You will probably need to find ways to make the EHR system work for the practice. One of the easiest ways is to host mandatory training sessions, in order to ensure that staff and clinicians are using the new EHR as efficiently as possible and to the system’s full potential.
Next, find ways to streamline workflows and increase productivity. The practice may not be operating efficiently, negatively impacting profits. Additionally, analyze billing practices and find ways to maximize billing and reimbursement. These will increase the practice’s overall revenue and help to make up for the cost of the investment.
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