An electronic health records (EHR) system often makes member information readily available to medical professionals, ensuring that members can receive comprehensive support without delay. Today, EHR systems are becoming exceedingly popular for healthcare professionals worldwide, which is reflected in recent data:
A study of physicians conducted by Quest Diagnostics and Innovation indicated that 87 percent of physicians said they believe it is “very important” or “extremely important” to have access to a member’s medical records. At the same time, however, 65 percent noted they do not have complete access to all of their members' healthcare information.
Furthermore, the study revealed that only 36 percent of physicians said they are satisfied with their ability to retrieve client data within their existing workflows. And according to these physicians, some of the biggest limitations associated with retrieving member data included "lack of interoperability" and an inability to integrate member data systems into their everyday workflows.
"This study shows that physicians and health plan executives differ in their perceptions of how effectively the nation's healthcare system is progressing toward value-based care," Quest Diagnostics Senior Medical Director Harvey M. Kaufman, M.D., said in a prepared statement. "It also reveals that complexity and incomplete access to patient information may be greater obstacles to adoption than previously realized."
Although EHR systems are becoming more valuable in healthcare organizations, it is important to note that not all EHR systems are identical. And for those who want to implement an EHR system, you should know exactly what options are available. Two of the most common types of EHR systems are client-server and web-based options.
A client-server EHR system stores client data in-house. It requires software, hardware and a server to run, and in many cases, may prove to be exceedingly time-consuming and expensive to manage.
Comparatively, a web-based EHR system may help healthcare personnel overcome these problems and many more. There are many benefits to choosing a web-based EHR system, including:
1. Improved Quality of Care
Imagine what it would be like if healthcare professionals could share client information with one another in real-time. These care providers could discuss client affairs with one another and find the best solutions to resolve member issues. And, ultimately, the member may be able to receive faster and more effective treatments than ever before.
Thanks to web-based EHR systems, healthcare professionals are able to transform this pipe dream into a reality. A web-based EHR system empowers users with the the ability to exchange client data with one another from any location, at any time. That way, one physician can keep another up-to-date about member care and ensure that this client is able to receive the best support possible.
One of the key benefits provided by a cloud-based EHR system is that it gives you the ability to update client data in real-time. Meanwhile, because this member information is stored securely in the cloud, another authorized healthcare professional could access it at a later time to ensure that a client is properly assisted.
When it comes to member care, having up-to-date information is of paramount importance. And with a web-based EHR system, you will be better equipped to deliver exceptional client assistance day after day.
2. Increased Productivity and Efficiency
Let's face it: Healthcare professionals remain busy. From diagnosing and treating clients and prescribing medications to counseling members on hygiene and diet, no two days are ever the same for a healthcare professional.
Recent data also indicates that many doctors are spending less time with members —a problem that may affect client care.
For example, a 2016 Medscape survey of 19,200 doctors in 26 specialties revealed 50 percent of male doctors spend an average of 10 to 16 minutes with a client, while 45 percent of female doctors do the same. In addition, the study showed six percent of male doctors commit fewer than nine minutes to an average client, while the same holds true for four percent of female doctors.
Clearly, doctors have a lot on their plates at any given time. But with a web-based EHR system, these medical professionals may be able to spend less time completing paperwork and commit extra time to working directly with members.
Web-based EHR systems commonly drive communication between clinicians, pharmacies and many others in the healthcare field. They also enable users to track communications, reducing the risk that a single message gets lost in the shuffle, and ensuring that you can find the information you need at any moment.
A web-based EHR system typically simplifies office management tasks at doctors’ offices and healthcare provider organizations. It delivers integrated scheduling, allowing users to link insurance claims, progress notes and other medical information directly to a client’s file. Therefore, a web-based EHR system can provide substantial time savings, enabling you to focus on what's important: Delivering the best support possible to members consistently.
3. Less Paperwork and Fewer Storage Problems
Paperwork can add up quickly in any medical office, and for good reason. For example, if a physician is successful, he or she likely will have many clients. This will require lots of paperwork, along with plenty of storage for hardcopies of member files.
Comparatively, healthcare administrators are sure to appreciate the support they receive from a web-based EHR system, as this tool will help minimize the need for paper records.
A web-based EHR allows users to store client data in the cloud, reducing the need for paper copies of files. Thus, healthcare administrators won't have to worry about finding the storage space for paper documents.
With a high-quality, web-based EHR system, healthcare professionals will be able to access member files digitally whenever they'd like. This also guarantees that healthcare administrators can reduce the amount of paperwork — and free up storage space previously needed for keeping paper records.
4. Enhanced Security
Compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a top concern for healthcare organizations. And with a web-based EHR system, providers can maintain compliance with HIPAA and speed up the pace of their day-to-day operations.
With web-based EHR systems, all member files are stored in the cloud and are accessible only to authorized users. To further enhance the security of web-based EHR systems, they may feature added security controls, such as:
- Encryption — Web-based EHR systems that offer encryption ensure that member data cannot be read or understood except by an authorized user who has a special key to decrypt this information.
- Audit Trail Capabilities — Any time a user accesses information stored in a web-based EHR system, an audit trail is left behind. This trail offers information about who accessed specific member information and when he or she accessed it, thereby minimizing security dangers.
- Access Controls — Passwords and PIN numbers are commonly given to authorized users to gain access to a web-based EHR system. Many systems also leverage two-factor authentication, which may require a user to enter a password or PIN number, as well as additional information, to verify his or her identity.
When it comes to web-based EHR systems, security is essential. Medical professionals who are considering some of the reasons to move to a cloud-based EHR should understand that many security measures are in place that ensure member data is protected 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
5. Cost Savings
A recent Health Affairs study estimated that the total first-year costs of EHR system implementation for a five-physician practice was $233,297. Also, the study showed that the average per-physician costs associated with EHR implementation was $46,659.
This study indicates that EHR system implementation can be expensive — particularly if healthcare professionals decide to install a client-server EHR system.
For instance, this system may seem like a viable option because it can help an organization streamline its client data management. But over an extended period of time, the costs associated with this system can become substantial.
Some of the biggest expenses associated with a client-server EHR system include:
- Setup and Installation — You may wind up spending thousands of dollars initially to set up and install a client-server EHR system.
- Training — What good is a client-server EHR system if you don't understand how to use it properly? Training is usually required, which means an organization may need to devote significant resources to create and deploy an employee training program.
- Maintenance — Unfortunately, problems may arise with a client-server EHR system at any time. And in order to keep this system up and running, there may be costly maintenance fees.
- Licensing — Licensing fees may prove to be costly, as an organization will be forced to deal with these expenses as long as they have a client-server EHR system in place.
Cloud-based EHR systems, conversely, may prove to be a more cost-effective option. These systems usually require a monthly fee that may include training, service and support. That way, if you encounter any problems along the way, you'll likely be fully covered.
6. Superior Accessibility, Collaboration and Scalability
With a cloud-based EHR system, healthcare professionals are equipped with a system that enables them to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. This system fosters accessibility and collaboration, as authorized users can retrieve client data from any location where an internet connection is available.
Today, many organizations are embracing the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement — that is, the push to use mobile devices to gain immediate access to information from anywhere, at any time. As such, these organizations demand state-of-the-art technologies that make it easier to collaborate with one another digitally.
A cloud-based EHR system represents new technology that can transform the way healthcare professionals interact with one another and their members. This system gives users the ability to share client information instantly and ensure that it reaches the right person at the right time. As a result, cloud-based EHR systems can help reduce the risk of communication breakdowns or errors in healthcare provider organizations — both now and in the future.
A healthcare organization can deploy a cloud-based EHR system for as many authorized users as needed, quickly and effortlessly. And because the system is web-based, new users can be added at any time, ensuring the power of a cloud-based EHR system will grow as the organization expands.
7. Simple to Manage
For healthcare organizations that previously deployed client-server EHR systems, there may have been a number of difficulties that limited the success of these systems.
To better understand these challenges and their impact on the organization, consider how healthcare administrators may manage a client-server EHR system versus a cloud-based one.
A client-server EHR system may require regular maintenance. And if a problem ever occurs with this system, you may be forced to reach out for IT support and pay hefty maintenance expenses.
Cloud-based EHR systems are very different from their client-server counterparts — and that's a good thing. A cloud-based EHR system ensures that all of your client data is maintained over the internet. Plus, updates are completed automatically to enable the system to run seamlessly at all times.
When it comes to managing a cloud-based EHR system, you may be able to reap the benefits of a simple, effective and reliable option. This system may prove to deliver a better return on investment (ROI) than its client-server counterpart.
Why Should You Move to a Web-Based EHR?
The task of moving to a web-based EHR can be daunting for medical organizations of all sizes, especially those in the behavioral health field.
As a behavioral health professional, you likely understand the challenges of managing client files. These files may seem overwhelming at times, particularly if your organization continues to grow and add new members. And even though you already have a filing system in place, problems may arise due to missing member information or communication lapses due to lost member files.
Although many behavioral health organizations have ignored EHR systems in the past, deploying an EHR in a behavioral health setting can deliver substantial benefits. This system enables behavioral health professionals to capture data about a client's condition instantly, meet government reporting requirements consistently and optimize the human and capital resources at their disposal. It even allows authorized users to share client information with one another and other stake holders safely, ensuring behavioral health professionals can develop comprehensive client health records to boost the likelihood of improved care. Also, an EHR system is configurable and can be tailored to satisfy the needs of a behavioral health organization at all times.
At PsyTech Solutions, we strive to take the guesswork out of web-based EHR systems and provide you with an effective, secure EHR system that meets your organization's needs. Our mission is to strengthen communities by helping our customers deliver excellent care to their clients. And in order to accomplish this goal, we partner with behavioral health organizations to help them enhance the care they can provide by offering superior service and solutions.
With PsyTech Solutions, you'll be able to leverage Epitomax®, our state-of-the-art behavioral health EHR software product that enables you to respond to the constantly changing behavioral healthcare landscape. Epitomax serves as a certified, configurable, easy-to-use software solution that boasts integrated clinical, financial and practice management modules. It’s also web-based, which means you can access it from any internet-enabled device with a web browser and retrieve information from virtually anywhere.
In addition, we view every customer as a valued business partner — to us, your success is our success. As such, our support team of knowledgeable and skilled software developers, clinicians and support technicians make customer satisfaction a top priority and will work with you to ensure that you receive the support you deserve at all times.
Choose PsyTech Solutions for web-based EHR software, and we'll help you streamline your everyday EHR management. To schedule a demo of our web-based EHR software, please contact us today at 866-3-PSYTECH.