A prescription for the perfect EHR

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Under the Merit Based Incentive Payment Systems (MIPS) of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), provider reimbursements depends on quality over quantity. In an effort to enhance the value physicians bring to patients, meaningful use of electronic health records is rolled into MIPS with other quality reporting initiatives and will have a substantial influence on reimbursements.

"98% of large hospitals used EHR technology as of 2015."

Providers get a performance score that is determined by how well they meet certain criteria under MIPS. The score will either meet, exceed or fall short of a threshold set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and that result will influence payment adjustments. One quarter of that score depends on how physicians use EHRs, which has led many providers to adopt these systems. According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 98 percent of large hospitals used this technology as of 2015. Meanwhile, 97 percent of medium-size medical facilities, 96 percent of non-federal acute care hospitals and 94 percent of small facilities also had certified EHR systems.

While its implementation was necessary to replace outmoded paper-based systems, EHRs are not without their own challenges. These systems must possess certain characteristics to support healthcare organizations instead of adding greater burden.

The diagnoses: Pain points for EHRs 
Inefficiency reigns supreme among provider complaints. Some insurance organizations, particularly the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service, have strict coding policies, and healthcare providers that don't abide by these regulations may not receive compensation for claims. As a result, providers spend substantial time focusing on the details of documentation in EHR systems, which ultimately takes attention away from the patient. New York Times contributor and Registered Nurse Theresa Brown spends two to four hours just charting a hospice admission in an EHR.

"ACOs attempt to improve efficiency, accuracy and cost containment."

This is especially troubling for Accountable Care Organizations, as the purpose of ACOs is for multiple practitioners to work together to provide the highest quality of care possible. To reach these goals, ACOs attempt to improve efficiency, accuracy and cost containment. EHRs that consume too much of a clinician's day work against the purpose of ACOs.

A Mayo Clinic study found that frustration regarding EHR obstacles may increase a physician's risk for burnout, which has obvious implications for patient well-being and makes quality EHR systems all the more important for ACOs.

However, well-made EHRs have the potential to boost both patient and provider satisfaction and streamline services. Healthcare provider organizations just need to know what characteristics to look for in the software.

The IMO prescription: What to look for in EHR software
Naturally, high-quality EHR software addresses provider pain points while performing the tasks it was designed to do: consolidate health information, engage patients and allow for more organized documentation.

The first factor to consider is whether an EHR will increase efficiency and thus improve patient care in an ACO environment. What features does this software offer than enabling faster, more accurate coding? The answer lies in the clinical terminology software, which is where Intelligent Medical Objects comes in. Approximately 450,000 physicians worldwide rely on IMO to help them capture, manage and structure health data, and for good reason.

"The IMO 2.0 Enhanced Technology Platform (ETP) is the perfect solution for enhancing EHR systems."

The EHR vendor IMO is a trusted partner experienced in facilitating the capture of clinical information in a way that takes both provider and patient perspectives into account. This allows physicians to spend less time entering data and more time interacting with those receiving care. The IMO 2.0 Enhanced Technology Platform (ETP), specifically, is the perfect solution for enhancing EHR systems. This product bundles all of IMO's technology into one location, which means it has all the advantages IMO can offer.

Most importantly, 2.0 ETP can increase efficiency and accuracy with automatic terminology updates. That is, doctors spend their days providing care to patients instead of figuring out which code they're supposed to use. Practitioners also see greater accuracy thanks to 2.0 ETP's clinical term mapping within ICD-9, ICD-10 and SNOMED to all standardized codes. This feature also allows ACOs to avoid the frustration of scrutinizing every coding detail, putting the focus back on the patient.

The ideal EHR software also maximizes claims reimbursements by allowing for greater accuracy. 2.0 ETP's CQM Dashboard accounts for potential human error and gaps between a hospital's colloquial dictionary and clinical quality measures. It also has terminology mapping capabilities that update as ICD-10-CM coding language does and automatically syncs changes in EHR dictionaries to terminology descriptions and associated maps. This ensures providers don't enter incorrect information that might lead insurance companies to reject claims.

2.0 ETP also makes EHRs user-friendly. Providers are, after all, clinicians first and technology users second. There is an inherent learning curve with any EHR adoption, but high-quality software like 2.0 ETP minimizes the time and effort it takes to get acquainted with the technology. That is, physicians must be able to not only document efficiently and accurately, but they should understand the software enough to take advantage of all its features. For instance, a mobility component that allows physicians to float from room to room and still effectively document health information is only beneficial for increasing patient face time and efficiency if doctors can use it.

IMO clinical terminology is the most widely used in the industry - find out why.