Using best practices in your EMR management makes things easier for your entire billing department. Here are best practices examples for EMR management.
Managing an entire medical practice can often be close to impossible.
That is unless you have can manage the best EMR system possible.
What is an EMR system? What are some of the best practices examples of EMR systems?
If you want the information, we have it. Read on below.
What is EMR Management
EMR, or Electronic Medical Records, is a system that compiles and organizes the massive amount of patient information a medical practice accumulates.
An EMR system, sometimes called EHR for Electronic Health Records, will be a great undertaking to create in the first place. The real challenge, though, comes from managing it.
A single mistake can cost thousands of dollars and may even have the potential to risk the lives of your patients.
You need to make sure that you go over everything needed to make your EMR system as perfect as it can be.
The Best Practices Examples to Look For
There are a lot of details that go into an EMR system. It takes a keen eye for details to manage an EMR system, and that keen eye starts with these 8 things to make your practice the best practice.
All of these tasks will combine the skills of your staff, your IT department, your management, and some good advice. You will need to work as a team to get this settled and done.
1. Data Backups and Anti-Virus
As with all electronic systems, you need to take care of your technology. Your system does nothing if the computers that access them to crash and lose all the data.
The first thing you should do is create a constant data backup. you can do this in various ways and will be the job of your IT department. In the absence of an IT department, you might consider a third party company to do the backups for you.
You can make a backup can be made through a cloud service or a separate server.
You should make sure you make frequent full backups so that you have all of the data up to date and backed up at all time.
The next is Anti-Virus. This can be a simple virus and malware sweeper, or your IT department can run more through checks.
Either way, keeping your computers virus-free keeps your system risk-free.
2. Access Security
When a system has confidential information, you need to be careful with how vulnerable the system is in regards to access. One access from the wrong person could be a massive lawsuit or worse.
The key to this is to monitor and restrict access to computers. Make sure anyone who logs in to the system has a personal ID and password. As well, made sure that the system closes at the first sign of inactivity.
The biggest take away from this comes from trained caution. If your staff understands the gravity that a breach in security can be, they can be extra vigilant about who accesses what and when.
3. Keep Multi-Access to a Minimum
This builds off of the previous problem. If too many people access your system, that is a problem. The same can be a problem if too many files come up at the same time.
The idea of an EMR system allows doctors and staff to look up any file and information with ease. As soon your staff wraps up work on a patient’s file, they should close it.
While any doctor or staff may or may not have access to any one file, they don’t need to see it all the time. Files that are not in use should not be open to keep privacy as high as can be.
When organizing your system, remember that consistency is key.
When setting out your rules for how your system is set up, make sure each rule is consistent. The last thing you need is for various members of your staff having different ideas on how to do things and undermining each other.
The first is the terminology. Keep keywords and terminology consistent. Medical terms have many different descriptions and names, so deciding on which ones to use will be a needed ruling.
As well, keep in mind about using terminology with overlapping names or descriptions. The last thing you want is marking the wrong condition in a patient’s records because it has a similar term to another.
5. Planning to Fail
All systems fail. The strong ones have contingencies for when they do fail.
Similar to your data backups, your staff should have a planned response for when errors occur in your EMR.
Whether it was human error or a machine error, the response should a calculated and immediate plan. All staff should know who to report the error to and what steps they themselves need to take to fix the error.
If you have a smooth proceeding when an error occurs, then errors will have little effect on your system.
6. Training Where Applicable
With any system, your staff must have training in it. To be efficient with training, you only need to train your staff on what they need to know day to day.
You may want to designate one or two employees to be “experts” with the system to answer questions as they appear. The rest of the staff will need only minimal instructions.
7. Keep IT Staff Ready and Available
Your IT staff should have a consistent schedule and availability to service your EMR system when needed most.
Schedule the IT staff to do routine checkups on the system. This would include anti-virus sweeps, data backups, and monitoring machine glitches.
As well, you should have at least one member of IT available at any time to respond in person to a problem. With this, you will have a security net to solve any technical problem that comes your way.
8. Keep a Vigilant Eye during Implementation
Once a system is in place, the job is not done. When all your plans are set up, you need to make sure they work.
No amount of scenario thinking or controlled practices will prepare you for every situation in real life. There will always be an element of chaos in every problem.
When that chaos comes, look at how the system holds and react. Use every problem as a test to determine if the system you implemented works.
When a problem was not dealt with in the speed you need, then a change to the system should be on the options table. Real life will teach you how to react to it all.
Doing What is Best for Your Patients
Understanding these best practices examples will be a key factor in ensuring that your EMR system is at its best.
Eager to keep your medical practice at the peak of efficiency? Learn more by contacting us today!