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Good Tips for Maintaining Patient Medical Records at Clinics with an EMR

Updated on July 23, 2011

As life gets busier and more fast-paced, technology enables simple solutions for tedious tasks such as maintaining patient medical records at clinics electronically. If you own or manage a hospital, clinic, or private medical practice, you know how time consuming paperwork can be. Insurance, billing, forms, etc… All you have to do is look at the payroll of your secretaries, patient billing specialists, and appointment schedulers and you see how much of your practice's payroll is devoted to these parts of your medical business.

It's too bad there isn't an android yet who can handle all of this simultaneously. If only robotic science could create a robot who could do it all for you, from scheduling appointments and bringing up medical charts, to delivering billing information to insurance companies and filing new patient information forms. With only a welcome secretary on staff, you can imagine how much more of your income would stay in the practice and how much less would be dolled out to the business side of your medical practice. While there isn't an android yet who can handle all of this, however, there are EMR (Electronic Medical Recordkeeping) solutions that make things much easier. Having an effective EMR (Electronic Medical Records) solution will minimize or eliminate human errors and cost you less in the long run than hiring a lot of people to keep track of things the old fashioned way. Because the business side of medicine is so critically important, it is essential to keep up to date in your patient records solutions. If you loose track of a patient's prescription information or drug allergy information, you could be held responsible.

It wasn't that long ago that hard copy filing systems were the only way to keep track of your patient's drug allergies, medical history, and insurance information. Remember them? And the rooms full of patient files that were accessed every day, every hour. Back in those days, everything was hard copy. Patients had to wait longer because it took longer than it does electronically to find files, carry them back to the front desk, and verify information. Managing patient information took a lot longer. It was a larger, more arduous, and more time-consuming task when you or your nurse had to skim or read over the entire files of a patient just to make sure a patient hadn't listed an allergy to a medication you just prescribed. It would look dumb to ask the patient, since you're somehow expected to have this patient's entire medical history committed to memory. Plus, sometimes people forget and you can't depend on people to remember all their medical information when they come to you sick and run down and just wishing they felt better.

Thankfully, those days of devotion to a hard copy patient information filing system are nearing a close. Now, EMR (Electronic Medical Recordkeeping) makes it a simple task to organize and maintain the paperwork of your dentist office, doctor's office, clinic, hospital, chiropractic practice, herbalist, natural medicine practice, plastic surgeon office, private practice, or other medical practice. It is critical to your patient's health and to the profitability of your clinic or practice to keep all medical and billing records up to date and in order. Automated billing and online scheduling are now a simple task with EMR (Electronic Medical Recordkeeping). With a good EMR, you can verify insurance information before your patients arrive. You will know whether your patients have insurance and whom your clinic should bill before you even see them. This lessens the time necessary to generate bills, which in turn speeds the pace of payment for services and increases profitability of your practice overall.

Most reputable EMRs can send out bills automatically to over 1000 insurance carriers, so this should lessen the load carried by medical billing specialists. This means that you will not have to pay your staff members for tedious time generating, printing, stuffing, and mailing third party insurance claims, which can end up taking a huge amount of time. Instead, your staff can spend their time taking care of true out-of-the-box billing problems and they can get to those billing dilemmas that usually sit in the in box for months before they are properly addressed. This will increase your medical practice's profits and minimize or eliminate losses.

Having a good EMR (Electronic Medical Recordkeeping service) will also help you to be fully up to date on the latest HIPPA compliance issues and security and privacy laws. When you are looking for an EMR, make sure you find a good EMR that has optimal security features and privacy measures securely in place. Privacy breaches are not tolerable in the medical field, but some EMRs may not be as careful as others.

Scheduling and billing software solutions can save your medical practice time and money. Many clinics, hospitals, and private practices report that using an effective Electronic Medical Recordkeeping solution increases their monthly cash flow by 30 percent to 40 percent. That equates to a lot of money, and a huge increase in profits. In a tight economy, keeping on top of billing and patient information is more critical than ever.

Do not waste away your staff's time on mundane matters that can more economically (and more precisely) be handled by a good Electronic Medical Recordkeeping solution. EMRs will keep your practice organized and efficient. A good EMR will keep you and your medical staff looking sharp and knowledgeable. Lousy recordkeeping (whether done by manpower or with an inferior or out of date EMR) will make a doctor look disorganized and inefficient. And without an EMR, your billing staff will waste hundreds of hours dealing with issues that could be more economically handled with a good software solution.

EMRs (Electronic Medical Recordkeeping services) can keep track of your patient's office and hospital visits, to you and to other physicians. You, your nurses, and your office staff will be more on top of your patient's health and billing issues. You will be better able to serve them. You will be able to spend less time reviewing, recalling, or asking patients for this information. Thus, with a good EMR, you will be able to spend more time on the things that really matter.


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