5 EHR Features that Prevent Physician BurnoutPosted: November 10, 2021 - By Health Dev
Underlying causes of physician burnout vary greatly, but an undue amount of administrative work and unreliable electronic health record systems are at least partially to blame. According to an American Journal of Medicine report, primary care physicians are spending about 2 hours interacting with their EMR per hour of patient contact, and often that work will carry over into the evening. It’s important to choose an EHR platform that has key features that will not only prevent burnout, but optimize efficiency and help your practice grow.
5 Top EHR Features
1. Customizable Forms & Templates
Every practice runs differently, even within the same specialty. Having a specialty-specific EMR can oftentimes be more cost-effective up front, but practices are often limited to the pre-made templates that come with the software, leading to “death by a thousand clicks”.
Though having a library of templates to choose from is useful, you need to be able to adjust them to fit your practice or create a custom template from scratch. Tailoring workflows saves time, money and countless headaches in the long run.
After the forms are built, you need modern charting tools, such as dynamic photo charting that let you take or upload a picture from your iPad and draw directly on it within the patient’s chart. Another important tool for many providers is a medical-speech-to-text feature that is adaptive enough to correctly input your dictation.
Finally, these EHR features need to be accessible on iPhone, iPad or desktop computers. With a mobile friendly EHR, you will be able to form stronger connections with your patients by spending less time facing your screens.
2. Medical Billing & RCM Service Capabilities
COVID has unfortunately exacerbated physician burnout in many ways, but financial stress is a large contributor, as small and medium-sized practices struggle to stay afloat. An EHR should have built-in medical billing software that does not require you to pay for additional integrations.
Medical billing requires significant data entry that is ripe with potential for human error, so billing software should have features to minimize human error. Billing profiles allow you to establish commonly-used medical codes associated with various appointment types, which will automatically appear in the patient chart.
Beyond performing billing and coding tasks, the platform should have effective reporting capabilities that provide clear insight into the status of your revenue. With medical billing integrated into your EMR, you can view these reports and graphs all in one place to understand where your billing is effective and where it needs optimization.
As you scale, the ability to seamlessly outsource your medical billing to an RCM service will also save your practice time and money. Revenue cycle management services deploy credentialed billing and coding experts to handle that process, leaving you to focus on caring for patients. Make sure this service prioritizes transparency throughout the entire billing process.
Telemedicine appointments have certainly spiked during the pandemic, and high utilization will likely remain. However, adjusting to new technology can be a high hurdle for patients and providers to clear, so these appointments should be as simple to log in to as possible for both parties. Make sure telehealth is already a part of your EHR without additional downloads or integrations needed. Patients should be able to access their telehealth appointments by simply clicking on a link sent from your EHR.
Being able to conduct video visits on your iPhone, iPad or desktop is also critical, as is the ability to chart simultaneously during the appointment. This will give you the flexibility needed to conduct these appointments wherever you are without having to scramble between multiple screens to find the information you need.
4. Open API
An EMR with a secure, open API makes for a more customizable and flexible software. Sometimes, your chosen EHR vendor may lack certain features that your practice needs, and trying to work around those deficiencies can be immensely frustrating.
This is where an open API can drastically improve your experience with a software. Your electronic medical record should integrate well with apps and solutions that will help you manage your practice, communicate with patients and improve your digital presence. Ensuring that the API has clear, detailed documentation is crucial when taking advantage of partner integrations.
5. Dedicated Implementation and Support Teams
Learning to navigate a robust EHR software is a heavy lift. That is why implementation is such a make-or-break step in your experience with an EHR vendor. Discuss the implementation process prior to signing a contract with vendors to ensure that they will have clearly structured learning modules led by a dedicated implementation specialist. Though the process could take 30 to 60 days to complete, you should be able to start using the software before then.
After implementation is complete, make sure your practice has a dedicated account manager who can partner with you in optimizing your practice, as well as a customer support team with quick turnaround times. While email ticketing is useful, more convenient methods of requesting help, such as an in-app live chat, ensure you’re not spending too much time on the screen.
Keeping these features in mind during your EHR search can help you find a platform that will cut down on burnout and improve the quality of your work.