EHR Technology

Electronic Health Record Technology

What's the difference between an EMR and an EHR?
Generally an EMR (electronic medical record) contains the standard medical and clinical data gathered in one provider’s office  - pretty much like paper charts.  However, EHRs (electronic health records) reach beyond the data collected in the one provider’s office and include a more comprehensive history of the client.  EHRs are developed to collect and share information from all providers involved in a client’s care and that information can move with the client to other types of healthcare providers, clinicians, hospitals, specialists etc. as needed.

How would an EHR system help us better care for our clients?
Although paper records and EMR systems allow you to document a client's medical and behavioral health information, analyzing, utilizing and sharing this data with other healthcare providers and organizations is nearly impossible.  An EHR system allows you to easily track all types of data over a period of time AND it provides an easy way to use the data that not only you collect, but what all of a client's providers are gathering.

Is an EHR system really worth the cost?
Let's take a quick  "Exam" for your practice: 
  • Do you have lag time in processing claims or having too many claims denied?
  • Are you experiencing issues with inaccurate or missed billing?
  • Do you feel there is a lot of time wasted with tracking down, prepping or filing (re-filing) charts?
  • Is it difficult to verify a client's allergies and medications?
  • Do your providers and staff have to repeat the same information over and over on different forms?
  • Do you get frustrated with notes being completed and signed off on in a timely manner? 
  • Do your clients' messages get to the right person and are they answered as quickly as you would like?
  • Are you concerned about the constantly changing government requirements and complying with them?
Start thinking about how much time, energy and other resources are consumed every day, with every client.  That adds up to a lot, doesn't it?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then a discussion about an EHR is at least worth your time!   

We have an EHR system that just doesn't work for us, now what?
Believe it or not, this is a common complaint we've heard a lot, especially from practice managers, providers and clinicians who bought a solution early on. With so many options now, there should be a solution available that works for you.  It may be ours, or it may not be.  The reality is if your EHR system is not making life easier for you and your providers and resulting in better care coordination for your clients, you deserve to take another look.  

What should we do first?
The better prepared you are before talking with potential EHR vendors, the more you'll understand the benefits and potential downfalls of their particular software and how it could impact your office.  Here are a few things you can do ahead of time.  Make a list of the features you need from an EHR system.  Things like e-prescribing software, scheduling features, secure messaging and patient portal services.  Map out your current and ideal patient and practice workflows to determine how the EHR software could compliment them.  

Besides monthly licensing or access fees, there could be additional costs for hardware, implementation, training, and maintenance. Determine a realistic budget for what you could spend towards an EHR system and remember, an EHR system should save you money down the road.  Also determine what type of post-installation support you will need.   Most EHR vendors offer 24/7 but the type and extent of support may vary.  e.g. If your practice is open beyond normal office hours you may need nighttime or weekend support, assistance with installing new features, additional training or customization requests. 

Any EHR/EMR system you're considering should be certified by an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (“ONC-ATCB”). ONC-ATCB certification is required for providers participating in the government’s Meaningful Use (MU) Incentive program and the new Quality Payment Program (QPP).  

Finally, it never hurts to see how another office is using the EHR software your are considering.  Ask the potential vendor to supply a contact that is using their software so you can see it in use first hand, and read some accounts of how others have made the transition.  Success Stories.
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Inforia's CaregiverDesktop EHR solution does more than just collect data. It works with your providers and staff in their everyday workflows collecting, analyzing, communicating, sharing and streamlining the data needed to provide your clients with the highest care possible ... and our low monthly fee is MORE than worth it!

Patient Engagement
An apple a day...?  We know that when your clients are engaged in their own care & wellness, they help make up a healthier community.  A healthy community also helps maximize value-based reimbursements too!  

What does Patient Engagement really mean?
Clients who use their knowledge and skills and who also have the ability and willingness to be decision-makers in their care tend to be healthier and have better outcomes.  

For providers and other clinical and behavioral health workers, "Patient Engagement" means having the right tools to effectively communicate relevant information to your clients so they will become actively "engaged" in the communication and decisions pertaining to their care.    

What are the tools that support Patient Engagement?
Two of the most notable electronic tools that assist providers in connecting with clients and families through engagement are Patient Portals and Secure Messaging.

Patient Portal adoption allows you to send clinical data such as lab results, notes and treatment plans directly to your client where they can review the information. It also allows the client to forward that information to their other providers safely and securely.

Secure Messaging is a confidential and secure method of two-way communication between your office and your clients. Clients can ask a question or provide information without having to wait for office hours. You can leave confidential messages for your clients or answer their questions without having to leave a message asking them to call you back. This greatly reduces the amount of phone traffic and time spent playing "tag".  Secure messaging can also be used for scheduling reminders, relaying normal test result information, requesting client satisfaction feedback and more.

Let us help enhance the communications between you and your clients so they can be part of a healthy community!
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Care Management
Imagine being able to review and share all of your clients' health information among all of their healthcare providers!

What is Care Management?
Health care delivery is being transformed by striving to apply the triple aim focus of: improving the experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing per capita costs of health care. Being able to understand and effectively manage population health is key to each of these three elements and Care Management is becoming a leading practice-based strategy for managing the health of populations.

Care Management is essentially a set of activities for people who need extra support and assistance. It consists of tasks intended to improve client care and reduce the need for medical services by helping clients learn and apply what caregivers are encouraging them to do. In this way caregivers can more effectively manage their client health conditions.

How could we provide better Care Management?
A critical component of Care Management is the ability for providers who are part of managing a client's health to be able to adequately communicate with each other, across a field of specialties and organizations.

Health Information Exchange (HIE) offers a secure flow of client health information among healthcare providers such as those at medical practices, behavioral health agencies, labs, imaging centers and hospitals. With the client's consent, HIEs make this information available and more easily accessible to various providers as clients move from one healthcare setting to another.

We have a safe, secure way to make this a reality.  More information, better decisions, healthier results!
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Interoperability simply means the "behind the scenes" ability of health information systems to work together in order to advance the effective delivery of healthcare for people and communities.

What is Interoperability?
In healthcare, interoperability is the ability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate, exchange data, and use the information that has been exchanged. In other words, healthcare IT systems need to be able to "talk" to each other and then be able to use the information they share.

Health Level Seven International, founded in 1987, created standards for data exchange in healthcare and is now an authority on standards for interoperability. Inforia’s CaregiverDesktop EHR transparently gives and receives data from other systems, using Health Level 7 (HL7) standards (or language).

Examples of interoperability within an EHR
If your EHR system has the ability to interoperate with other systems or software, it may be operating with your practice management system for scheduling and patient demographic information, electronic lab ordering and resulting, electronic medication management or dictation and transcription. 

We can help you connect where you need to seamlessly!
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