While the primary function of an EHR is self explanatory, there are myriad uses of your EHR data that can be tapped by a medical practice. Tools that put data to work can be beneficial not only for patients, but can improve the functionality, efficacy, and revenue of the practice.
Getting the Most out of Your EHR
Medical practices that only use their EHR to capture and record information are missing an opportunity to get the most out of their data. There are numerous useful applications for this information, and in many cases, providers can turn this information immediately into actionable insights.
EHR vendors will often include certain analytics and reporting tools in their software, and a practice can perform even more sophisticated data analysis with the help of external applications.
Risks and Concerns
It’s important to consider risks of data utilization when exploring the ways that EHR data can better serve your practice. Even though these records can provide useful information for patients and providers alike, experts stress that any utilization needs to be HIPAA compliant and designed to avoid security or privacy breaches. Techniques like de-identification and increased in-house IT security can help to achieve these goals.
Additional risks can include malpractice liability as a result of incorrect data input, or patient dissatisfaction resulting from health professionals spending more time on the computer and less time with the patient. These concerns can be mitigated by selecting an EHR vendor that offers intuitive software, access to data, and by appropriately staff training.
Valuable Ways to Use EHR Data
From provider RVUs, to audit utility, to progress reports and more, EHR data can be used for far more than just storage of health information. One common use of this information is for practice reporting and audits, which offer insights like overviews of patient trends, average waiting room duration, technician workup rates, and more. Electronic health records data can also be used for research to improve patient care.
Techniques like High-Throughput Phenotyping can enable practices to normalize various synonymous terminology (i.e. Diabetes Mellitus and DM) and better organize chart characteristics such as diagnoses or exam findings. This technique can improve analyses in the future as well as enhance the provider’s user experience in real-time.
Analytics is another valuable application of EHR data. “Big data” analysis is now commonplace, and utilizing data mining techniques like scheduled quality measure reporting, building health maintenance alerts, or incorporating a compatible registry for sophisticated analytics can make an incredible difference for a medical practice.
EHR vendors often provide reports or templates, along with sandbox functionality for providers to build and run reports specific to their needs and the needs of their patients.
When it comes to getting the most out of your EHR system and data, the role of data ownership matters. That’s why at ZH Healthcare(URL: www.zhhealthcare.com) we give you ultimate administrative control through our HITaaS (Health IT as a Service) solutions. Your data is yours to control. Enjoy unrestricted access, guaranteed MySQL exports, and even real-time replication to another server, enabling you to take your records where you need to get the most out of your data.