When rewarding meaningful use to professional healthcare groups began in 2010, healthcare providers quickly implemented new practice management and electronic health record systems.
Fast forward 12 years and now professional practice is replacing those legacy systems with next generation platforms. Today, specialty practice faces many of the same “traditional and new” challenges that hospitals faced a decade ago, but lessons can be learned to help inform these decisions.
Bill Lucchini is CEO of Nextech Systems, a provider of EHR and practice management technology for ophthalmology, dermatology and plastic surgery practices. The provider serves 4,000 healthcare facilities across the country.
Healthcare IT News interviewed Lucchini to discuss traditional EHRs implemented in physician practices versus today’s technology. He discusses what needs to be included in an EHR implemented by the physician community over the next decade, and the differences between general practitioners and specialist systems that need to be considered as EHR technology evolves.
ask. You believe there is a gap between the traditional EHR implemented by physician practices and today’s technology. What are these gaps? How do physicians practicing EHR today fill these gaps?
A. In today’s EHR market, we Some gaps are seen – from time to time there are trends affecting regulation, infrastructure, care coordination and patient experience affecting EHR technology.
The first trend is the result of a shift that began nearly a decade ago. It started with meaningful use, and because of several IT infrastructure improvement initiatives at the time, many professional practices quickly adopted lower-cost general-purpose EHR technology to meet the requirements of these initiatives.
What later results as a result of the implementation of these solutions are formative – more general EHR solutions are not ready or continuously developed to accommodate professional practice specific workflows necessary requirements. The impact is not just clinical, but has a significant impact on practice revenue, patient engagement, and patient satisfaction programs.
The second trend we see – more broadly related to the current state of infrastructure – is whether practices are starting to shift from server-based solutions to software-as-a-service and web-based solutions .
No longer “nice to have” transitioning to a web-based solution, but now a requirement as offices grow to multiple locations and/or require employees to view data from home. An important driver of this change is the pragmatic and operational demands surrounding remote and hybrid work.
Finally, professional practice is becoming more complex and process simple as patient expectations of professional practice rapidly evolve in terms of communication, interoperability.
This means that EHR firms must anticipate and ensure that platforms are fully equipped with front- and back-office capabilities far beyond the historical expectations of professional practice EHR integration and streamlined payment and revenue cycle management, Patient acquisition and relationship management, and enhance the overall patient experience.
Changing patient expectations and evolving regulatory and compliance trends mean that professional practice EHR providers must meaningfully lead and advocate for their Customer Practice.
The best supporting port specialty services—such as those offered by ophthalmology, dermatology, and plastics—are fundamentally different from acute care services offered by hospital systems, and future EHRs Technology is uniquely positioned to help set global standards for interoperable applications that also use health, social, economic and behavioral data to advance outcomes-based care and health equity initiatives.
Q. From there, where is the gap? What will the EHR implemented by physician groups need to include in the next decade? How do current trends in patient engagement, value-based care, and physician burnout challenge the need for physician practice technology?
A. Today, ophthalmologists, dermatologists Services provided by , orthopaedic and orthopaedic surgeons are often complementary to those provided in emergency and outpatient care settings. This makes a skilled nursing services business fundamentally different from the care provided in a hospital or clinic.
The major EHR technologies deployed on the market focus on the experience of some inpatients in outpatient and clinic-served accommodations, but largely unaccounted for are the nuances of professional practice workflows.
Over the next decade, as healthcare becomes increasingly outcome-oriented, relying on care collaboration, and motivated to deliver an improved patient experience, modern EHR technology must Consider these nuances, and cannot rely on historical clinical workflows—many of which are informed by inpatient clinical workflows—to inform the future of electronic health record capabilities.
Professional practice is playing an increasing role in supporting providers and patients to achieve high-quality health outcomes with an outcome-oriented perspective and supporting technologies.
Future Again, EHR technology must focus on streamlining the delivery of superior patient care, with features and capabilities that can proactively respond to rapidly changing market conditions.
There will be some features to improve the doctor’s work efficiency and experience. Workflows that help automatically identify and interpret medical information from previous sessions, hospital records, lab results, and other sources, freeing doctors to focus on their patients, not their computers.
In essence, the EHR should not interfere with the way physicians think and operate. In addition, many specialist physicians are also business owners, so this need to serve physician experience is particularly important. The renewed focus on the physician experience has also accommodated the nuances of large and small practices that are experiencing unprecedented market pressures and staff turnover challenges.
will have the ability to reduce operating expenses. EHR systems can help reduce operating costs by increasing clinician efficiency and simplifying documentation, coding, and billing procedures. Documentation solutions that allow access information to be captured quickly and efficiently at the point of care can help reduce or eliminate the need for transcription services.
EHR technology can also gain insights from professional practices by integrating features that help streamline front-office workflows, by automating manual tasks, while supporting both the practice’s clinical and patient-facing functions.
Will have the ability to improve the patient experience: improved patient portal, easy access to management features, care coordination capabilities, educational components, communication tools such as chat/messenger/call, lab results access/integration .
ask. As EHR technology evolves over the next decade, what is the difference between a general practitioner EHR and a specialist EHR to consider?
A. If EHR technology develops to build on history The dynamic features developed on are designed to support acute and outpatient care while increasing adaptation to the demands of professional practice.
Gaps where today’s professional practice workflows can help advance EHR technology include improved charting, functional care collaboration services and clinical referral workflows; proactive accommodation to manage inventory to ensure supplies, equipment and Medication is available for service; and front office supports expanding practice growth and managing patient relationships beyond clinical interactions.
With these capabilities, the potential for EHR technology to evolve beyond transactional use cases is both encouraging and profound.
Push Special: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the author: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS media publication.