EHR and PM OptimizationWorkflow that works.
Choosing an EHR
Choosing an EHR is the most important decision a healthcare organization will make. Unfortunately, many medical practices, hospitals and even health systems are struggling with adoption and dissatisfaction with EHR vendors. At Solve Healthcare, we take a hands on approach to evaluating systems alongside our clients and helping them to choose the right system and holding vendors accountable.
Our team of EHR/PM Optimization Experts examine the following aspects of your organization to establish a solid criteria for selecting a system:
- Specialty: Some vendors customize specific templates and workflow features related to medical specialties. For very specialized groups, this might be an important consideration.
- Customization Options: EHRs that provide customization options consistently have higher adoption rates and rank higher in client satisfaction. The ability to customize templates, patient letters, documents, etc. is critical to the scalability of a system.
- Clinical Workflow Integration: The EHR should seamlessly transition traditional paper documentation methods and patient encounters to a user-friendly interface.
- Billing and Charge Capturing: The EHR should fully integrate into the Practice Management system and the billing procedure to maximize revenue. Systems that have too many layers, poor claim scrubbing and the absence of alerts can impact your bottom line.
- Medical Devices: The EHR should have the capability to interface with commonly used medical devices.
- Surround Solutions: An EHR should support surround solutions (ex. Dragon Medical Practice Edition).
- Mobile and Remote Access: Providers should be able to securely interact with the EHR on a mobile device or from a remote location.
- Certification: Naturally, an EHR system should be certified and have a strong user base to support upgrades related to Meaningful Use and future compliance measures.
We treat all of these items as equal priorities and introduce you to EHR and PM systems that are best suited for your organization.
Clients can elect for Solve Healthcare to participate in demos with vendors. This can be helpful to clients that are new to the EHR selection process. We know what questions to ask, what demands to make and how to encourage vendors to compete for your business.
Entering into an agreement with an EHR vendor is a long-term commitment that can have a lasting effect on your organization. Solve Healthcare’s multi-faceted team of information technology professionals, workflow experts, and attorneys collaborate with our clients throughout the EHR contract negotiation process to secure terms that are favorable to our clients and to make sure they’re able to avoid the common pitfalls associated with EHR implementation and support. Through experience, our team has seen it all and you can benefit from the lessons we’ve learned by including terms and warranties in the contract to protect your organization.
Here are some of the items Solve Healthcare will help you evaluate during the contraction negotiation and review:
- Regulatory Compliance and Meaningful Use Certification: The vendor should commit to ongoing certification and compliance under HIPAA and MU guidelines.
- Delivery and Implementation Schedule: Vendors should stay on schedule, communicate at all times and perform on all deliverables.
- Implementation Fees: Rates should be reasonable and all work must be authorized by the client before execution.
- Sufficient Training: Clients should receive adequate and thorough training on all aspects of the system.
- Subsequent Licensing or Maintenance Fee Increases: Ongoing rates for upgrades, additional licensing and maintenance should remain consistent.
- Transferability of Data: Clients should have the option to easily and cost-effectively transfer their data away from the vendor.
- Product Warranty and Liability Limit: The vendor shall stand by all warranty representations and limit the liability of the client.
Solve Healthcare’s Purchasing Advantage
Unlike other IT companies, we aren’t interested in profiting from hardware and software sales. So, we pass along our exact rates on most hardware and software sales to our clients. Our clients experience savings of up to 25% that help to offset overall implementation costs.
Solve Healthcare recommends the use of DELL equipment with the highest quality components and industry-leading manufacturer support. Each DELL machine is customized by one of our certified, HIT Experts.
Choosing servers and defining their roles requires specific expertise. Solve Healthcare works with the EHR vendor to determine the minimum requirements and then achieves the maximum configuration to meet your budget and our best recommendation. We “map” the functionality of each server, determine the load (of users and applications) and provide for the proper memory, storage and processing.
Maintaining platform continuity is key- this means that all workstations should be configured with the same operating system and preferably the same hardware specifications. By taking this approach, our clients appreciate:
- Consistency in performance, which establishes a benchmark for efficiency
- Ease of troubleshooting, since all machines have similar configurations
- Simple administration of upgrades to software and hardware
We find more and more Providers and clinical staff are utilizing laptops and tablets. Solve Healthcare prepares each device with military-grade encryption to protect any ePHI on the device in the event of loss or theft.
Solve Healthcare has developed sophisticated Remote Applications that allow Providers and staff to move around inside and outside of the office while maintaining a quality user experience with their most commonly used applications.
Most EHR systems have a companion application that can be used to view or enter data into the system. We have core expertise in setting up secure access to your EHR database and assisting Providers and staff to install and configure these apps on Android and iOS operating systems.
For more information on preparing IT environments for EHR, please visit our IT Services and Support page.
Unlike most health IT vendors, we keep our clients engaged in each aspect of project management. Our nimble client Project Management system, scheduling features and real-time updates provide our clients with a glimpse into our activities.
We begin each project by hosting a casual introduction of all parties in the working group. At this time, we establish the following:
- Review responsibilities
- Detail project guidelines and tasks
- Confirm timeline with client
- Supply contact information to all participants
Our Project Managers work closely with clients to develop a complete project plan that includes specific technical, logistical and scheduling details.
Each Project is classified into the following categories:
- Project: Tasks > Time and Materials Estimates > Assigned Resource
- Status: Pending > In Progress > Completed
During a project, we confer with our valued clients on a weekly basis to secure feedback and confirm their satisfaction with our work, people and processes. Solve Healthcare is in constant pursuit of improving the way we deliver for our clients.
EHR/PM Optimization Services
The initial setup of an EHR system can impact productivity. The first step in optimizing an EHR system is to examine the configuration of your system to determine the following:
- Currency: We want to be sure you are on the latest and greatest version of your EHR system. Vendors release updates and hotfixes to enhance the functionality and fix bugs that might exist in the software. You may be running an old version of an EHR and depriving your organization of new features.
- Accuracy: The fact is, many EHR vendors assigned unqualified personnel to client sites and thus, there are often errors in the build of the software. Solve Healthcare performs a thorough review of each setting to determine if the software was accurately setup. Incorrect or incomplete configurations can result in application stability issues, performance problems and even inaccurate accounting.
- Features: Often times, we discover that many features in the system were disabled during implementation as a means to save time. As a consequence, we observe clients perform workarounds or continue the use of paper charts. Our EHR/PM Optimization Experts will “unlock” all useful features and educate you on how to use them.
- Permissions: If the correct access types and parameters are not defined, your organization might be vulnerable to unauthorized use or access. In addition, users might not have the correct permissions in place, thus impacting their ability to perform their job.
- Meaningful Use: We want to confirm that all the components for Meaningful Use (“MU”) are installed. MU requires healthcare organizations to use a certified, current EHR system that produces attestation reports.
Solve Healthcare has experience with the following vendor systems:
- Allscripts (Pro Suite and Enterprise)
- Dedalus X1.V1
- Practice Fusion
Solve Healthcare’s EHR Optimization Team is staffed with nurses and medical professionals familiar with clinical workflow. We audit all functions related to the patient, Provider and clinical experience in order to identify gaps in the process and introduce surround solutions that can improve efficiency.
- Rooming/Reason for Visit: Chart preparation for Provider and use of templates.
- Patient Encounter: Length of encounter, accuracy and speed of documentation.
- Assessment and Plan: Documenting methods, speed and use of features within the system. Utilization of third-party hardware and/or software to optimize charting (ex. voice optimization). Evaluate Meaningful Use data capturing.
- Patient Education: Method of communication, Patient Portal information and follow-up.
Our PM Optimization suite of services is focused on improving the patient experience from check-in to check-out, while enhancing productivity and collections. Here are the areas we focus on within your Practice Management system:
- Patient Registration: Average wait time, collection of co-pays and quality of data entered into the system.
- Billing Functions: Please see Revenue Cycle tab for more information on billing auditing and optimization.
- Clinical Coordination: Synergy between clinical staff and billing staff to capture charges in a timely fashion and routinely follow-up with Providers and patients.
- Standardization and Consistency: Examine variances in usage and consistency of data entry methods.
- Patient Check-Out: Delivery of patient education materials and information about Patient Portal.
Solve Healthcare also examines operational components of workflow. Here are some miscellaneous items we look at:
- Paper: Document any use of paper, other than Registration and Patient Education information.
- Medical Devices: Identifiable gaps due to delays in producing medical device data.
- Metrics: Average check-in to check-out duration.
Most of the top-tier EHRs are supported by third-party applications and/or hardware that can help to enhance the patient and Provider experience. Here are some of the solutions we have experience with:
- Dragon Medical Practice Edition: This voice optimization software allows Providers and clinical staff to use their voice to navigate through and dictate into the EHR. The software learns habits, accents and shortcuts over time and can be optimized to produce templates or autopopulate fields with customized commands.
- NoteSwift: Couple this powerful software with Dragon Medical Practice edition and breeze through charting. This optimization tool helps to expedite traditional voice functions even further.
- Phreesia: This sleek technology utilizes tablets in patient waiting rooms to collect demographic information, HIPAA forms and even payments- all processed electronically and right into your PM and EHR systems.
- qliqSoft: Another HIPAA-compliant text messaging solution that interfaces with Allscripts ProEHR.
Solve Healthcare is always seeking out new solutions to help our customers to optimize their EHR and Practice Management experience.
As operational costs increase and reimbursements decrease, collecting every penny is more important than ever. Our team has the unique ability to leverage our workflow experts in the clinical and administrative settings to maximize the synergy between the EHR and PM systems, effectively helping your billing staff take control of the revenue cycle.
Solve Healthcare’s Role
We’re able to function as a third-party auditor or billing office manager that incrementally critiques whether your staff is following best practices on an ongoing basis. Solve Healthcare can also audit your existing billing service to determine if the revenue you are achieving and rates you are paying make sense.
Here are the specific billing functions we audit within your EHR and Practice Management systems:
- Coding audits
- Updates to billing and coding changes
- Payment posting
- Insurance carrier contracts
Our team will provide comprehensive feedback and reports to management and work with you to modify workflows and set the right expectations for billing staff.
Optimizing your Patient Portal is a critical to meeting Meaningful Use measures as well as improving patient engagement methods, collections and impact to workload. Solve Healthcare’s EHR/PM Optimization Experts can assist you to customize your Patient Portal, develop campaigns to encourage patients to opt-in and configure merchant settings to process payments.
Solve Healthcare can assist clients to install and configure a Patient Portal that uses any EHR or PM system. Here are some ways in which we optimize Patient Portals along HHS guidelines depending on the approach your organization chooses to rollout the Patient Portal:
- Begin with a smaller number of patients and interested providers.
- Achieve a base of experience and comfort with the patient portal before expanding.
- Include patients on the rollout team.
- Allow several months to assess how to integrate the portal.
- Gather patient and provider feedback to plan expanded implementation.
- Make enrollment open to all patients.
- Have staff manage portal workflow and communication before engaging providers directly.
- Aim to establish efficient workflows and policies, and avoid burdening providers with troubleshooting during initial rollout.
For clients that are already actively using the Patient Portal, Solve Healthcare follows the HHS guidelines to assist clients to:
- Learn the benefits of patient portals for patients and providers.
- Understand how a patient portal helps achieve meaningful use requirements.
- Implement proactive, engaging portal features.
- Implement the portal with a systematic process.
- Actively promote and facilitate portal use.
Solve Healthcare’s highly-valued, Allscripts-certified Optimization Experts have the domain expertise to maximize the use of Allscripts ProEHR or PM to meet Meaningful Use, improve efficiency and outcomes.
Many practices and hospitals are challenged with optimizing the ProEHR and PM systems to their specification. This process can prove cumbersome when there is little or fragmented support available. Our EHR/PM Team has the knowledge and patience to build strong operators, not dependent ones. Master your Allscripts system and deliver a higher standard of care to your patients through the use of technology.
Don’t settle for a system that doesn’t meet your expectations, give your doctors and business a much needed boost.
Utilize Surround Solutions
Utilize Patient Portal