With the COVID-19 pandemic has come quarantining, social distancing, and limiting unnecessary public gatherings. Especially for those most vulnerable to the virus, even attending routine doctor appointments presents a risk. In turn, healthcare providers have been looking for a way to provide excellent service and bridge the communication gap between them and their patients without unnecessary exposure. One popular solution is to replace most doctor appointments and consultations with remote telehealth calls.
If your practice or clinic has recently made the transition towards telehealth, then you likely already noticed the benefits it offers your business. But that’s not to say the process is easy or doesn’t come with its unique set of challenges. After all, you need to train your staff on how to use it and introduce your clients to the new model.
What Does EHR Integration Look Like for Telehealth Practices?
One way you can increase your telehealth efficiency is by fully utilizing NextGen EHR software. Successfully integrating EHR into your daily operations can increase productivity, patient satisfaction, and overall profit.
Using EHR with telehealth in your practice will allow you to keep everything synced and well-organized. It draws up the patient’s electronic records when their call starts, documents the entire process, and assists you in writing and sending prescriptions. NextGen EHR will ensure that you show up on time and prepared with the right files on hand, have adequate time between calls, and don’t double-book your telehealth appointments.
While EHR software will eventually make operations easier for you and your staff, it does come with a learning curve. To reap the rewards of using the software, you have to understand its capabilities, optimize workflows, and make sure your entire staff knows how to use the system. At any practice or clinic, the four following strategies are key to integrating EHR and telehealth services.
1. Establish New Workflows
Your clinic’s workflow is a series of consecutive tasks that yield a final result. A single operation often requires multiple people with different expertise to work on it, like a highly delicate relay race.
Workflow is where you organize the minor tasks to minimize errors and increase productivity. And that’s where NextGen EHR comes into play; using your EHR to reassess your workflow can help you identify:
- When miscommunication slows you down
- Where billing errors take place
- How to improve patient check-in and check-out procedures
- How to order lab results more efficiently
- Countless other administrative and process opportunities for improvement
2. Allow Patient EHR Access
Unlike traditional file and record management systems—whether on paper or digital—EHR allows for limited and temporary access to patients to view their records. That can have multiple benefits, including relieving a patient’s anxiety by checking their test results and learning about their diagnosis from the comfort of their homes. It also promotes transparency with your patients, establishing higher confidence levels with their healthcare provider, trusting their decisions, and sharing their symptoms more candidly.
3. Utilize Your Data Analytics
NextGen EHR works as an around-the-clock record for your clinic. It records patient visitation duration, cancellation frequency, staff productivity and schedules, and much more. EHR also allows you to analyze the data you collected, searching for useful trends to benefit from, weak spots to patch up, and anomalies to be wary of.
With telehealth, in particular, you’ll get the chance to analyze your patient calls. You can monitor factors like the average length of calls, frequently asked questions, and what technical issues usually occur. Having an accurate analysis of your telehealth practice early on will allow you to evolve and improve as you make continuous changes to suit your practice and patients.
4. Seek Training from Experts
For your staff to provide the highest level of care possible, it’s essential that they know how to operate the EHR system and use it to their advantage. While an employee with a tech background might be able to manage on their own, consider hiring the services of a NextGen software training company to get everyone on the same page. EHR consulting companies can send specialized experts who train your staff. You can rest assured that you’re getting your money’s worth with the software, and your team is receiving training that meets them at their level.
Everyday Efficiency for the “New Normal”
As healthcare providers—and patients—continue to adjust to the “new normal” of telehealth visits, they need to embrace the technology supporting doctor-patient relationships. Integrating your EHR software with your telehealth services will help get you there, but your staff has to put in the work upfront to master these systems and make use of all their advanced capabilities.