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U.S. Healthcare Practical Solutions

U.S. Healthcare Practical Solutions
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series U.S. Healthcare Issues

Considering the regulatory hurdles facing U.S. healthcare, we decided to take a different approach into learning how to overcome these challenges and adapt new regulations within a physician’s practice. Two of the most important factors pertaining to today’s healthcare industry are patient service and patient satisfaction. However, limited resources and competition may make it challenging to deliver high-quality care at low cost. For this reason, using technology as a means to enhance communication is just one out of many ways in which your practice can improve patient care and enhance patient satisfaction. In order to keep your primary focus on your patients, consider the following ways which will help you drive improvements and competence.

  1. Introduce a patient portal

    Through the introduction of a portal, both you and your patients will be able to access real-time patient information including personal medical history and current list of medications. The portal will allow your patients to access their records, make payments, schedule appointments, and update their contact information. It takes the pressure off waiting impatiently for lab results and addressing questions and concerns. The idea behind the portal’s use is to open up a line of direct communication, deliver information in a timelier manner, and enhance patient care.

  2. Improve training and delegate tasks to physician extenders

    There is no doubt about it – a physician’s job can be both rewarding and demanding. With this in mind, you need to address the idea of recruiting and hiring physician extenders, such as nurse practitioners and assistants. They can help you cope with endless paperwork that comes your way and any patients that might walk through your door. By empowering them to take on more responsibilities in patient care, you will be able to offer a high degree of care and at the same time, raise awareness of changes in new regulations among your medical staff.

  3. Embrace IT and technology

    Nowadays, there is no area that has not been impacted by technology. Countless health care providers such as you are spending millions on medical equipment and systems that will be able to improve efficiency, all the while saving time and costs. However, even the most top rated technology is useless unless it is properly applied to improving organizational and patient end results. Therefore, you and your medical staff are responsible for ensuring the well-being of patients by operating systems efficiently. Interactive technology can promote improvement in communication, support workflow, and assist in providing quality care.

  4. Implement or upgrade your EHR system

    An EHR system can offer an extensive view of a patient’s care by going beyond that of simply collecting medical data. There are several steps involved in the EHR implementation, so you need to take into account each step if you are to successfully implement the necessary change:

    • Assess your practice and plan your approach – Determine your current practice’s goals, needs, and financial readiness. Upon doing so, outline a contingency plan based on the information that you have gathered and look for areas where problems might arise during the implementation phase. Most important, map out how the EHR system will improve efficiency within your practice.
    • Choose a certified EHR – You need to select or upgrade to a certified EHR and clarify whether the system will meet your practice’s specific needs. Bear in mind the start up pricing (hardware, software, maintenance, and upgrade costs) and the system’s ability to integrate with other systems (ex: billing system and practice management software)
    • Conduct training for staff members –EHR implementation requires that every member within your practice becomes familiar with the new system. Moreover, they need to be able to use it on a daily basis to achieve its overall use, as defined under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.
    • Continue quality improvement – The EHR system emphasizes evaluating your practice’s needs and striving to improve workflow. By doing so, you will be able to achieve overall goals and offer quality service.
  5. Participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program

    The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Program will provide incentive payments for 6 years to eligible physicians. The EHR Incentive Programs consist of 3 stages and are designed to reveal the significant use of certified HER technology by demonstrating its adoption and implementation. These programs can help you to plan your finances accordingly, shift towards a more value-based payment model, and improve safety and quality of patient health.

    If you are interested in participating, you can register and attest on the following link: CLICK HERE

    In addition, consider reviewing the registration and attestation checklist on the following link to help you prepare for your participation: CLICK HERE

    Use of a patient portal, training programs, technological advancements, and electronic health record (EHR) systems are all valuable ways for you to improve efficiency within your practice and enhance patient engagement. After all, if you want to keep your patients satisfied, you must be able to provide them with quality health care services.

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