A few weeks back, with the assistance of Government Health IT Editor Tom Sullivan, I had the opportunity to participate in an “exit interview” with outgoing ONC chief Farzad Mostashari, MD.
On behalf of my Medical Practice Insider readers, I asked Mostashari what business benefits — aside from meaningful use incentive payments — could accrue to office-based physicians using EHR technology.
He quickly quoted a few statistics from a freshly released study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics:
- 94 percent of physicians who have EHR systems that meet meaningful use criteria said their EHR makes records more readily available at the point of care.
- 82 percent of that same group said “sending prescriptions electronically saves me time.”
- 75 percent said their EHR enables them to receive lab results faster.
- 75 percent said their practice saves on costs associated with managing and storing paper records.
Then, after a pause, Mostashari added his personal view. “The real reason to implement health IT is none of the transactional stuff, although these numbers are fantastic. What’s really disruptive about it…is that [with an EHR] you can take care of a population,” he explained.
The policy intent of the federal government, states and commercial payers is to “move away from fee-for-service toward models that also bring in the quality of care, the patient experience and how well you manage your entire panel of patients,” Mostashari continued.
And that’s when HIT implementation and usage will be absolutely essential, he concluded. “You’re going to need to manage your information as it relates to the delivery of care.”
For now, however, you’re undoubtedly more concerned with more immediate potential paybacks such as the following:
Time savings associated with centralized chart management.
Practice management improvements such as automating coding and claims management processes and linking appointments to progress notes.
Enhanced communication with other clinicians, health plans and patients.
Click here for more information on how EHRs can help improve staff efficiency.
Click here for more information on how EHRs can help you save time.