Healthcare technology has been changing in various ways to enhance documentation accuracy and healthcare by the technique of EHR (Electronic Health Records).EHR is a digital charting that gets done in real-time and enables medical staff to observe patients’ present and old records instantaneously and securely. Besides, EHR systems have currently been increasingly accepted by doctors in their health check practice whereas the government’s implementation directive on electronic documentation in the system of healthcare has been expensive for both non-profit and profit organizations. This article's purpose is to highlight the modern healthcare topic termed as electronic health record system and its impacts on the healthcare organization. It also focuses on the dissimilarities between the financial management perspective, organizational structures, the regulations and rules governing the EHR’s use, and impacts on the care of patients.
Difference between Organization Structures
During his presidency, George W. Bush in 2004 realized that there was a great need to develop/enhance healthcare by utilizing an electronic health records framework by 2014. Throughout President Obama’s reign, EHR was government mandated via the HITECH Act and the government built a budget fund to help with setting up the EHR system. Besides, during the EHR’s national implementation which got started in 2014, i.e. from the small physician/doctor-owned practices up to the large healthcare systems, many policymakers didn’t understand the tough economic impacts this change would bring on various levels of healthcare settings. Moreover, physicians were opposing the EHR’s adaptation due to the monetary burden that got incurred by maintaining and installing the system.
An EHR installation would price a healthcare system approximately $163,765. Since the year 2015, the government-financed Medicaid and Medicare services have reimbursed around $30 billion in economic/financial enticements to about 470,000 healthcare care systems and healthcare providers for the EHR documentation. Neither the healthcare companies for-no-profit nor for-profit was off the hook for employing the EHR system. (O'Neill, 2017). Besides, the for-profit facilities/hospitals acquired more income and were also able to maintain and buy a more classy EHR system. The more sophisticated an EHR system is, the less probable the EHR system is going to give in to infiltrations by computer hackers and phishers (Thakkar, 2006). Because not-for-profit organizations are community-based funds, hospitals can have EHR systems that are at greater risk of data getting breached.
There have existed many investigations that focus on the utilization of EHR in ambulatory clinics as well as inpatient settings plus both its economic production for not-for-profit and for-profit systems. Besides, the studies can comprise of, though is not limited to the legal ramification of the non-compliance in the healthcare system, the increased revenue, averting expenses’ influx like improvement in the compliance affairs, carrying out studies to enhance the financial movements, as well as growing the job market. Besides, there was a rise in returns with the utilization of EHR which resulted in lessening of billing and medical coding errors. In addition, EHR reminders towards patients and providers concerning regular health visits increase patients’ visits and thus boost revenue.
Financial Management Staff Perspectives
EHR technology isn’t just a truck transporting element of business operations and patient care, but it is modernizing hospitals’ economic and medical performance. Correctly applied, an EHR system may be of importance to healthcare by offering higher quality care, boosting productivity, strengthening revenue management, and having documentation proficiency. There is a need for a multidisciplinary panel/team to cooperate and have a focus-oriented objective such as this. Besides, for the EHR's implementation to be fruitful, efficient, and timely communication, cohesiveness, and negotiations are important. It is not just for the nurses, participants-physicians, administrators, and IT staff but additionally to finance experts such as Chief Financial Officer. Even though the viewpoint of managing financial risks related to switching from the legacy income management systems up to systems that include the EHR module might be great, it is significant for the chief financial officer to contribute energetically in the course/ process from the first stages.
Regularly, chief financial officers tend to remain on the electronic health record implementations’ sideline for longer periods which delays active participation until the progressive stage happens when charge build-up and other income issues unavoidably make their appearance. Additionally, the potential for achievement is vital when deducting issues and charge capture can get projected and then get addressed from the start of EHR implementation and planning. The economic team and chief financial officer’s integration in EHR implementation planning are vital in preventing significant issues in the proceeds collection, making an invoice, and lessening the likelihood of an unfavorable effect on income.
Rules and Regulations
EHR’s mandated implementation started with a motivation/incentive plan via Medicare, and Medicaid, while Medicaid was recognized as the “meaningful use.” Besides, the multidisciplinary team and the financial managers would have to attain specific criteria showing that their entire healthcare system is eligible as meaningfully utilizing the EHR system, and the criteria comprise documenting patients' data like classified information up to exchanging the patients’ summary care records (Healthit.gov, 2017). These regulations have been made by CMS for all medical professionals and healthcare systems that are qualified for the incentive program of EHR.'
There existed three principles that were additionally known as stages; where the team and financial manager had to make guarantee the success of the healthcare system before enrollment in the Medicaid and Medicare EHR Incentive Plan. The professional medical employees began by joining in attaining the requirements just as an important use for not less than ninety days plus a complete year for a second year to complete/end the first stage. Besides, to complete the phase, the medical staff would have to contribute to the “meaningful user” for 2 years. Besides, CMS has newly set up a proposal, which is for the 3rd phase of meaningful use, and it emphasizes the better utilization of the EHR technology to enhance health information exchange as well as improve patients’ outcomes.
The electronic healthcare records system implementation has led to various beneficial changes in the healthcare system. Besides, EHR has been demonstrated to be dependable in lessening billing errors and this increases income, enhancing documentation as well as healthcare delivery. Besides, it has assisted in lessening medical errors, and insurance fraud which eventually minimizes malpractice claims. Additionally, as the EHR swiftly changes, the price to sustain the system increase, which adds up to a financial strain on the healthcare system. Always, lawmakers are modifying policies to conform with the set rules and regulations concerning Medicare and Medicaid. The revenue growth has been moved to fund the healthcare systems’ readiness to have the Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements standards. The financial directors, i.e. not-for-profit and for-profit get included in a multidisciplinary team to initiate the healthcare system to economic success, while not permitting the extreme financial prices of maintaining and implementing the EHR to lower the commercial growth.
- Healthit.gov. (2017). Meaningful Use Regulations | Policy Researchers & Implementers | HealthIT.gov. [online] Available at: https://www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/meaningful-use-regulations [Accessed 16 Nov. 2017].
- O'Neill, T. (2017). Are Electronic Medical Records Worth the Costs of Implementation? - AAF. [online] AAF. Available at: https://www.americanactionforum.org/research/are-electronic-medical-records-worth-the-costs-of-implementation/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2017].
- Thakkar, M., & Davis, D. C. (2006). Risks, barriers, and benefits of EHR systems: a comparative study based on size of hospital. Perspectives in Health Information Management/AHIMA, American Health Information Management Association, 3.