EMRs can boost efficiency or become a bottleneck depending on how they are managed. Where there’s proper EMR management, clinicians will have quick access to complete patient information for effective diagnosis. But poor EMR management can lead to disrupted workflow, data retrieval problems, and physician burnout. Here are some effective EMR management strategies to adopt to obtain the full benefits of your organization’s investment in an EMR or EHR.
1. Provide Adequate Data Security
EMRs contain protected health information (PHI). PHI includes confidential data such as names, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and patient medical histories.
The information stored in your EMR must be carefully guarded against unauthorized access and hacking. Remember that your organization or practice may face an expensive lawsuit if the information gets leaked.
In addition to protecting your EMR from unauthorized access, you must also protect information that email, HL7 interfaces, or APIs transmit. Make an effort to investigate the security and protection provided by any vendor or software that wants to interface with your EMR.
2. Ensure Data Consistency
For the EMR to serve as a reliable source of patient data, clinicians need to input data correctly. An excellent way to reduce data entry errors is to use medical terms, keywords, and drug codes consistently.
Using the same codes and medical terms will prevent confusion and wrong diagnosis. It will also make it easy to use the data from the EMR for analytics.
3. Integrate EMR With Other Systems
The EMR must be connected to other health information systems to derive maximum benefit. For instance, your EMR should have interfaces that connect it directly to a lab information system, practice management system, and billing system.
An integrated EMR allows doctors to make lab test orders directly from an interface that receives patient information from the EMR. The interface reduces transcription and ordering errors drastically and cuts down the time needed to process orders significantly.
Integrated EMRs also make it possible to check the eligibility of a claim with a provider before ordering for a test or a particular treatment procedure.
4. Implement a Data Backup and Recovery Plan
Most EHR vendors have a backup feature incorporated into their products. However, you must fine-tune it and ensure that it is reliable and easy to use when the need arises.
A backup must also comply with HIPAA regulations on PHI security and other state regulations on health data. Find out where the backups are kept and be sure that they are encrypted and secure.
Incorporate your EMR data backup into a more extensive data security plan. If hackers attack your system, your data recovery plan must have the capacity to bring your system back online within a relatively short time.
5. Use an Active Archive for Data Retention
After your organization has gone through a merger, acquisition, or a significant information system change, you may be keeping one or more legacy EHRs. Maintaining data in different record systems is costly and cumbersome. Retrieval of information will also involve a lot of manual processing.
Instead of maintaining different EHRs, it is better to migrate the data from the legacy systems into a single active archive. This is a more secure way of retaining old medical records. After that, data retrieval will take a few seconds instead of several days.
An adequately maintained EMR system will deliver the benefits of improved efficiency, low operational costs, and improved patient care. Using the strategies above can help your organization to manage electronic health records efficiently.
Connect to an EMR Management System Expert Today
For effective healthcare data management solutions, call MediQuant at 844.286.8683. Visit our contact page to book a free consultation or a demo of our data management solution.