Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Electronic Health Records: 5 Things You Should Know

Healthcare reforms, government incentives and Meaningful Use are just a subset of the driving factors nudging healthcare providers to adopt electronic health records at astounding rates.

Here are 5 things you should know while researching, vetting and considering a new EHR or a migration to a new EHR platform.

1. Sustainability. The most important factor to consider when selecting an EHR for your practice is the viability of the platform provider. Stage 2 Meaningful Use Certification requirements are far more sophisticated and the documentation required more tedious than that of Stage 1. Confirm that your vendor is in the EHR business for the long-haul and inquire about on-going development plans to meet new government standards.

2. Specialty. The 2013 survey of the EHR market by Black Book Rankings found that of the Physicians planning to change their EHRs, 77% reported that their current EHR was not well suited to their practice. There exists a WIDE array of choice in EHR platforms – do you need one highly specialized to your discipline? At first glance, it may seem appealing to have an EHR specific to your specialty – but will the functionality ever limit your practice as your business continues to grow and potentially transform? A happy medium is to choose an EHR with flexible customization capabilities and open architecture, one with configurable macros or templates and one that will evolve with your practice.

3. Voice Dictation. The biggest fear, apprehension and overall concern heard from providers is a resounding – “An EHR is going to slow me down!” Choose an EHR that will mitigate some of this fear by having the ability to incorporate voice dictation. After a month, a Tennessee practice implemented voice recognition software and the practice manager estimates using the dictation capabilities in conjunction with the EHR reduced the time related to clinical documentation by 75%! It CAN be done!

4. Interoperability. A lack of interoperability among EHR is second only to implementations as providers’ top tech concerns. Confirm that your EHR platform has the ability to interface and exchange information with other software platforms. The Stage 2 Meaningful Use movement focuses on coordinated care – necessitating data exchange – an inability to share information between systems will have negative consequences.

5. Implementations / Training. Practices must establish a POSITIVE Change Management Team and fight anxiety from rising in both staff and providers. Whether migrating from an existing EHR or implementing an EHR for the very first time attitude is everything – with a fabulous, hands-on trainer, of course! The old adage that “you get what you pay for” is certainly applicable in this instance. EHRs are complex platforms that (should) require more training and set up than what is attainable via an on-line self-lead tutorial. Assuming your team already has the right attitude for EHR adoption, confirm that your chosen platform implementations team will be on-site to ensure success together! Navigating EHR setup, configuration and nuances of the platform, based on your specialty, is critical to your success – especially for Meaningful Use attestation.

The Brave New World of healthcare, data sharing, coordinated care and pay for performance are just around the corner. One thing is for certain: healthcare will only continue progression with increased complexities. Invest in your practice. Invest the time and energy now to find the best suited EHR for your practice – not just the “best priced” right now.

EHR Scope, LLC, “Why specialists don’t like their EHRs”
http://www.ehrscope.com/blog/specialists-dont-like-ehrs/, Accessed 19 August 2014

Physicians Practice, “2014 Technology Survey Results”
http://www.physicianspractice.com/technology-survey/2014-technology-survey-results, Accessed 19 August 2014

 


 Courtney Gebben - IMAGINE Software

Courtney is a Sr. Account Executive on the IMAGINE Sales team where she thrives at identifying new opportunities for the IMAGINEehr and IMAGINE Practice Manager solutions.  

 

Blog - IMAGINE Team

Social Engagement for the Medical Industry

In this ever changing landscape of social media, the medical world is seeing the benefits of using social media as a marketing tool. Many physician groups are using Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to grow their practice and earn patient referrals. From the small country doctor, to large hospital groups, the use of social media is becoming a powerful way to engage patients.

So what is social media and how can it help my practice? Social Media is, in its purest form, interaction among people and is used to share opinions, ideas, hopes, dreams, and fears. It is an open door into their lives inasmuch as they allow it, creating a unique opportunity for a medical provider to be able to engage their patients. Engaged patients are more likely to follow the advice of their medical professional, keep appointments, seek out new information on their health, and therefore, have better medical outcomes. Using social media allows your practice to be active in the care of your patients outside of the typical visit. Through the use of Twitter, Facebook, and the multitude of physician rating sites you can provide valuable information directly to a multitude of people without being intrusive. Examples could be as simple as a tweet reminding your followers to use sunscreen on a holiday weekend, or placing a post about a new medication or treatment on your Facebook site. You could write a blog on some of the cutting edge treatments available for your specialty or can be as simple as wishing your patients a happy birthday. Subliminally your patients will then have you top of mind and will most likely have a higher degree of regard for you. As a medical provider you have a front row seat into some of the most personal aspects of your patients’ lives and is a vehicle for you to be on the forefront with them and no longer out of sight or out of mind.

While it was slow to adopt, the healthcare industry is quickly moving towards social media as an avenue to not only market, but to have a meaningful impact on the lives of their number one asset- their patients.

Social media is most likely already a part of your patients’ lives. While they are “Tweeting” and “Liking”, you have an awesome opportunity to engage and empower them to become involved in their health. The returns for both you and your patients are immeasurable. Here at IMAGINE, we are committed to helping you navigate this ever changing world of social engagement. Feel free to contact me directly for more information on how IMAGINE can develop a strategy for you to become a more social part of your patients’ lives.

 


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

robgomes

Rob Gomes is a 20 year veteran of the Internet Marketing Industry. Serving as the SEO Manager at IMAGINE, Rob is constantly studying and putting into place key strategies to assist in the marketing efforts of our number one priority – our clients.

Contact  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

 



Blog - IMAGINE Team

The Use of Physican Rating Websites Increasingly Influences Patient Acquisitions

Patients are increasingly researching doctors, the question is: are they finding your practice, or your competition’s?  “It’s important that when patients go to search for a service or procedure online, that your practice comes up,” explains Katie Robbins, Director of Marketing for Charlotte Radiology at the May 2014 Radiology Summit.  If and when these patients see your practice online, are they viewing positive or negative information?  With sites like RateMDs.comhealthgrades.com, and vitals.com, patients who have visited your practice are given a strong voice that can loudly influence how online potential patients are viewing your practice.  Having positive online reviews and testimonials is vital for your practice reputation.

Due to consumer demand, health insurance companies are expanding their healthcare networks and patients (now more than ever) are being given the go-ahead by their insurance companies to choose which in-network doctor they visit with no referrals needed.  Blue cross Blue Shield of NC’s top three health insurance plans offer patients the ability to visit specialty doctors with no referrals. 

Not requiring referrals gives patients the right to choose, and many online savvy patients are whipping out their smart phones, tablets, and laptops to start picking their best option.   “When I found out I needed surgery, I immediately went online to search for the most qualified and well rated doctor,” stated Patti Galloway, a mortgage loan originator in Charlotte, NC.  Patti chose the doctor with the highest patient satisfaction scores and this trend is continuing to increase. 

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, (JAMA) ( Zylke, 2014;311:734-735,) word-of-mouth referrals and referrals from partnering physicians currently surpass doctor rating website referrals, but the numbers of patients who are using them is continuing to rise as many of these sites are still gaining traction.

While patients will continue to turn to resources online to uncover their best option for services, practices need to be aware of how their doctors are rated and develop strategies to increase positive patient reviews.


 About The Author

IMAGINE'S Joya Sain  Joya is on IMAGINE’s Sales & Development team where her ultimate mark of success is growing her clients’ practices using targeted strategies and cutting edge software to increase their patient acquisitions and give doctors maximum medical reimbursement. 

Blog - IMAGINE Team

googlemedLong gone are the days when the medical world could just rely on referrals from their colleagues.

Two things have spurred this catalyst: the first being the advent of a digital age in which consumers can have research at their fingertips to help with decisions that they used to leave to the "professionals." The second being the Affordable Care Act, wherein now, the freedom of choice in providers has opened up new levels that have not been seen before.

This creates a whole new world, not only for the patients, but now also for the providers. First, one must consider how truly competitive the medical industry is and understand that anything that can create an edge over the competition should be looked at. In days past, a practice could rely upon basic marketing principles, such as the Yellow Pages, radio, newspapers, and word of mouth. Now, however, the internet is arguably the most important marketing method that you can have. Just having a website is not enough, though. You need to appeal to your potential clients and you must engage them.

SEO, Social Media, and Reputation Management are now the tools that need to be employed to develop a reputation as a provider of choice. What these tools will do for you is make you stand out in the sea of information on the search engines as well as help you to build trust. Having a high ranking in the search engines is important as the typical person will only search so far before making their choice. The social media portion is important in that it helps you to provide valuable information to your patients and potential patients, yet it also allows you to engage them on a more personal level, creating trust. Your competitors are likely already doing things like this and should you decide to ignore it, you are, without a doubt, falling further and further behind.

There are many modalities and complexities when it comes to Internet Marketing, least of which being Google's constant changes and tweaks to its algorithm. What you should realize, though, is the need to develop keywords and terms that specify your specialty and practice and build upon that. Secondly, engaging the public-at-large with info that is relevant to their needs and tying everything back together will position your practice as an authority.

This is accomplished by utilizing keywords and targeting them through correct use on your website and developing backlinks that lead to your site. Additionally, develop appropriate content and utilize social media to increase the exposure that your practice is receiving. This, however, must be done correctly and remain compliant with the terms of service of the search engines. Failure to do so can lead to diminished rankings and even a ban from the search engines. Can you afford that to happen to your practice?

In closing, here at IMAGINE, we have a group of experts ready to assist you in this area. We are committed to your success and the success of your internet marketing efforts. Feel free to contact me directly for more information on how IMAGINE can help develop the strategies that will work for you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

robgomes

Rob Gomes is a 20 year veteran of the Internet Marketing Industry. Serving as the SEO Manager at IMAGINE, Rob is constantly studying and putting into place key strategies to assist in the marketing efforts of our number one priority – our clients.

Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Blog - IMAGINE Management Team

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