Doctor shortage can benefit from EMR software like Medisoft

Nurse practitioners can help primary care providers reduce their workload by using Medisoft Clinical.Nurse practitioners can help primary care providers reduce their workload by using Medisoft Clinical.

Medical professionals are anticipating more patients to enter their offices in 2014 once the Affordable Care Act is in effect, but are they prepared?

As 32 million Americans will look forward to making their first visit to the doctor in years, they will be in for an awakening when they realize many offices will be booked for months. However, this wait is out of their control. There's a shortage of primary care providers (PCPs), according to NBC News.

In 2013, the United States is more than 9,000 doctors short to meet current demand. The Association of American Medical Colleges predicts this number will reach over 65,000 by 2025. One way practices can meet this upcoming demand is through active use of EMR software like Medisoft Clinical and hiring nurse practitioners (NPs).

Together, PCPs and NPs can provide quality care and actively update one another on their patients' health histories.

"To me, nurse practitioners could be a huge, huge solution to this problem of primary care shortage," Dr. Thomas Bodenheimer of University of California San Francisco told the source. "They can do 90 to 95 percent of what the doc[tors] can do.

However, some physicians argue that NPs are not qualified to provide these services to patients because they completed less schooling and clinical hours. This is why actively reporting data into Medisoft is important, both parties can stay involved while reducing one another's workload. Less time is spent waiting and asking redundant questions—reducing the chances of readmissions.  

PCPs may need to get on board with working alongside NPs because as of 2011, there were only 209,000 licensed PCPs out of a population of 624,000 registered MDs. Getting on board with EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical is step toward handling the larger workload.

New Hampshire hospitals actively adopting EMRs

Of all the state's seeking to encourage their hospitals to adopt electronic medical record (EMR) systems in response to the reforms of the Affordable Care Act, New Hampshire is making more progress than most.Of all the state's seeking to encourage their hospitals to adopt electronic medical record (EMR) systems in response to the reforms of the Affordable Care Act, New Hampshire is making more progress than most.

Of all the states seeking to encourage their hospitals to adopt electronic medical record (EMR) systems in response to the reforms of the Affordable Care Act, New Hampshire is making more progress than most.

According to a report in the Concord Monitor, the state ranks second in meeting national standards for EMR use, more than 65 percent of primary care providers in New Hampshire and 85 percent of critical access hospitals are reaching their benchmarks, thanks in part to more than $76.8 million in federal funds.

The benefits for practices that adopt EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical are myriad. Doctors have convenient access to a patient's entire medical history, allowing them to prescribe more effective treatments based on what has worked in the past. In addition, these records allow doctors to closely monitor whether patients are actually following their advice.

EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical can reduce the frequency of medical errors, which threaten a patient's well-being and can cost hospitals thousands of dollars.

Jaime Dupuis, a practice consultant at the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative, credited some of New Hampshire's largest hospitals with putting the state ahead in the race to adopt EMR. Five such hospitals—Concord Hospital, Elliot in Manchester, Exeter Hospital, Littleton Regional Healthcare and New London Hospital—were featured in Hospitals & health Networks magazine's "Most Wired" list for 2013.

"They've worked hard to understand and implement the system for their communities," Dupuis told the Monitor.

As the federal government's meaningful use standards progress, hospitals across the United States will face penalties for not using EMRs like Medisoft Clinical. New Hampshire hospitals will find that there are benefits for being ahead of the curve.

How do I learn more about the cost of medical procedures?

Part of the reason why medical costs have skyrocketed in the U.S. is that many patients are not always aware of the true cost of the health services they receive.Part of the reason why medical costs have skyrocketed in the U.S. is that many patients are not always aware of the true cost of the health services they receive.

Part of the reason why medical costs have skyrocketed in the United States is that many patients are not always aware of the true cost of their health services. Since companies that offer health insurance generally pay for part of the coverage, and since that insurance helps pay for care, few insured Americans actually understand just how expensive medicine is.

Some experts believe that if they were aware, consumers would make better choices. As a result, stronger market forces would help bring down the cost of care.

A recent article on MSN Money explains some of the ways patients might be able to learn how much their medical procedures cost.

First, it is important for patients to learn the exact name of the procedure they are about to undergo. This includes knowing how it is referred to in the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), which categorizes every procedure performed in U.S. hospitals. These codes are important, since common procedures like MRIs may have multiple iteration.

Next, patients should find out how much Medicare or other health insurers pays for a specific procedure in their area. "The Medicare price is the closest thing to a fixed or benchmark price, and there's a byzantine formula for determining that price," the article reads.

Finally, patients should find out if certain doctors or even health care facilities add extra charges on top of the cost of the procedure. These could have significant impacts on the price, even if they are not transparent.

Since people are becoming more aware of the cost of care, it is important for medical billing software like Medisoft 19 to offer detailed, accurate information.

Widespread EMR, Medisoft Clinical adoption slow

Doctors should do more to educate patients about the benefits of accessing their EMRs.Doctors should do more to educate patients about the benefits of accessing their EMRs.

Even though there's evidence that using electronic medical record (EMR) software like Medisoft Clinical can improve care and patient engagement, people are not quite on board yet. Though more than half of doctors and 80 percent of hospitals are implementing some sort of EMR or Medisoft program, there continues to be physicians and patients that are used to the way things are.

A study from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York explained that it takes effort on the doctor's part to encourage patients to access their EMRs, which may include their medical history, list of prescriptions and x-ray images, according to Fierce Health IT.

Before this study, a lot of resistance toward Medisoft and other EMRs came from doctors, but it appears that patients are unwilling to change as well.

"Despite the fact that we found experiences with electronic communications were, on the whole, very positive in the groups we studied that have embraced this technology, we believe the big stumbling block to its widespread use around the country will be compensation," lead author Tara Bishop of Cornell Medical College told the source.

Participants between 21 hospital networks, including six interviews with individual doctors explained that encouraging patients to use resources was constant work, There's no end to it," one respondent told the researchers. "This has allowed us to work all the time."

Some offices tried give patients the option to contact their care providers through the secure server as an alternative to a doctor's visit, but but many methods did not work out because some medical practioners offered these practices for free. 

Using EMRs like Medisoft Clinical to increase patient engagement may take time, but it is effective. Researchers at Cornell said that electronic communication was helpful for most patients. Having them pay for the services is where things get difficult.

Study: Doctors not noting overweight patients into EMRs, Medisoft Clinical

Physicians that wish to take a step toward helping overweight Americans can start with recording their BMIs into their EMR systems like Medisoft.Physicians that wish to take a step toward helping overweight Americans can start with recording their BMIs into their EMR systems like Medisoft.

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are meant to provide quality care to patients, especially those who are living with health conditions like diabetes or heart disease.  Primary care providers that are neglecting to include notes about a patient's body mass index (BMI) into EMR software like Medisoft Clinical can be hurting their physical health.

Last month's JAMA Internal Medicine study showed that doctors are not taking down the vital signs like a person's height or weight. These pieces of information determine their BMI—omitting these details is not illustrating an accurate picture of their health. Medisoft and other EMR programs have these fields available to inform other physicians within their practice.

About two-thirds of adults in the United States are living with BMI levels above 25, indicating that they are at least overweight, according to Fierce EMR. Out of a sample of 219,356 patients within a Boston-based hospital network, a third of individuals had no information regarding their BMI.

Possible reasons why medical professionals are not inputting this data into their EMRs because they fear patients who are overweight or obese may get insulted by these figures. Doctors feel mentioning these details may make their patient think they are not understanding of their health conditions, according to Fierce Practice Management.

"I hear from patients all the time about how they resent feeling judged negatively because of their weight," Dr. Kimberly Gudzone of John Hopkins University School of Medicine told the source.

On average, patients in the JAMA study visited their care provider eight times. This shows that doctors need to accurately report information into their EMR systems like Medisoft to provide the best care.

Study: EMR users more satisfied with their doctors

According to a recent study, patients who could access their own EMRs were more satisfied with their doctors and the level of care they received.According to a recent study, patients who could access their own EMRs were more satisfied with their doctors and the level of care they received.

Electronic medical record (EMR) systems like Medisoft Clinical aren't just meant to make life easier for doctors. They also benefit patients. Many are now using EMRs to check on their own medical records, in order to get a better idea of their own general health.

This has led to some positive effects. According to a recent study released by Aeffect and 88 Brand Partners, patients who could access their own EMRs were more satisfied with their doctors and the level of care they received.

The study found that patients had a number of reasons for preferring a doctor who uses EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical. Forty percent said they liked having access to their records. Eighteen percent said the felt like their doctor was better at keeping more accurate records with an electronic system. Seventeen percent said that these records improved coordination and information sharing.

In addition, EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical are more popular among younger, more educated patients who live in the western United States. 

"The business of healthcare is dependent upon meeting patients' expectations," said Michael McGuire, director of strategy at 88 Brand Partners. "EMR users are telling us that they are more confident in the coordination of care they're being provided, and think more highly of their doctors, simply because of the information technology in use."

Care providers already know that EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical will reduce medical errors and costly hospital readmissions. Now they know that many patients will be drawn to their practices because of these systems. It's a great way for hospitals to improve quality care while still cutting costs.

Hospital readmissions means penalties for practices

Health care facilities that are responsible for a patient's readmission should be prepared to see fines from Medicare.Health care facilities that are responsible for a patient's readmission should be prepared to see fines from Medicare.

Doctor offices and hospitals throughout the United States are meant to reduce readmissions and medical errors using electronic medical record (EMR) software like Medisoft Clinical. Those that continue to commit these mistakes will be slapped with penalties, reducing their potential incentive package, according to Fierce Healthcare.

For fiscal year 2013, 2,225 hospitals received payment reductions, costing facilities a potential $227 million. About 150 hospitals were hit with the ultimate punishment: 1 percent of their patients' payment for staying, according to Kaiser Health News. All together, Medicare fined two-thirds of hospitals in the United States for not providing quality care with their EMR systems like Medisoft.

What is defined as a readmission by Medicare's standards? According to the news source, if a person entered the facility with a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia, but returned within 30 days after they were discharged, then the government argues that medical personnel did not effectively treat them. These fines are meant to encourage physicians to promote better treatment measures, not reduce incentive packages.

"People are starting to recognize that renaming discharge planning does not actually improve your readmissions rate," Dr. Eric Coleman told Kaiser Health News. "Hospitals have moved past 'is this for real' or 'should we do something.'" 

In 2014, about 1,300 hospitals will see lower fees than last year, despite Medicare's stricter guidelines. This means that actively using Medisoft Clinical daily will reduce readmissions and provide better care for patients in the long run.

EMRs like Medisoft Clinical could save health care

EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical could help doctors and patients make better health decisions.EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical could help doctors and patients make better health decisions.

Medical providers are under enormous pressure to change the way they treat patients and charge for their services—all while cutting costs. One method for doing this is to adopt an electronic medical record (EMR) system like Medisoft Clinical. But as this blog has mentioned previously, these changes are receiving some pushback from skeptical practices who are not convinced that the upfront costs are worth the service.

Indeed, as a recent article in Gigaom pointed out, the Obama Administration is currently proposing $401 billion in budget cuts to Medicare and Medicaid services over the next 10 years. At the same time, hospitals are expected to absorb these losses while investing in EMR systems, which will soon be required by the federal government.

However, there may be more room for these cuts to occur than previously thought. According to a recent report by McKinsey & Co., the health care industry misspends $600 billion every year. Still, the report added that by adopting modern tools and "data-driven, evidence-based medicine," care providers will be able to encourage patients to live healthier. 

EMR systems like Medisoft will help achieve this goal by allowing doctors to access a patient's complete medical history. With this technology, it will be easier for care givers to use evidence-based medicine to determine the most effective treatments.

In addition, patients will have easy access to their own information. By learning about their needs, they will be able to make better choices independently. This will reduce the need for costly hospital readmissions, which contribute to the high cost of care.

How doctors can start patient engagement before 2014

Patients want access to medical images and notes associated on those prints.Patients want access to medical images and notes associated on those prints.

A year from now, stage one of meaningful use will be nearly over and approved practices can move forward with stage two. Before physicians and specialists can advance toward the second phase of using electronic medical record (EMR) platforms like Medisoft Clinical that focuses on patient engagement, there are some industry-wide milestones worth mentioning.

Since the establishment of Medisoft and other EMR systems, more than 190 million prescriptions have been electronically filed, saving time for pharmacists and patients, according to Healthcare IT News. Having this sort of medical history on file helped doctors prevent medical errors over 40 million times, decreasing the chances of readmissions.

Despite these many improvements, only 4.6 million patients are able to have an electronic copy of their EMRs. A lot of this has to do with the fact that many physicians are not actively utilizing their Medisoft Clinical or other EMR platforms. Without having expansive knowledge of their EMR's capabilities, this will get in the way of their stage two incentives. Practices are allowed to get ahead in their EMR progress as long as they meet all the requirements of stage one.

A recent study showed that patients want to be able to access their personal health information, including past x-rays. On top of that, individuals would like to be able to access hospital notes made by their health care providers on their x-rays, CT scans and mammograms, according to EHR Intelligence. One of the most significant findings is that 59 percent of respondents over 71 years old said they were willing to learn how to navigate their doctor's Medisoft Clinical program if they had an online system.

Offices and hospitals that wish to get ahead of stage two of meaningful use can work toward improving their EMR databases so patients will be able to access their history, including medical images. 

Meaningful Use participation continues to grow

As of June, participation in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Meaningful Use program is continuing to grow.As of June, participation in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Meaningful Use program is continuing to grow.

As of June, participation in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Meaningful Use program is continuing to grow, according to a report by Fierce EMR.

The program, which governs how electronic medical record (EMR) systems like Medisoft Clinical are used, seeks to promote their adoption as a means of cutting health care costs and improving quality.

The news source reported that 3,661 Medicare eligible professionals, 2,240 Medicaid eligible professionals and 52 hospitals registered for the program, bringing the total number of participating providers to 405,437.

Additionally, $15.5 billion has been spent on the program since 2011, in the form of payments to 309,802 providers. In order to qualify for these incentives, care providers must demonstrate that they make "meaningful use" of EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical.

The program is currently in stage one, and focused on data capturing and sharing. Beginning in September 2014, the program will move to stage two, putting a greater focus on patient-controlled data, among other criteria.

Reports similar to the one covered by Fierce EMR have also found an increase in providers adopting EMRs. For example, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's annual report determined that the federal government's "unprecedented" level of support for EMR adoption has led more practices to consider their use.

It also noted that practices have begun to use technology "in a way that improves quality and efficiency of care."

EMR systems like Medisoft Clinical allow care providers to keep accurate, accessible records on all of their patients. This will allow doctors to avoid medical errors and duplication of care, which are both costly.

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