Many practices have adopted EHR software because of the government incentives, but there are of course many other reasons to utilize good electronic health record software as well as good practice management software.

You’ve undoubtedly heard about the prospects for better population health management and chronic care management, but here are a few other, more immediate, reasons to fully utilize an EHR:

1. Avoid downcoding – Using electronic health records can also guard against downcoding, according to an article in Physicians Practice, as the EHR will recommend a particular billing code based on what occurred during the office visit. Using the EHR suggestions can increase consistency in a doctor’s coding, the article points out, and an EHR system can also be used during an audit to show that the coding was correct.

2. Optimize your coding – Good EHR software will help you ensure you’re coding appropriately to receive the maximum appropriate reimbursement. Look for an EHR that helps you with E&M and Medicare Advantage HCC coding, as MediTouch does.

Dashboard chart of Evaluation and Management (E/M) coding3. Compare your E&M utilization – Use your EHR & practice management software to analyze your E&M code utilization and ensure you are within the norm for your specialty. While staying under the bell curve will not make you audit-proof, it does decrease the odds that you will be targeted, according to an article in Physicians Practice. You can compare your data to a data file Medicare produces that contains E&M code utilization and charges by specialty by year, with the most recent year being available here .

4. Improve charge capture – Use your EMR software and practice management system to improve capture of all encounters, both through technology and communication with your biller.  EMR software like MediTouch helps you make sure your charges flow through to your medical billing software, as well as allowing communication of notes to your biller so that your encounters are coded and billed as you prefer.

5. Get a better view of your patients’ medical history – With good EHR software, you should have a better overview of your patients’ medical history, allergies, etc. Look for a Longitudinal Patient Record and Dual View Mode, which give you better insight into your patients’ medical needs without a lot of clicking around or flipping through pages.

6. Improve practice communication and accountability – Do away with sticky notes and reduce the number of rushed hallway conversations by using your EHR software and practice management system to assign tasks with due dates to your staff. This will increase accountability and improve patient satisfaction.

7. Identify marketing opportunities – Use your EHR and practice management software to identify your most profitable procedures and to understand provider productivity. Also, be sure to use your EHR and patient portal to market to your patients by identifying their health needs (flu shots, school physicals, diabetic foot checks, etc.) and communicating with them regarding scheduling those needs.

These are just a few of the ways you can use your EHR and practice management software to improve the efficiency and profitability of your practice. Whether you’re a first time adopter of medical software or you’re considering a switch to software that better suits your practice, be sure to look for the features that will help you maximize the value of your EHR.

To see how MediTouch helps your practice in these areas and much more, request a live, personalized demo today. We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.