EHR Best Practicesa mature male doctor sits next to a male patient in his waiting room and casually chats through a few things on his digital tablet . In the background a nurse chats to a mother and child and grandmother with her digital tablet .

Medical practices put so much effort into selecting and installing EHR platforms that teams can sometimes lose focus of all the post-implementation gains. Once an EHR gets up and running, that’s when staff can really start harnessing its immense powers.

The main thrust of an EHR system, of course, is the conversion from paper to electronic medical records, which improves their overall accuracy and accessibility. There’s an added array of additional features, however, that can prove invaluable for a practice when utilized correctly.

From patient portals to billing and overall management efficiency, here are some EHR best practices to get the most from your system after implementation.

Training Staff
It cannot be stressed enough how important proper training of current and future staff is to the success of implementing an EHR. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this goal, but a standard electronic medical records best practice is to put one or more employees in charge of training and let them become experts in the process – a champion or super user, let’s say. It can also be beneficial to open the lines of communication among your team, find out how individuals prefer to learn, and devise a training plan accordingly.

Adopting and Optimizing a Patient Portal

There’s no denying that a patient portal can be one of the best features of a quality EHR platform, if it functions with versatility, sophistication and ease of use for both patients and medical staff. These handy systems facilitate online payments, scheduling visits, requesting prescription refills, viewing lab results, and communicating with doctors – ultimately accelerating a practice’s overall stream of efficiency. Once you set up your patient portal, you’ll need to promote it so your patients know about it and develop a strategy for patient education. Doing this while patients are visiting the office is a great idea, as it can help solidify trust with the new system. When in doubt, ask your vendor about patient portal engagement tips, as they likely have a number of successful strategies.

Conserving Resources
You didn’t implement an EHR so you could manage your practice exactly the same way as you did when you were using paper. An EHR platform will give you a whole new set of abilities to manage your practice, such as strategizing your staffing to focus on the most urgent areas.

For instance, one of the strongest EHR best practices is the notion that office associates no longer need to constantly create hard copies of records and miscellaneous paperwork. Lessening the staff time, as well as the use of paper, ink, and printer functions, can really help improve overall cost control and efficiency. Gradually, features like the patient portal will also help conserve even more employee time by eliminating superfluous phone calls, drafted letters, and billing communication.

Boosting Profitability
Maximizing the financial viability of your medical practice is another way an EHR can help. The patient portal will assist with tracking billing, for example, but switching to an EHR also makes you eligible for government incentives as well. So long as your EHR is 2014 Stage 2 certified and you’ve been using it for more than 90 days, for example, you can demonstrate Meaningful Use.

Working From Anywhere
Another perk that comes from implementing an EHR platform is the ability to work from anywhere with an Internet connection. In fact, 61% of medical practices switched to web-based medical software because of the ability to use it when out of the office. Plus, since you’ll have the ability to access your data on-the-go via web-based software, your cash flow won’t be interrupted by natural disasters such as snowstorms or heat waves.

These are just some examples to consider as an electronic medical records best practice when your new EHR gets implemented. There are plenty more EHR best practices to cover, but it’s important to know that once your EHR has been installed, the real impact of the platform will only be as powerful as you make it. To explore more ways to get the most from your EHR, visit our Resource Center.