With several years to adjust to using electronic health record software, any lingering problems your hospital is having are likely here to stay. Instead of forcing hospital staff to continue using electronic health records that don’t work well, it’s time to reevaluate your systems and see if developing new solutions for your electronic health records are right for you.
For patients in remote or rural areas, a stroke can easily cause permanent damage because treatment is too far away or their local hospital doesn’t the equipment or expertise to treat them. But new video conferencing apps for hospitals are dramatically improving the odds of a successful recovery for patients. With the help of a video conferencing app, specialists are able to treat patients in smaller, underserved areas. Specialists can now share their expertise whenever and wherever it’s needed without smaller hospitals having the expense of keeping a specialist on their staff.
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There’s nothing more damaging to a medical company than to spend months developing new features only to have them become obsolete by the time they’re delivered. Medical companies that use traditional waterfall development processes often see their projects go months over their deadlines, with budgets doubling or even tripling. Often when projects are finally delivered, their intended users no longer need those features or functions. These repeated failures make it nearly impossible to keep getting funds or buy-in from the staff or executives for future projects. But software development doesn’t have to be a long and expensive process. By moving to an agile software development process, medical companies can more quickly and cost-effectively create software that meets their users’ needs.
Electronic health records are a required part of U.S. healthcare, but this doesn’t mean they have to stand in the way of quality patient care. With the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act making EHRs a requirement, many healthcare practitioners have spent years learning how to use EHRs. While they’re becoming a familiar part of the healthcare system, they’re still far from perfect. Hospitals don’t have to be satisfied with a one-size-fits-all EHR. Custom software can take a standard EHR and customize it to better fit the processes and unique needs of every hospital.
The move to EHRs was designed to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of patient care. While some hospitals and physicians’ offices have successfully implemented hospital information system software, many more are struggling. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act), created in 2009, created a mandate that hospitals and doctors’ offices adopt EHRs by 2018 or face penalties. They offered incentives for healthcare organizations that could meet “meaningful use” guidelines from 2011-2015. After that, healthcare systems and physicians who didn’t use EHRs or couldn’t show that they met Meaningful Use standards would face penalties. More than half of the doctors who bill Medicare are facing penalties of 1 percent of their 2015 payments because of a failure to comply with Meaningful Use, according to Dr. Steven J. Stack, president of the American Medical Association. This legislation, combined with the Affordable Care Act, makes it critical that hospitals can access and analyze patient data, including population health data, healthcare costs and readmission rates.
Mention the EHR adoption process to a physician and you’re likely to hear a groan. After spending much of the past five years implementing the electronic medical health records software, many will say it’s still not living up to its goals. The push to adopt EHRs is being driven by the U.S. government in an effort to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. By implementing an approved EHR, hospitals and physicians will increase care coordination, protect patient privacy and improve the overall health of the community, according to an article on HealthIT.gov.