A few years ago, most doctors were still updating their patient files manually and kept hard copies in their offices to refer to whenever necessary. More often than not, this antiquated system proved cumbersome and inefficient, especially in an emergency situation where a doctor needed to access his or her patient’s medical history quickly and the file went missing or was accidentally misplaced. Potentially leading to a delay in proper care, this medical patient filing system became increasingly obsolete, and a growing number of health care professionals started turning toward electronic health record (EHR) keeping.
Also known as electronic medical records, EHRs have a significant impact on the health care system, improving its overall quality and enhancing patient safety. Electronic health records streamline clinical operations, allow multiple practitioners to access patients’ medical histories, allow convenient storage and retrieval of information, and can help a practice be more operationally efficient. By accessing a patient’s history electronically, doctors can immediately see how a specific condition developed and evolved and decide the best course of action and treatment based on this comprehensive information.
These features have convinced a great number of physicians to switch to EHR systems, with the adoption rate nearly doubling in the United States since 2008 (from 42% to 83% in 2015). In January of this year, roughly 59% of U.S. medical service providers reported using an EHR system, with the slight decline owing to a much larger sampling size. In addition, nearly 35% of health care professionals reported using a fully functional EHR platform with capabilities such as electronic charts, electronic prescribing and integration with imaging and testing centers. Among the specialties with the highest adoption rates are internal medicine and pediatrics, dialysis, nephrology and pathology.
To further encourage the use of EHR systems, the federal government issued a set of ‘Meaningful Use’ standards in 2010, outlining a series of EHR use requirements for doctors wishing to be eligible for Medicare and Medicaid payments. All health care units using EHR systems need to be in line with the Meaningful Use standards by 2017 or risk penalty. At the moment, three-quarters of EHR users reported that their systems meet Meaningful Use requirements, while more than 370,000 physicians or practices have already earned incentive under the program.
The EHR software from top health care information technology provider Medical Transcription Billing, Corp. (NASDAQ: MTBC; MTBCP) fully meets all the requirements of any small- to medium-sized medical practice, no matter the size and specialty. Built around the company’s proprietary ChartsPro™ software, this web-based EHR is easy to use and intuitive, being designed to improve the productivity of any practice by automating all its clinical activities. Since it is web-based, it does not require any software download or installation and allows medical professionals to access it anytime, anywhere, using only a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. The system also includes 13 specialty-specific modules, including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, Podiatry, Rheumatology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry.
Some of the Medical Transcription Billing software’s top features include Patient Charts, which allow for the capture and storage of extensive patient information such as vitals, social history and care plan; a Clinical Decision Support System, which helps provide preventative care with evidence-based alerts; a Personal Tab module, which enables detailed documentation of patient demographics; and a host of patient education materials via the MedlinePlus Encyclopedia.