EMR and EHR: The Cost Effective Solution

So vast is our healthcare industry that information relevant, and often crucial for patients, is lost among the piles and piles of paperwork. The use of physical paper documents has become a systemic issue. The rate at which health technology has evolved and innovated has created a measurable lag between operations and technicalities.

Countless industries are moving to paperless solutions. They are creating, sharing, accessing, securing, and even reporting through electronic means on electronic platforms. From mobile smartphones, to mobile tablets, to desktops, the cost effectiveness of running businesses and organizations without paper is clear.

The industry which needs a paperless infrastructure most is healthcare. Paperless infrastructure is a part of healthcare administration, which costs quite a bit to operate. The Center for American Progress published a report by Elizabeth Wikler, Peter Basch, and David Cutler detailing the possible savings by enacting good reform. Part of the reform is getting on base with electronic health and medical records. Projected savings for the whole industry, both from insurance companies, to providers would range around $149 billion to possibly $160 billion.

The authors covered HIPAA requirements, or a lack thereof, “Importantly, HIPAA did not mandate electronic administrative transactions. While the goal of HIPAA was salutary, the law has not yet produced significant levels of administrative savings—and even generated more administrative hassle for some stakeholders.”

With the passage of the patient protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, electronic health and medical records are now mandated for those practices who accept Medicaid and Medicare. The rule was scheduled for “January 1, 2014, all public and private healthcare providers and other eligible professionals (EP) must have adopted and demonstrated “meaningful use” of electronic medical records (EMR) in order to maintain their existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels.”

A report out of University of South Florida’s Morsani School of Medicine expects a huge demand for technicians in this field: “the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which has yet to publish data on health informatics, due to the field’s relative youth, does anticipate a more than 20% rate of growth in employment opportunities for other related positions—including medical records/health information technicians, medical/health managers, computer support specialists, and computer systems managers—in the decade from 2010 to 2020.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have created a detailed and extensive incentive program, free to look at (digitally of course). The largest issue among small practices and family care physicians is that the cost of implementing the system in the short run is very high. Clearly in the long term it will reduce costs across the board, as well as decrease miscommunication and related errors because records for patients will be bundled in one secure resource. It has the potential to increase the quality of care and will finally be able to match up the speed of care with the rate of administrative processing.

About The Author :

Jenna Erickson is Codal‘s Creative Strategist. All of Codal relies on her for the organization, planning, and execution of marketing campaigns, social media campaigns and strategy, newsletter planning and composition, and eBook, blog, and marketing material distribution. Codal is a mobile apps and web design and development company, working on php, android, ios, python, ruby on rails, java script,etc.

EMR and EHR: The Cost Effective Solution

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