Electronic Health Records (EHR) are vital for the daily operations of a medical practice, but they are only one part of the IT toolbox for physicians. Here are some of the many additional physician tools available – often at no or low cost – to help manage your practice more efficiently.
Professional connection tools
If you’re too busy to network with peers, healthcare-specific apps offer solutions right at your fingertips. Connect with colleagues to ask questions, share medical expertise and even earn CME/CE credits. Other physician tools to check out include Doximity, Sermo, and Among Doctors.
The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) is a membership organization that offers tools and education to address the challenges of the U.S. healthcare system. With chapters in nearly every state, more than 56,000 healthcare leaders and professionals are HFMA members.
And don’t count out LinkedIn, where you can join interest groups including Healthcare Physician Practice Management (with nearly 25,000 members), the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) (56,000 members) and others that focus on your medical specialty.
Clinical decision support
CDS systems include other essential physician tools. They provide healthcare practitioners with filtered knowledge and person-specific information to enhance treatment. While EHRs offer some CDS functionality, they are not failproof. In fact, a recent study of EHR safety performance (using the Leapfrog CPOE EHR evaluation tool) reveals that they only meet the most basic safety standards ⅔ of the time.
More than half of all U.S. physicians use the highly rated Epocrates to improve patient safety and increase practice efficiency. Nearly every medical academic center in the country uses UptoDate for evidence-based information. Pepid is popular with ER staff and paramedics. Medscape offers free content, but it is not as extensive as some of the others.
Among the physician tools on this list, an EHR-agnostic charge capture system will provide the greatest improvement to a practice’s bottom line and future viability. While your EHR offers some operational data, it lacks robust revenue capture capabilities. Ingenious Med offers a mobile charge capture tool with a certified MIPS registry. This easily implemented and intuitive solution helps physicians capture complex charges in any location at the point of care and qualify for bonuses under MIPS and other value-based programs.
Practice and physician analytics
Being able to monitor the near real-time data of individual providers and practice locations is essential, especially in turbulent times. EHRs typically cannot adapt to the needs of providers who are rounding on patients in multiple locations, systems and/or care levels.
Ingenious Med’s data intelligence tool monitors provider performance in real time, offering access to data when and where users need it. With the ability to download data and combine it with your EHR and other sources, you can gain provider-level insights, take steps to adopt best practices and preemptively address shortfalls. Ingenious Med’s ability to track RVUs and other data across an enterprise or drill down by location or practitioner makes monitoring productivity and performance easier, faster and more accurate.
Productivity and performance
There are many paths to improved productivity and performance. If your office staff spends too much time scheduling and managing life science reps, you might find RxVantage helpful. It allows reps to self-schedule appointments by accessing your calendar based on your allotted times and rules.
In addition to the networking features listed above, Doximity allows physicians to send and receive HIPPA-secure faxes from their mobile device and call patients from personal cell phones using their office phone ID.
The NPPES NPI Registry does more than assign your NPI number. It offers a directory that includes all active NPI healthcare providers.
Patient feedback is essential to the health of your practice. While it’s nice to receive praise, criticism is even more important. Wouldn’t you prefer to hear from an unhappy patient directly than find their negative rating on RateMDs or Healthgrades? You can gather feedback through SurveyMonkey, a well-known online survey tool. Alternatives to consider include Google Forms, SurveySparrow and TypeForm.
What are people saying about you online? Set up a Google Alert with your name or the name of your practice, and Google will do the monitoring for you. You can also set up alerts for your specialty to learn about new developments in your field or follow mentions of your competitors. Alternative monitoring tools include Talkwalker Alerts, Repugen and Mention.
Data backup, storage and privacy
Many EHR vendors offer cloud-based clinical data backup. But how are you protecting your business data? Do you need sharing capability for remote work? Cloud backup vendors for business include Box, Carbonite, Dropbox, and iDrive. While features and prices vary, all are PHI-compliant.
If you keep track of your passwords on paper or on your computer, it’s time to move to a password manager to generate strong passwords and protect them. Dashlane is the 2020 PC Magazine Editors’ Choice for security features. Editors selected 1Password as the best choice for password organization. Additional choices include LastPass, Keeper Password Manager and Digital Vault, Password Boss and Bitwarden.
No one goes through the rigorous training required to become a physician to spend their days on paperwork and administrative tasks. Adopting some of the physician tools described here will let you get back to job #1: providing your patients with the expertise, care and attention they need to keep them healthy.
To learn more about opportunities for optimizing your revenue cycle and improving your performance and productivity, contact an Ingenious Med representative at 770.799.0909 or visit ingeniousmed.com/demo.