Medical health records are vital for any healthcare practice, ranging from specialty clinics to DME/HME suppliers. In the past, healthcare providers relied on paper-based health records, but it often proved unreliable, inflexible, and time-consuming. With the advent of web 2.0 technologies, the healthcare industry adopted the electronic system for keeping and maintaining health records. This gave rise to the terms “Electronic Health Records” (EHRs) and “Electronic Medical Records” (EMRs), which are often used interchangeably. Let’s compare EHRs and EMRs, while also establishing the benefits of patient EMR to durable medical equipment companies.
EMRs and EHRs
The key difference between EMRs and EHRs is the use of the words “medical” and “health” respectively. Patient EMRs refer to digital records of the patient’s history, which are exclusively used by a healthcare practice. Primary caregivers and doctors use EMRs to make diagnoses and provide suitable treatment for patients.
EHRs refer to the extensive use of health records across the healthcare industry. With EHRs, people share data across practices, insurance companies, and other parties. EHRs are beneficial to other people besides the facility that initially collects and records the patient’s information. Therefore, the difference between EMRs and EHRs is that the former is used within the practice that collects and records the data, while EHRs refer to sharable data used by relevant healthcare stakeholders.
Use of Patient EMR in the DME/HME Industry
While EHRs are instrumental for physicians and clinicians, EMRs are crucial for DME suppliers since they facilitate DME billing of the equipment, inventory management, and ordering/delivering equipment to patients. Using a paperwork system to manage patient data can be error-prone, administratively burdensome, and costly. Some organizations use EMRs alongside their automation tools to resolve issues inherent in the paper-based system.
Patient EMR is vital for almost every step of the DME revenue cycle management process. Right from patient pre-authorization and eligibility checks through payment collection, EMR is integral in the everyday operations of a DME/HME company. However, the way you integrate EMR and use determine how helpful it can be in delivering the best patient outcomes. Proper integration and management of EMR mean using the data efficiently to streamline healthcare operations.
Since most health admins don’t have the necessary technical know-how to manage EMRs, some rely on DME software companies such as https://nikohealth.com/ to give them reliable tools that streamline the use of EMRs in DME billing, payment collection, and delivering the right equipment to the patient. DME/HME software comes in all sizes and shapes, so remember to choose a tool that caters to your practice needs. Some of the benefits of these DME tools in the management of patient EMR include:
- Enables quick access to patient records
- Facilitates pre-authorization and eligibility checks
- Enhances collaboration between DME suppliers and patients
- Increases accuracy by eliminating errors common with manual handling of EMR
- Bolsters better patient outcomes by fostering interoperability of record systems
Benefits EMR Integration
DME/HME practices across the healthcare industry handle swathes and volumes of patient data. When this data accumulates in the form of handwritten notes, paper charts, and paper records, analyzing data becomes increasingly costly and taxing. For this reason, DME companies are integrating EMR into their organizations to improve data management, foster productivity and compliance, and improve patient satisfaction. Some benefits of EMR integration include:
- Reduced patient wait times, enabling patients to get the much-needed medical equipment and associated prescriptions quickly.
- Better management of patient feedback through the creation of patient portals to ease supplier-patient communication.
- Easy access to patient information promotes better appointment scheduling.
- Enhanced compliance with HIPAA regulation on data security.
- EMRs are scalable, allowing you to expand the initial data management system instead of adopting a new system every time you have a new client.
For DME/HME businesses, proper EMR integrations are vital in overcoming limitations common with traditional paper-based and manual systems of managing patient data. Choosing the right DME software company can help you get the most reliable system for managing patient EMR. With a good patient data management system, you can streamline patient intake, claims management, and payment posting.