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It is very important for oncologists to select and implement the right EHR system because as per estimations, approximately 1/3rd of EHRs are abandoned within a year of implementation due to user dissatisfaction. Since a considerable amount of time and money is spent on selection and integration of an EHR system, practices need to be extra careful.
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Is EHR implementation difficult for oncology practices?
Oncology is one of the most data-intensive, complex medical specialties so, if you are planning to buy generic EHR meant for primary care practices, it might not offer you modules specific to oncology.
Careful selection of EHR is not only required to enhance healthcare but also to qualify for HITECH incentives. In case your practice fails to incorporate EHR technology or meet the stages of meaningful use objectives by 2015, you will be penalized.
Benefits of adopting EHR in oncology practices:
Innovative health IT can play a vital role in helping you offer evidence-based, high-quality patient care
It plays a vital role in improving oncology medical billing and coding. With ICD-10 all set to bring more codes, having an electronic mode of system updates will reduce human errors and ensure claim settlement. Error-free coding and billing will bring down claim denials and improve RCM
It will also help you meet operational and clinical goals as an oncology-specific EHR will include clinical decision support tools
With the help of an effective EHR, you will be able to provide as well as measure value-based patient care
Your workflow efficiency will improve as EHR will ensure timely access to patient information
Oncology-specific EHR will also improve financial performance of a practice. The bottom line of a practice can get affected due to coding errors and missed charges; however, by using an EHR, oncologists can effectively capture all the charges related to patient visit, submit them to payers and reduce the chances of being underpaid
By implementing oncology-specific EHR, providers can enjoy maximum Medicare EHR incentives
Challenges related to EHR implementation:
There are various challenges related to EHR implementation for oncology practices. The first challenge is the cost, including hardware, software, infrastructure maintenance and staff training.
Considerable time will be required for introducing the new system to all staff members, entering old and new data into systems, performing additional programming, ensuring maintenance and development of interfaces and other tasks.
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