EHR implementation pitfalls can be costly
A major reason for implementing EHRs is to avoid penalties that will be assessed starting in 2015 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, says Maithily A. Nandedkar, M.D., a dermatologist in private practice in Reston, Va. "But when I started five years ago, I did it just to be efficient," and she says the system she chose has met this goal.
"One of the best capabilities I've found with my EHR system is that I can access all my charts from home," Dr. Nandedkar says. "If a patient calls, I can document that immediately," and notify a staff member who may need to answer the patient's question. "Some malpractice carriers are offering a discount for being able to e-prescribe and document with electronic medical records (EMRs)," she says.
Dr. Nandedkar says her practice has had these capabilities for more than five years, although her malpractice carrier does not discount for them. The e-prescribing program even alerts her to potential medication interactions. "As soon as I see a patient," she says, "I document and bill the encounter, so my cash flow stays consistent."
Dr. Nandedkar says she finds EHRs more efficient than paper. "But if you feel more comfortable implementing e-prescribing first, then do so," she says.
The same goes for dermatologists who want to use an EHR system separate from their practice management system. "There's no rule that makes one thing better than another," she says. "It's just whatever works for you."
Dr. Nandedkar's implementation tips include the following:
MORE ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE
Prevention of photoaging-associated changes in facial contour may be another benefit of sunscreen use, according to study findings presented by researchers from the Skin Research Center at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Skillman, N.J., at the 2011 meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology.
Researchers have made important progress toward understanding mechanisms of melanoma-acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitors that has led to the identification of combinatorial molecular targets, the inhibition of which could potentially restore therapeutic efficacy.
Based on steady progress in laboratory studies, researchers are optimistic about the potential for noninvasive terahertz imaging systems to become a useful tool for intraoperative delineation of nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs).
Psoriasis is a stronger predictor of elevated cholesterol in children than is body weight, according to an analysis of electronic medical records from Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC). The findings reinforce the need for physicians to address the condition as a systemic metabolic disorder rather than as a superficial skin disease.
Recently, Dr. Skin saw an IT specialist who became angry when the dermatologist was late for a scheduled appointment. The IT specialist calculated his hourly wage and billed his doctor for the time he had to wait. Dr. Skin chose to pay the bill. Was this a smart move?