June 11, 2012
In today’s economy, it has become necessary, not optional, for businesses to do more for less. The need for good patient care never decreases, but the costs of delivering care increases year after year.
It may be tempting to make budget cuts based on short-term savings, but a more profitable choice is to plan a budget based on long-term goals. Do you want to eliminate the costs associated with paper throughout the practice? Reduce transcription costs? Turn a storage facility into another revenue-generating office? While not a panacea to all budgeting woes, electronic health records do alleviate some of the budgetary and time constraints placed on a practice.
Achieving long-term savings sometimes requires businesses to spend money, which may be the case when implementing an EHR. However, practices throughout the country have demonstrated a quick return on investment by using EHRs to replace paper and transcription and to free up office space for other uses. Practices continue to save money far in excess of the cost of their EHR.
Many small-practice providers are implementing SaaS-based EHRs because these EHRs don’t have to be paid for in full prior to implementation. They also allow a little more flexibility for charting; as long as an internet connection is available, doctors can access and edit records from any device they wish.
Just as important as money saved is time saved. Voice-driven EHRs are immense time savers because they allow doctors to continue charting the way they are used to, only in a fraction of the time (90 seconds versus 11 minutes). Doctors can finish their charts during normal work hours and have more time for other important aspects of their lives. The government has even stepped in to make the EHR transition easier on doctors. Thousands of providers have already received a check for demonstrating meaningful use of certified EHR technology.
Budgets may be tight, but there has never been a more profitable time to adopt electronic health records technology. Many practices throughout the country are using EHRs to do more for less with great success.