Advanced Revenue Cycle Analytics: An Overview
The doctor-patient relationship used to be a sacred one. A patient entered the exam room, and the sole focus of the physician was on diagnosing and treating that person. They made eye-contact, asked questions, and worked to solve whatever medical problems the patient was facing. These days, that relationship has been sabotaged by a tool that was meant to improve it: the electronic health record.
The Lose-Lose Situation with EHRs
The EHR was designed to make patient-centered care better. The promise was easy access to a patient’s entire medical history across users and locations. This was supposed to increase the quality care of patients.
However, all of this patient data is not actually easy to access. EMRs were not designed with the physician in mind, so it takes a lot of digging to actually find the data needed for a particular visit. Not only that, but physicians are now required to do complicated documentation during the visit to ensure accurate charge entry and reimbursements.
All of this means that doctors are clicking and looking behind a screen for most of the appointment. According to a 2016 study, physicians are spending two hours clicking behind a screen for every hour with a patient. This is not what physicians signed up for, and they are unhappy.
Patients are unhappy too. Because of the administrative burden placed on the shoulders of physicians, they are looking at a screen, rather than making eye-contact with their patients. There is a direct correlation between amount of eye-contact made with the patient and the overall patient satisfaction rate.
Ditch screen time for patient time
This problem can be solved. Patients and doctors can restore the relationship they once had. Computers can be a tool to aid patient care, rather than a barrier between the doctor and patient.
There are some simple steps that can be taken to make sure your computer screen doesn’t come between you and your patient.
1. Ignore your computer during the first interactions with your patient.
In a busy day full of appointments, the temptation is to go straight to your computer. However, spending the first few moments of an appointment fully focused on your patient will make a huge difference. It will make your time behind that screen seem less like a barrier once you have established a connection with your patient.
2. Never turn your back on your patient.
Even when you have to be on your computer and digging through your EHR, it is important that your patient knows that your attention is still focused on them. Instead of having your computer to the side or back of the room, where you have to turn away from the patient, put it in front of you. That way, you can still be facing the patient when you are with them. This communicates that you haven’t forgotten that they are there.
3. Continue to communicate.
While you most likely have to spend some time digging through your EHR, it can be helpful to tell the patient what you are doing as you do it. Keep them informed throughout the process so it doesn’t feel like you are ignoring them.
One way to solve this problem is to use software on top of your EHR that streamlines charge capture. Often, doing charge capture within your EHR is complicated, and it is difficult to enter the correct codes. Using an electronic charge capture form that works with your EHR, like AccelaCAPTURE, can save you time. It is designed to mimic the old paper charts that doctors are familiar with, so that capturing charges doesn’t cause headaches and extra clicking in the exam room.