Like many others, in the Medical field there is often a resistance to change. New procedures, medications and medical equipment are rigorously tested for many years before they’re fully implemented in a clinical setting. The idea that medical technology needs to be considered safe before it can be released to everyone is ingrained in the profession. Larger hospitals and medical facilities have only started to implement Electronic Health Records (EHRs) within the last 5 years. That means there are several generations of clinicians and medical personnel who are “non-natives” to a digital medical setting.
The electronic health record (EHR) is increasingly being utilized within home health care organizations to improve the safety and quality of care. To achieve these goals, the EHR must be used by the clinicians themselves, and this remains a major challenge for agency management.
Paper is in a word, costly. Outside of the immediate cost of just the purchasing of paper, agencies must also content with the expenses associated with its secure storage, filing and shredding. The cost of purchasing forms such as nursing notes and OASIS assessments can be astronomical. The cost of maintaining these documents in stock is expensive as well. Storage of old medical records and shredding of sensitive documents all have substantial outsourcing costs as well such as hiring document storage and shredding companies.
Getting off the paper trail
Maintaining a good paper trail is critical if an agency is willing to stay on paper. For this to work effectively an agency has employees pulling medical records and filing medical records on a daily basis. What are the costs? How many hours are spent verifying that paper documentation was turned in? How many hours are spent searching for the right paperwork for QA purposes? How much staff time is spent on the paper trail, auditing charts to make sure visits were done in a timely manner? Even the most basic point of care systems eliminates a lot of the hassle and costs of paper. Employees can find charts by simply entering a name in a database. Nurses who generate electronic notes in the field don’t even need to come back to the office. This enables them to see more patients and use less gas, realizing real savings for the agency and more time for the employee.
To put it more concisely, these are just some of the downsides of an agency using paper:
Given all of these financial burdens, some agencies are still slow to adopt an EHR system. With compliance an issue as well, the new standard has created an environment where eventually, successful agencies will HAVE to employ the use of a Home care Software EHR system to not only compete with other agencies who have long been ahead of the curve, but simply to survive in an industry where change may be undesirable, but is ultimately inevitable.
The Alora Homecare Software Blog
Read the Alora blog to learn more about the Home Health Software industry, including recent news, articles and commentaries, as well as other issues that pertain to Homecare in the U.S and beyond. For more information on our blog, or for questions or feedback, please send us an email to HomeHealthSoftware@AloraHealth.com.