Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are commonplace for Nurse Practitioners in all different care settings. They are utilized by organizations of every size, specialty, and model. As an employee, there is often little say in which EHR you use and how you use it. Workflows are established for the organization and the Nurse Practitioner adapts to them.
However, when considering EHR systems to manage patient data for your own NP-led practice, you should think about the benefits and advantages of EHR systems through the sharper lens of NP practice leadership. As the owner and leader of the practice, you have far more to gain from your EHR utilization as you now can choose a system that adapts to your workflows instead of the other way around.
While paper charts are still utilized in some practices, they are most often combined with some form of electronic health record as the technology is necessary for many aspects of practicing in today’s healthcare model. The ability to transmit claims and health information electronically makes a strictly paper-based system insufficient.
EHR Features for Efficient Workflows and Patient Care
When considering an electronic health record system for your independent NP practice, look for features that lead to efficient workflows and reporting so that you can:
- Increase the time you can spend with your patients
- Enhance your revenue cycle management
- Provide practice health reports that will lead to evidence-based care and informed decisions
- Decrease documentation time
- Increase continuity of care leading to enhanced provider-patient relationships
- Improve communication with patients, colleagues, specialists, and payers
- Provide administrative benefits that will enhance your ability to lead your care team effectively
- Establish workflows for chronic care management, transitions of care, and planned visits
- Identify and address gaps-in-care
EHR Systems Benefits
When considering the benefits of electronic health records in nursing practice, one should consider not only today’s needs, but plans for future growth as well. Benefits of the proper selection in EHR systems for the entrepreneurial Nurse Practitioner are enhanced when the system has room for growth and adaptation. Features to consider include:
- Telehealth Capability
- Patient Portal Accessibility
- Electronic Prescribing
- Patient Communication Functionality
- Ability to Individualize
- Practice Report Capability
- Alert and Reminder Functions
- Revenue Cycle Management
- Documentation Enhancements
- Electronic Orders
- Workflow Individualization
Once you have an idea of the features you are looking for, it is important to understand how you will implement, optimize, and learn about your new EHR tool. While many EHR systems can offer advantages and benefits to your NP private practice, not all EHR vendors provide the same level of optimization, individualization, training, or long-term support. It is important to not only understand the benefits of the technology, but also the advantages of having an expert support team that will be building, customizing, and maintaining your EHR tool.
Managing The Cost of Your EHR System
The cost of adopting electronic medical records can be overwhelming, especially when starting a new nursing practice. Choosing extensive features can increase the start-up price to the point it becomes cost prohibitive. Often, cost becomes the deciding factor in choosing an EHR system for an independent NP practice. This, unfortunately, can lead to disappointment, frustration, and unrealized expectations. With lower cost options, you may find yourself adapting to a system that lacks the advantages of an EHR that is optimized for your unique care model.
Optimizing Your EHR: Efficiently Managing Patient Information At Scale
A sure way to realize the full benefits of an EHR system in your nursing practice is to choose a partner who will optimize, design, build, and support the EHR specifically for the needs of you and your practice. With experienced EHR implementation professionals at your side every step of the way, your EHR will be a specialized tool that will help you thrive in your practice and serve as a gateway to realizing your independence. Your EHR system is most advantageous when it has been optimized and implemented to bring you the full benefit from the start.
An optimized EHR is a foundational investment for the success of your NP practice. When carefully chosen, the electronic health record system brings many benefits to the Nurse Practitioner practice owner. Chosen less carefully, or without experienced implementation, optimization, training, and support it can bring frustration, disappointment, and barriers to success. Choose a system that has the functionality your growing practice needs and partner with experienced professionals to bring the full EHR advantages to your nursing practice.
Improve Patient Care with NP Advantage’s EHR Solutions
Our NP Advantage team has the experience, passion, and knowledge necessary to help you take advantage of the benefits of your EHR as you begin, grow, and sustain your NP practice. Contact us today for increased business success and enhanced patient outcomes.