What Can An Electronic Case Management System Do For your Public Health Agency?by Wilson
Running a successful, busy public health agency can be quite difficult and can lead to some heightened level of stress behind the scenes. There are tons of cogs in the machine that needs to be kept track of, which is compounded by the fact the health and well being of your patient all comes down to you keeping everything moving along smoothly.
The current system in place to organize and run the practice may have been suitable for the first couple of years and didn’t have the same patient load or even staff size as you may have in more recent times. But now, as your agency grows in size and perhaps continue to add even more specialist to staff while you expand the types of patients you treat, it’s becoming quite clear that your practice requires efficiency that only software can provide. This is where an electronic case management software can come in.
It is possible for you to utilize management software to better streamline major tasks in your organization. For example, it saves time when checking up on a patient, insurance eligibility and scheduling appointments. It further reduces the effort involved in managing denied claims and in generation reports for staff meetings. Once installed, you’ll start to wonder how you even manage to deal with your workload without one.
Before searching for the best management software for deployment, many practices first computerized their workflow by starting off with an Electronic Health Records software. If you are still relying on the old-fashioned, paper-based system, you should reconsider the benefits of setting up an EHR immediately. The EHR allows you to rapidly set up new patient records and add any information each office visit.
Benefits to Patients
Electronic health records usually contain much fewer errors compared to paper records. Communication between physicians can be vastly improved with the help of EHR, allowing each party to gain complete access to a patient’s medical history rather than having a snapshot-type overview from a current visit. This access allows for a far more in-depth evaluation and enables doctors to reach accurate diagnosis much quicker.
Furthermore, electronic health records can make it much simpler for doctors to follow up with patients and track ongoing care, both under their own supervision and that of that patient's other doctors.
At the very least, EHRs can save time during a doctor’s office visit. And if an emergency case was to occur, these records will be capable of providing critical, life-saving information to emergency care providers.
People who’ve found themselves experiencing a mass casualty situation, such as natural disasters, can immensely benefit from electronic medical records. Health agencies can use an EHR for any emergency situation to gain a better image of the patient’s medical history more rapidly than with traditional methods.
Disastrous events have demonstrated that patients caught in these events are often confused and frightened, making it much easier for them to become forgetful of personal medical details. Every second count during an emergency, so having access to a patient's medical history, blood type and allergy information, when the patient is incapable of communicating can make a difference between life and death. More so, the digital format can make easier access much more scalable.
Benefits to Healthcare Providers
When a patient is placed under the care of multiple doctors, tracking their history, including allergies, blood type, current medications, past procedures, and other important information, can be quite a hassle when relying on paper charts. The use of electronic health records allows multiple care providers, regardless of the current location, to simultaneously gain access to patient’s records from any computing device. The electronic records are capable of providing up-to-the-minute information on the patient's complete history, including current test results and the recommendation of other doctors, allowing for an efficient collaboration on multiple facets of patient’s care.
Medical practitioners can rapidly transfer patient information to other departments or providers, while also reducing any potential errors, which yield improved results management. Both patient and employees quite often respond positively to these process improvement, as it allows them to keep a facility’s schedule on track.
Reducing any potential medical errors is obviously one of the greatest benefits for both the doctor and the patient. An electronic health record system of information eliminates the potential problems of lost or misplaced patient files while also decreasing the chances of any data errors that can occur from transcription.
The advantages of emergency health records have actually produced a marked increase for health-related safety of patients.
Claim Denial Manager and Electronic Claim Submission
The vital importance of speeding up the revenue cycle in your health agency is the capability to submit claims electronically to various insurance providers. Although, you are still required to contend with mistakes that your staff will occasionally make when processing these claims. That’s why a claims denial manage is a vital element for any management software.
When the system manages to detect any error with your claim, it displays what the current problem is so that you can fix them on the spot and immediately resubmit it. Office managers should be aware that electronic claims lead towards faster processing, faster turnaround time, and much quicky payment claims.
Management software is specifically designed for use in the medical profession. It will allow your staff to fully customize the screen based on their current needs. You can sort the schedule by any field of a column. The sorting changes you conduct shall not affect the work being done by anyone else on the team.
Since your reception desk shall be capable of scheduling a patient's appointment more seamlessly, the lines will be much shorter in the waiting room. Your staff shall be able to devote more time to patient care, and the mood in the waiting room will vastly improve.
ICD-10 Coding Converter
While your staff is becoming even more experienced by using the International Classification of Disease code base, ICD-10, error can occur when punching in these codes as you submit claims to insurance entities. This is why your management software should also have a built-in tool that allows you to search ICD-10 codes by their diagnosis keyword (along with older codes that your staff may be more familiar with).
The converter will display the proper ICD-10 code equivalent, either by showing it in context with the corresponding ICD09 cord or with a text description of the code. Precision coding ensures timely payment of claims and also help scientists conduct research based on the information from ICD-10 code instances as they work in public health agencies.
Public Health Case Management
First of all let's be completely clear on what public health case management really is. It’s a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual’s and family’s comprehensive health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality cost effective outcomes.
To further elaborate on this, you need to understand that there are different levels of case management. From having to keep track of meta-date about a case involving a case manager in a person's life. In a lesser note, case management can simply involve tracking that a case received proper treatment according to the latest treatment guidelines, with never actually interacting with that patient or client.
In some extreme cases, the case manager understand patient or client medication schedules, work issues, transportation needs, and other personal issues, while working to get those needs met in order to further improve that patients outcome for the condition or issue under management.
Traditionally speaking, this kind of case management has been managed by tons of papers. Although, with the health IT improvements underway, there are tons of new and exciting developments, everyone should be aware of and hopefully take complete advantage of.
Public health case management software are capable of automating your agencies workflow. Certain features you should expect to help case managers and their supervisors are care plans, which help develop, monitor, and approve comprehensive plans. assessment criteria, which identify a clients needs based on specific assessment criteria. Linkages that can provide, track, and monitor linkages referrals and consultations. Measure effectiveness by evaluating outcome and service effectiveness through intelligent reporting. Capable of track follow-up visits and receive alerts with the use of email and website notifications. Lastly, monitoring your clients billing by generating various reports, which include an automatic report for billing TCM.
With this kind of software on your side, you’ll be allowed to finally toss aside those cumbersome papers forms and build electronic forms with the implemented intuitive form builders. Some of these also come with the option to connect on a mobile, making it easy to draft up a client release form and have the client sign the mobile device out in the field.
Less Paperwork and Fewer Storage Issues
When it comes to handling a public health agency, administrative duties represent some of the most significant amounts of time and costs. Clinicians and staff members can spend a large portion of their working hours filling out and processing forms. Due to the fact that they are paperless, EHRs streamline numerous routine tasks. As the amount of paperwork continues to decrease, the required storage space also further declines. With instantaneous storage and retrieval of digital EHRs, health agency providers will witness their offices become less cluttered, as storage needs decrease and efficiency increases.
Quality of Care Increases
EHRs are also have the capability to exchange complete health information about a patient in real time. Errorless, up-to-date and thorough information will naturally have a higher quality of care, from improved diagnoses to reduced errors. By transmitting automatic reminders for preventative visits and screenings, EHR can also help patients better manage their own conditions and participate more in their own personal healthcare. When it comes to dealing with medications, paper prescriptions can be possibly lost or misread, causing errors in dosage or even the wrong medication being handed over. Prescribing electronically will allow the doctors to communicate directly with the pharmacy, reducing chances of errors and saving time by cutting out the potential loss of prescriptions. Patient safety is also further improved, as electronic prescribing automatically checks for any potential lethal drug interactions.
Getting possession of the appropriate equipment, hiring the personnel to implement it and training staff on new procedures to transition to EHR can be costly for any public health agency. Fortunately, financial incentives are available to help any agency recoup their investment. Through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program and the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, eligible providers can earn incentives for the adoption and meaningful use of this kind of software.
Efficiency and Productivity
These management software can also be far more efficient than paper records by allowing more centralized chart management, and quicker access to patient information from anywhere with condition-specific queries. Communication with other clinicians, insurance providers, pharmacies and diagnostic centers is much quicker and trackable, which lessens the chance of lost messages and follow-up calls. Office management is streamlined further through integrated scheduling that is connected to progress notes, automated coding and insurance claims. All of these features can generate a significant amount of time-saving, leading to an increase in productivity.
Improved Patient Care
As explained previously on what’s great for health agencies is often great for patients as well. Streamlined access to a patient’s total records means no more filling out the usual paperwork at each doctor’s or specialists office. Every provider will be able to clearly see which diagnostic test a patient has undergone, along with which treatments worked and which haven't. Patients are less susceptible to duplicative testing or imaging procedures because the results and images are all located in a single place. Improved coordination among providers leads to improved clear-cut diagnoses, improved management of chronic conditions and better overall patient care, which should always be the central focus of any health agency.
Transitioning from a paper-based system towards a proper electronic case management software for your agency can have tons of benefits for your agency. While it may be tough and can be somewhat costly, depending on the software you decide on, the benefits will surely be worth it, especially when it saves you time and money in the long run. Both patients and staff members will be thanking you for the efficiency and productivity that being displayed by your agency, and seamlessly having your patients come in and out of your place will show everyone how great your agency is compared to others.