Three Ways a Meaningful Use Audit Can Help Your ENT Practice Become More Efficient
An ENT practice may include ENT physicians, neuro-otologists, surgeons, audiologists, technicians, IT professionals, and others. The successful ENT practice typically involves many transitions and referrals. Manual performance of the thousands of tasks facing an ENT practice could overwhelm a large staff. For instance, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says that:
- About 25 percent of patients seen by a physician or surgeon in the office or in the emergency room must soon engage with their electronic patient records.
- More than 30 percent of patients seen by a practice physician must communicate with their physician. Use of the secure messaging function benefits the patient by protecting sensitive health information and allowing the physician to communicate with patients via a single portal.
- Patient-provided data from nonclinical settings must be included in the EHR for 15 percent or more existing and new patients.
- EHR data is easily accessed to provide a summary of patient care. When needed, the practice exchanges it almost instantly with other members of the patient’s medical team when a referral or transition of care occurs.
- In almost 50 percent of patients’ transitions of care, the practice must incorporate a summary of care from another provider’s EHR.
- In more than 75 percent of patients’ transitions of care, the practice must create a clinical information reconciliation to include current medicines, allergies, and problem lists.
Effective, Efficient Communications and Information Transfer
Today’s ENT patient wants to stay well-informed about his or her healthcare. Requesting access through traditional channels to healthcare records, surgeon’s notes, biopsy results, and images can be costly and time-consuming without the implementation of sophisticated EHR technology.
Without certified EHR systems in place, the provider’s ability to transfer information about the patient’s care is also time-consuming. Without access to the patient’s most current medical information, time with the next specialist may not be as efficient or productive as it should be.
CMS’ Meaningful Use goals have encouraged many ENT practices to implement systems that allow busy staff to deliver more precise communications in less time. The time needed to perform simple tasks, such as prescription calls to pharmacies, is greatly reduced. Most patients perceive these improvements as better healthcare.
Meaningful Use audits are a fact of life for many specialty practices. ENT practice compliance is mandatory when Medicare/Medicaid incentives are received. Investing in healthcare information technology is better for providers and patients. Understanding the Meaningful Use stage requirements is the first step towards compliance and providing higher quality patient care.