Four Ways to Measure an Electronic Health Record Transition’s Effect on Revenue Cycle

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Gone are the days when the good ship Healthcare Practice floated on a sea of paper. Today, most of us work with electronic health record (EHR) systems to do everything from access patient information to streamline lab testing.

As of 2012, 72 percent of physician offices used EHR systems. That’s up from less than 50 percent in 2009, when the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was passed, providing incentives from Medicare and Medicaid to organizations that made a commitment to “meaningful use” of technology and adopting EHR systems. Since the 2012 data, we’ve certainly noticed even more healthcare entities adopting EHR systems and upgrading from older ones to new systems.

We worked with a Nevada clinic to help it transition from paper records to an EHR, and another practice as it went from one cloud-based EHR system to another that better suited its needs. Since these were already clients of ours, we were in a position to warn them that EHR migrations often result in unplanned revenue cycle disruptions. Outbound claims can stagnate as staff undergo training and learn the new system. Everyone’s emphasis on revenue optimization can falter as multiple departments prepare for migrating from paper to EHR, or from an existing EHR to a new one.