More efficient in every way, electronic health records (EHRs) have greatly improved the management of patient files in eye care. They have also become more accurate and easier to share (even with patients) over time. Medical professionals can enter notations on the fly. There's also a lesser chance of losing an electronic file than a paper chart. But eye care providers still need business insurance for ophthalmologists to protect their electronic devices from damage, theft, and more.
Let's take a closer look at some of the benefits of electronic records in modern eye care.
In the ''bad old days,'' patient record files could consume an entire room in a moderately sized eye care practice. Further, specialized equipment was required to keep the files manageable. Now, data that formerly consumed an entire room can be stored on a laptop and viewed on a mobile device. This cuts down on the clunky, expensive nature of storing thousands of folders—plus using up reams of paper.
With EHRs, all your staff needs is a smartphone or a tablet to enter patient data. Forms are standardized and files update immediately. Processing data and placing it in the proper folder happens automatically, so patient records are updated in real time. Accuracy goes up when eye care practitioners can enter diagnoses and prescriptions directly. Prescriptions transmit directly to opticians and pharmacists, reducing the amount of time patients wait to get them filled.
In addition to the patient benefits outlined above, instant data access improves diagnoses. Office visit reminders can be triggered automatically, reducing the workload on your staff and the likelihood of missed appointments. EHRs also help engage patients more effectively. Because records are accessible online at any time, patients can view results and ask you questions electronically. Plus, patients don't have to worry about losing prescriptions within your records system. Electronic recordkeeping makes it easier to compare prescriptions and keep track of dates.
Records follow patients more easily when they move or get a new doctor. The effort of digging out a patient's file, duplicating it, and sending it via courier is eliminated. Subsequent practitioners can get the patient's history immediately, rather than waiting a day (in the best-case scenario) for delivery.
We touched upon the cost advantages briefly above. Once you've acquired the software and implemented it, keeping EHRs is far most cost-effective than paper records. Coding is streamlined, which makes insurance billing much easier as well. In fact, insurance claims can be accomplished automatically—all of which adds up to a more profitable practice.
Ophthalmologists should still carry property insurance to protect their electronic devices, preferably with a business interruption component. Many practices also supplement this coverage with cyber insurance in case a hacker breaches their data stores.
A good way to reduce operating costs is to shop around for business insurance for ophthalmologists before settling on coverage. Use CoverHound's free online tool to get the right mix of coverage!