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What Home Care Can Learn From EHRs

Electronic health record (EHR) systems have provided many advantages to the health care industry by putting patient information at the fingertips of health care professionals and billing offices. But EHRs have also gained notoriety for acting as a barrier between providers and their patients making meaningful connections during in-person interactions. It’s hard to form a personal bond when there is a screen between you and the person you’re treating. CMS mandates for payer documentation have forced care providers to focus more on documenting services. At times, providers may prioritize documentation over personal interaction so that they can provide proof of services and ensure proper payments.

Documentation vs Patient Care

It is possible to achieve a balance between providing proper documentation while maintaining positive encounters with patients. A recent study from the International Journal of Medical Informatics kept track of doctor and patient eye movements during examinations. It was determined that establishing eye contact with patients was crucial for engaging with patients. Strategies such as studying the patient’s medical information before meeting with the patient and waiting until the end of the appointment to enter information into the EHR system can help improve patient engagement. As voice recognition software improves, care providers will hopefully see better results from dictating their notes instead of stopping to type corrections.

Home Care Providers and Electronic Records

While home care providers do not use EHR systems, they are still required to record what services are provided during their visits. They must also provide accurate time records via electronic visit verification to receive payment from Medicaid and Medicare. The aforementioned strategies to bridge the barriers of the electronic records-caused disconnect can be applied to home care visits. Software from Direct Care Innovations, LLC makes it easy for health care providers to document the services they are providing to patients and track the time spent at visits for accurate reporting. The features of DCI software modules ensure compliance while allowing providers to focus on providing attentive care to their patients.

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