New standards for healthcare compliance are putting a lot of stress on small medical facility managers. In addition to digitizing a practice's infrastructure under HIPAA version 5010, facility managers must also determine viable solutions for quality reporting, compliance with ICD-10 and the meaningful use of electronic medical records software and eprescribing.
While these standards are designed to improve a facility's daily operations and quality of patient care, many healthcare providers – especially those with fewer resources – have found meeting new requirements to have the opposite effect.
In fact, according to a recent article in Health Leaders Media, since January 1, 2012 when new HIPAA compliance practices were mandated, the article estimates that thousands of facility managers have been unable to meet quotas and compensate staff because of issues such as data interuptions and mailing errors. Some have even been forced to take out credit lines to pay staff salaries.
In order to resolve payroll issues stemming from compliance practices, some facilities are reverting from newly implemented electronic systems to paper records. However, the Health Leader Media article suggests that paper records will likely only exacerbate the problem and lead to further payment backlogs.
While immediate stress caused by changing a facility's infrastructure may be causing healthcare providers significant problems, the benefits of electronic medical records software have been proven effective. For example, a recent study by global management consulting and technology service Accenture, found that a majority of 3,700 healthcare professionals in eight different countries perceived EMR to improve patient care, enhance coordination and reduce margins of error.
Considering the already proven benefits healthcare IT can have on a facility's daily operations, it would behoove decision makers to tough it out while transitioning to digital records keeping, billing and prescribing practices instead of reverting to paper records.
Moreover, in order to best circumvent payroll and non-compliance issues, facility managers should consider deploying the services of a medical technology consulting company to help implement software such as Lytec 2011. Healthcare IT professionals can come on-site for quick technology installation and staff training to facilitate a fast and easy transitional period with as few setbacks as possible.
Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.