September 15, 2011
‘Notwithstanding their knowledge of how IT can do a world of good to their practices, it is the overwhelming investment on the constituents of Healthcare Information Technology that often is the bone of contention’
‘Incredible’ is the word that can best describe the way Information Technology has transformed health care industry – revolutionizing a human-intensive industry into technology-driven industry, IT has become indispensable in storing, retrieving, sharing, and using health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making. Devising ingenious hardware tools and software applications, custom-made to the healthcare industry, Information Technology has taken the level of medical efficiency to unprecedented heights. Consequently, there has been appreciable
Improvement in health care quality
Prevention of medical errors
Reduction in health care costs
Increase in administrative efficiencies
Decrease in paperwork
Expansion of access to affordable care
Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that a majority of hospitals in US are IT enabled – the recent Federal Healthcare Statistics puts it an impressive 60% of the total healthcare providers across the U.S. While the statistics holds true for hospitals, and multispecialty groups, it is the marginal clinical practitioners – who fall into non-adopter category – that need to be advised on the efficacy of being IT enabled. Notwithstanding their knowledge of how IT can do a world of good to their practices, it is the overwhelming investment on the constituents of Healthcare Information Technology that often is the bone of contention.
That brings us to discuss the various constituents of a comprehensive Healthcare Information Technology:
Electronic Medical Records:Apart from reducing errors in prescription drugs, preventive care, tests and procedures, Electronic Medical Records enables collaborative access of information related to disease management and patient care, and statistics for federal healthcare policies.
Clinical Decision Support (CDS): Clinical Decision Support system is another technological constituent that is integral to physicians’ decision-making on the course of medical intervention for a particular medical emergency. Known for providing historical references to similar medical emergencies, Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) happens to be indispensable data base for future referencing.
Couple with these main constituents, there are auxiliary systems such as – Health Informatics, which provide crucial data on various medical-related knowledge; computerized physician order entry (CPOE); applications for dispensing including bar-coding at medication dispensing (BarD), robot for medication dispensing (ROBOT), and automated dispensing machines (ADM); and applications for administration comprising electronic medication administration records (EMAR), and bar-coding at medication administration (BarA).
Much like the demands of the constituents that form the core requirements, there is another equally demanding set of constituents that are associated with Medical Bill Submission and Realization with insurance carriers:
Electronic Medical Billing: Electronic Medical Billing – which lays the foundation for apt coding – demands the implementation of state-of-the-art technology platforms that demand heavy initial investments, felt imposing by individual or marginal practitioners.
Electronic Coding:Much like billing software, coding platforms too tend to be costly and heavy for individual physician practices.
Coupled with these demanding platforms, there are incidental IT adaptations for processing claims online. Despite their insurmountable demands, marginal physicians should invariably make their practices IT-driven as their sustenance and growth largely hinges on how best they adapt to the prevailing scenario in an increasingly IT-driven sector.
Having established the meaningful contribution of IT adaptation, what still needs to be reiterated is the limited ability of individual physicians to actively implement and incorporate these constituents in their processes. Not only do they have to bear heavy costs in implementing these changes but also in providing simultaneous training to upgrade their staff for its successful incorporation in the routine processes. While the incentives offered by the government can ease the financial load attached with the adaptation, the consultancy services offered by MBC, the leading medical billing and coding consortium in the US can go a long way in facilitating the implementation as well as staff up gradation processes.
Medicalbillersandcoders.com is capable of handling their clients’ information technology needs from a centralized state-of-the-art technology interface, presenting timely opportunities to the physicians faced with the ‘Ghost of IT’.
EMR / EHR / Health IT