Home Health EHRs: Unearthing the Value to Patient Care

Adopting new technologies can be intimidating, particularly in fields where users are expected to spend most of their time on interpersonal interactions. Care providers in home health settings must be able to put their time and attention on their patients, and complex, difficult-to-use home health EHRs can prove problematic. However, Forbes reported that the promise of saving time, money, and lives is still apparent when it comes to EHR software.

The key, according to the news source, is to look at an EHR as more than a digital iteration of a traditional paper-based medical record system. The reality is that simply entering and retrieving data can take longer with an EHR than it does with paper and pen. EHRs must instead be designed to focus on care coordination and for communication between stakeholders to ensure they deliver on their potential.

Unearthing value in EHRs
Cumbersome interfaces and processes within home health EHRs can leave users spending all their time entering data and tracking down key details instead of interacting with the information they need to get the job done. This isn’t an inherent problem with EHRs, it is a symptom of systems that aren’t optimally designed for certain care settings. In home health in particular, collaboration between different members of a care team and stakeholders back at the agency office is critical. As such, interfaces must be simplified and streamlined to ensure rapid data collaboration between these groups.

Optimizing EHR systems for the relevant care setting is especially critical in deriving value from the technology. Home health EHRs can empower users to quickly update care plans and understand the full scope of care strategies. However, the unique demands of different care settings mean that different interface and data management solutions will be needed in various environments.

Simply investing in an EHR isn’t necessarily going to create value. Instead, selecting a solution designed for the home health environment is critical to connecting the diverse stakeholders involved in executing a care plan.

Establishing an EHR configuration built around the home health industry’s unique operational requirements isn’t just important when it comes to ease of use. It can also lay a foundation for regulatory compliance. Home health agencies are facing a rapidly evolving regulatory climate, and being able to build compliance into everyday operations is critical to avoid errors and minimize the burden facing your staff. Regulatory compliance is rarely easy, but the right home health EHRs can make it simpler to deal with.

Essentially, effectively integrating your EHR into care processes is critical to creating value, but many agencies struggle with the technology learning curve. However, some vendors seem to have solved that problem by offering more intuitive solutions that streamline operations.

Choosing the right vendor is critical for simplifying the user experience
Home health agencies working to implement a new EHR system have an opportunity to drive efficiency and care gains that benefit care providers, office workers, and patients alike. Finding success in this area becomes much easier when using a streamlined, easy-to-use EHR solution at the point of care. Robust home health EHRs can serve as point of care platforms that empower workers to be at their best instead of leaving them bogged down in data entry and technology learning curves. In particular, agencies can benefit from EHR systems designed specifically for home health and hospice settings. Health care IT innovation doesn’t have to add up to complexity for end users.

firstHOMECARE with CAREpliance™ technology gives home health agencies the freedom to focus more time on patients while providing the tools necessary to ensure complete, compliant clinical documentation.  Contact us to learn more!

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