How do you provide technical support for an EHR?

Technical support is one of the most challenging parts of implementing an EHR in your practice. What are technical challenges for the vendor and the practice? How do you meet the demands of the practice by accommodating your support services according to your client needs? 

Let’s lay down some steps, on how you provide technical support for an EHR.

Experts—If you are using a web-based EHR, technical support experts should be available 24/7 for their customers/users. Having expertise in ICD-10 codes and Meaningful Use gives a huge edge in providing the technical support. EHR that are ICD-10 and Meaningful Use compliant requires that support staff always ready to answer any query of their customer. So, you should always keep your experts ready.

Storage—The major technical challenge for an EHR is storage. It can come in variety of shapes. For example, if the practice grows, they may need more storage space in their hard drive or more computer power. Likewise, the importance of storage comes, when backup server is needed. In case of crashing of your server, the practices should have technical support team for their EHR that can provide efficient backup system. EHR vendors should also recommend practices to buy large storage devices that are of high quality and can provide high quality of service in time of need. If you are using a web-based EHR system, the technical support needed in terms of implementation and allocation of the storage space for your practice is much easier and faster. It is because web-based EHR technology has the capacity to grow as per the demand of the practice.

Training—Skillful use of an EHR is a complex software whether it is an enterprise or specialty EHR. Therefore, technical staff should be ready to provide support to, especially those, members of the practice who are technically weak in implementing the training of the EHR as soon as possible for their practice. Internet connectivity, slow processing of the computer system can all be issues that need immediate technical support, therefore, the more efficient the support team in these relatively small issues the efficient the practice will become. 

Technical support staff requires patience to deliver quality service to the customer. It is by continued commitment to improving the service quality of your practice you can provide high quality technical support to the practice.

Will ICD10s be an EHR Challenge?

Transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 is a challenge, undoubtedly. The codes are way more in number—68,000 to be exact. First and foremost, to overcome this challenge, EHR vendors will need to train physicians and their staff on how to transition from their old coding system to ICD-10. The users of EHR must be proficient in understanding the codes efficiently or else the whole process will suffer. 

Physicians are still not ready for the transition, because the opportunity cost of transferring in terms of clinical support can be high, while on the other hand EHR covers the financial sector quite well. The coding in ICD-9 is improved beyond bounds from ICD-10, but still, factors such as the ability to write something that cannot or may not be written in shape of codes is missing. This is a major factor why providers find it difficult to shift to EHR technology. 

The training on EHR allows the implementation process may slow down the process of shifting, but all of the ICD-10 codes will be stored in the system; and this will allow the transition to be positively easier. The understanding of the code will be a challenge but the automatic codes fed in the data will be helpful for the providers to use repeatedly. EHR software will be generally much more efficient.

Making sure that you communicate with the EHR vendor and establish a deadline for your ICD-10 compliance by the end of 2013, will help you comply not only with the government rules but provide you satisfaction as well. It is true that the challenge is big, but the ICD-10 codes deal with the advances made in medicine and medical terminology. It allows for specific information for diagnosis purposes. 

Testing is an important phase of ICD-10 being a challenge for the EHR. For that you need to be in constant contact with your billing service and payers. At each and every step of the shift, you should be there with the vendor. ICD-10 upgrades in your EHR may take a significant amount of time; therefore testing the system should be a continuous process.

Yes, ICD-10s are an EHR challenge but in no way they should halt the process of change provided through the positive transition to electronic management of patient health records which comes with a lot of benefits, in the present and for the future.

10 Emerging Healthcare Technologies

Healthcare means provision of health care services for the maintenance of physical and mental health. Health IT industry has changed the way we look at healthcare today. IT has played a major role in accumulating patient data and making use of it in our daily lives. EHR, and EMRs are some of the basic healthcare IT technologies being used today. But what are those emerging technologies that will shape the future.
Let’s look into top 10 technologies that are going to revolutionize the way we look at healthcare IT today. 

1. Live video consulting: Doctors are able to consult with other providers sitting virtually anywhere in the world and can discuss the situation of the patient: details about his/her present condition and treatments, or possibly a surgery if it is required.

2. The intelligent pills: A pill has been created by Philips Research to deliver a specific amount of medication to the patient, for patients who have Crohn’s disease or other digestive disorders. Think about how it can be used in the future. Maybe in future, patients’ with diabetes can use this kind of medication for their Type 1 diabetes.

3. Mobile EHR: With the popular use of Mobile EHR, you can see your lab test results or you can even send a text message to your doctor. By using a mere application in the future you will be able to do a whole lot more. Your Mobile EHR also allows you to schedule appointment with your doctor. So, this emerging technology will be the most common thing to be used in the future.

4. Eyeborgs: Emerging technologies are making cyborgs who will bridge the gap between the unknown senses and the newly created ones. Take the example of an Artist Neil Harbisson who is a cyborg. He can hear a symphony of color, and even has the ability to listen to faces and paintings. Harbisson was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies.

5. Bionic eye: The technology named as artificial retina will transform the healthcare industry for the blind. The device is essentially sheet of electrodes that are implanted in the eye. The patient with his/her specialized glasses with a camera and video processor attached to it can see when the visual signals bypass the damaged part of the brain.

6. Smart lens: What if Glaucoma is detected by a contact lens? Well, it is possible. Sensimed has made a contact lens with a microchip in it which monitors intraocular pressure allowing the patient’s glaucomic symptoms to be detected in a day, just by wearing it.

7. Artificial Pancreas: Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University have created artificial pancreas for diabetic patients. The trend will continue and you will see healthcare IT taking new strides into making the artificial into the new real.