October 30, 2013
Are you performing tasks related to patient workflow for no other reason than you were trained to do it that way? Sometimes our workflow needs to be updated or improved and here is a video I created to introduce some ideas on how to do it when it’s time for a change.
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Topics: Management, Patient Satisfaction, Video Tips | No Comments »
October 16, 2013
For proof of HIPAA compliance from your business associates and their subcontractors, I’ve created a video with some questions you can ask them that will help you make that determination.
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Topics: HIPAA compliance, Video Tips | No Comments »
October 3, 2013
Today is the beginning of the 90-day attestation period for Meaningful Use in 2013 which can be reported by February of 2014. Are you ready? If you are an eligible medical provider, you could qualify for incentive payments for Meaningful Use but not if you miss the deadline. To get started, I’ve put together a couple of tips that will help you achieve this goal.
- Start reviewing your data now.
- Make sure you have your MU Core and Menu data collecting correctly by reviewing your dashboards for Numerators and Denominators that meet the criteria for attestation.
- Review your dashboards for clinical quality measures for reporting.
Everyone I work with knows that I am continually reminding anyone who has or is attesting to Meaningful Use that you can’t just attest that you’ve met the criteria of each measure – you must actually do what you say you’ve done – and most importantly be able to prove that you have met that criteria. To that end, here are some facts you’ll want to consider. You may have seen these warnings from me before but they are worth repeating.
- If you’re attesting to Meaningful Use Core Measure #15 – Conduct a Security Risk Assessment on your EHR system – you must actually complete the Security Risk Assessment. If you haven’t completed it, then DO NOT attest.
- It’s not enough to just conduct the Security Risk Assessment; you must also identify potential risks and create a plan for mitigating those risks.
- Your plan is worth nothing more than the piece of paper it is printed on unless you work through the list of corrective actions to ensure that vulnerabilities in your system are identified and addressed. Click to learn more about our Security Risk Assessment resource.
- Addressing risks is not a ”one time and you’re done” project. It is an evergreen project. You must continually assess your EHR and systems that use or access ePHI to identify potential future points of risk. Have a plan in place for continuous review, maintenance and corrective action.
- Have your Security Risk findings been incorporated into your HIPAA Compliance Manual? If not, then the intent of Core Measure #15 and most importantly the Omnibus Rule, has not been fully completed. Update your policy manual with your Security Risk Assessment findings and corrective actions. Be sure to include in your plan a continuous review timeframe. A fully documented HIPAA Security Compliance Manual is one of your best defenses in the event of an audit. A fully documented compliance manual addresses both HIPAA Privacy and HIPAA Security Policies and Procedures.
- Has your workforce been trained? Your workforce is your #1 leak to HIPAA non-compliance. Without proper training, they have the potential to harm your practice either intentionally or unintentionally by leaking information. Click here for helpful On Site Workforce Training resource.
- Finally, DO NOT attest (Did I say that already?) if you haven’t conducted a thorough and effective Security Risk Assessment and gone the extra steps to incorporate the findings into your policies. Plain and simple. You could be committing fraud and open your practice to potential corrective action costs and/or fines. Click here for Security Checklist.
As always, I am available to help you check this list of Meaningful Use attestation criteria off your list of things to do. Check out the links to helpful resources that I’ve included above and for more personalized help, you can contact me at email@example.com .
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Topics: HIPAA Security Policies, Meaningful Use, Security Risk Assessment | No Comments »
September 25, 2013
Today, we welcome Leigh-Ann Renz with a guest post on the hot topic of switching EMR’s in your medical practice because so many practice managers and administrators are researching which is the best system to use. Please add your comments and questions at the bottom of the post, we look forward to seeing what you would like to add to our discussion.
First of all, what’s a legacy system? Basically, it’s your “old” system: for example, the first EMR you started with 5 years ago that your organization has now outgrown, or continuing to use paper records when you need a more efficient method. It doesn’t have to be software: a legacy system can be an old method, tool, or way of doing business. The legacy system may or may not continue to be in use, but even if it’s no longer utilized, it can continue to impact your practice because of the role it has played.
Some practices stick with their legacy system for a variety of reasons: the investment in time and/or money made on the old system; a vendor lock-in situation where you must continue using a certain product until a contract is finished; or the inevitable challenges of changing systems, including data crosswalk.
But here’s the thing: if nothing changes, nothing changes! “A legacy system may include procedures or terminology which are no longer relevant in the current context, and may hinder or confuse understanding of the methods or technologies used.” Any change worth making requires that you give up the ways things have been previously utilized because you believe that a new way of operating is better. This is true whether it’s a home-improvement project, a self-improvement project, or changing your practice management system. These types of changes require focus & clear vision; hard work; time management & prioritization; and a solid plan to implement the transition desired.
If you’re clinging to an outdated practice management program or paper processes that no longer meet your needs, you may be costing your organization more than you realize! An outdated system, whether paper or electronic, that isn’t able to provide what you require and/or is inefficient for your workflow may be costing you much more than just its price tag. If you or your staff are having to essentially work around a clunky old EMR or disorganized paper, you’re not only wasting time, money and energy; you’re most likely also missing out on profits and growth.
Moving from a system that’s no longer working for you (whether it’s electronic or not) to one that does makes sense on many levels, especially for your bottom line. Whether you’re looking to replace your current EMR with a new one, or whether you’re on paper and researching electronic practice management systems, check out our resources:
- Comprehensive, 14 page Guide to EHR
- 2 page summary of picking the right EHR for your practice
- EMR Resource Center
2 quick EMR tips
1) Try to find an electronic system that offers tiers of service, i.e., a system that offers a range of plans from basic to feature-rich with corresponding pricing. This will allow you to start on a lower-cost plan with only the functionality you need now but still gives you room to grow as the practice requirements change over time. Finding a flexible system that grows with your practice saves you time, energy, training & support costs, and all of the other investments that come with switching systems.
2) Some EHRs are not practice management systems, which means that you have to utilize other pieces of software in order to run your business. Try to find an EHR that is also a practice management system, bringing as much under one roof as possible. The more you can have all of your organization’s needs (calendar & scheduling, payment receipt, appointment reminders, billing services, document management, ePrescribing, practice planners, etc) integrated into one comprehensive system, the easier your workflow will be. The less you & your staff have to patch together multiple pieces of software, more of your time & energy (and therefore money!) are freed up to treat your clients and grow your business.
Leigh-Ann Renz is the Marketing & Business Development Director of PIMSY mental health EHR. For more information, click to visit the PIMSY website.
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Topics: EMR, Management, Software | No Comments »