The Top 5 Benefits of Adopting EHR Technology

Wondering why you should invest the time and money to adopt EHR technology? Here are five of the top reasons to adopt EHR technology. Note that not all of these benefits are supported by every EHR vendor, so be sure to ask your EHR vendor if their solution can help you achieve these benefits.

1. Opportunity for financial incentives

Eligible providers (EPs) have the opportunity to earn incentives for the adoption and meaningful use of EHR technology through either the Medicare EHR Incentive Program or the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. These programs offer significant financial incentive for adopting and meaningfully using EHR, as EPs may earn up to $44,000 through the Medicare EHR Incentive Program (with an additional 10 percent bonus available for EPs in HPSAs), or up to $63,750 through the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Eligible providers may also be able to take advantage of incentives for e-prescribing with EHR technology through the CMS eRx Incentive Program.

2. Avoiding financial penalties

Providers are further motivated to adopt EHR technology by the threat of penalties in the form of payment adjustments. For 2015 and later, providers defined as EPs for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program who fail to successfully demonstrate meaningful use of EHR will face payment adjustments in their Medicare reimbursements. There is no payment adjustment under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Eligible providers may also face financial penalties under CMS' eRx Payment Adjustment in 2012 and beyond. To learn more about the CMS eRx Payment Incentive and eRx Payment Adjustment, visit https://www.cms.gov/ERxIncentive/09_Educational_Resources.asp.

3. Increased quality of care

EHRs can help providers increase quality of care through automated population management tools. The power to automate population management, clinical protocols and outreach programs helps providers provide safer, more efficient and more effective care. Tools like a clinical event manager aid providers in monitoring best practice guidelines and clinical protocols, which can be customized by disease state or wellness indicators.

4. Increased efficiency and productivity

Feature-rich EHR solutions can help expedite physician workflow, increase automation, and improve practice operations, prompting the quick and seamless completion of routine tasks. The result is more efficient patient care and higher revenue. An EHR solution that is fully accessible via mobile devices like the iPad also helps increase physician speed, resulting in increased productivity.

5. Increased patient engagement and patient satisfaction

Some EHR solutions provide tools to increase patient engagement and patient satisfaction, which helps improve both clinical outcomes and practice performance. Patient portals, which are offered by select EHR vendors, allow patients to update demographic information, request refills, request appointments and ask a nurse a question. Quality EHR systems also improve patient satisfaction by providing patient education tools and allowing providers to automatically generate email appointment reminders.