Thursday, February 21, 2013

Prolonging Your Career!

Recently I have been unable to work full-time due to medical issues.  However, it is not due to any chronic or underlying condition i.e. DM or CAD, but to a relatively sudden onset musculoskeletal breakdown.

If you saw the overweight, balding, shuffling, poor posture, and moving slowly provider, THAT WAS ME!
It has become apparent to me, that proper physical conditioning is an absolute requirement for our busy, stress-laden jobs that require of us 5 miles of walking per shift.  I worked out in a linear fashion i.e. elliptical, treadmill, and stationary bike 3-4 times/week faithfully for at least 1 hour sessions.  This did not prevent my problems.
I went to the orthopedic specialist for help with this new issue, and the first thing he recommended was taking up yoga to loosen up my totally “stiff body”.  First attending “restorative yoga” (geriatric yoga where touching your toes means reaching your knees), it was apparent that I should have been doing something like this for years.
After 2 sessions, I could now back up car safely without the use of a camera display or grab things out the back seat easily.  The classes are difficult, but improvement comes with each one.
Everybody worries about their mental health, brain power, medical health but musculoskeletal breakdown needs to be added to the list.  Yoga is a good path; some do Pilates, some intensive stretching; in any case, paying attention to, and managing, muscular flexibility and mobility is key in our profession.        


Monday, February 11, 2013

Which EMR Should You Purchase ?

  1. Certified for meaningful use to offset costs-(includes easy reporting functions to avoid government "clawbacks".)
  2. Walk up usability-(the ability to perform various functions with minimal training)
  3. Intuitive navigation-(logical, consistent, and labeled)
  4. Content designed specifically for the clinical area (specific charting for the Emergency department, urgent care, and/or family practice)
  5. Integrated practice management - (scheduling, coding, and billing)
  6. E-prescribing
  7. Patient Health record (clinical data repository) that tracks Problem list, Allergies, Past Medical History, medication reconciliation, Family History, Social History
  8. Ease of training-(3-4 hours vs  longer than 12 hours)
  9. The program does not need multiple "work-a-rounds"
  10. The use of scribes and voice-activated technology are additive,not necessary to survive
This is the tip of the iceberg. Bottom line, is purchase a product that is designed with the " End-User" in mind.

Practice Management - Requirements For Success

Many individuals are inspired to become entrepreneurs and control their own work destiny.  They are willing to put in the “sweat equity” to be their own ‘boss’.  Opening and running your own practice and or urgent care is a worthy goal but to be successful, the “devil is in the details”. 

Here are some suggestions on how to select a “value added” practice management program that allows one to run an efficient business.

  1. Attractive interface that has “walk-up” usability
  2. Designed for end-user not programmer
  3. Easy, logical navigation
  4. Scheduling module that can be customized 
  5. Registration module with scanning of  identification and insurance cards capability
  6. Instant eligibility notifications for insurance, deductibles, and co-pay
  7. Instant access to past visits and  accounts receivable
  8. Fully-integrated Electronic Health Record that interacts with the practice management system to capture all CPT codes, ICD-9-10 diagnosis to easily code and send an accurate bill.
  9. Certified Electronic Health Record to be eligible for $44,000 meaningful use funds to defray initial costs.
  10. Electronic Health Record that has a full database, scanning capabilities, E-prescribing, and is not “hated” by the end-user.
  11. Coding support and billing functions that allow you to 1. Do your own billing 2. Outsource to a billing company 3. Any combination of the above.
  12. Gives real-time feedback on AR to allow staff to resubmit claims for reimbursement in a timely manner
  13. Management reports
  14. 24 hours support
  15. The cost of the software is offset in savings in the number of FTE’s (full-time equivalents) to run the practice.

Every practice is different, but being efficient and controlling costs goes a long way toward a positive ROI (return on investment).