Medical billing is considered in any healthcare revenue cycle management as it is an important pillar and the service provider's prime pain spot. Utmost precision is essential in the collection of vital information from the patient and recording it efficiently for medical billing. Medical billing can be one of the most challenging and extensive procedures.
There are specific protocols and managerial activities to control the management of the patients' sensitive information. Medical records management is a system comprised of such procedures. The advances in technology for the medical and healthcare field have reached significant levels creating a requirement for managing medical records in a much more sophisticated manner through a streamlined and efficient electronic medical records management system.
Electronic medical records (EMRs) and Electronic health records (EHRs) are digitalized versions of the specific patients' medical history and a detailed report of the patient's overall health, respectively. Together they play an active and vital role in the process of medical billing.
What is an EHR?
A digitalized version of the patient's complete medical chart is an electronic health record (EHR). It consists of the entire medical history of the patient and securely provides instant information about the patient for authorized users.
A patient's complete medical history, diagnoses, prescribed medications, recommended treatment plans, allergies, lab results, and radiology images are all completely contained with an EHR. An EHR simplifies and streamlines the provider workflow through automation.
EHRs are designed to securely share the required information for making certain decisions for providing the right and timely medical care to different providers and organizations.
What is EMR?
The complete medical reports of the patient are electronically stored in the form of electronic medical records (EMR), which contains vital information such as the diagnoses made, the treatment plans, recommended procedures, reports collected from the laboratory, and more related details. In other words, the whole information occurred while the patient had visited the hospital.
Earlier, when EMR emerged, there were continuous changes and certain upgrades. But the current version of EMR is considered to be more efficient. It simplifies the process of tracking the patient reports for the physicians and helps to conduct the follow-ups accordingly. Identifying patients who are due for a checkup is effortlessly done, and they get scheduled for regular checkups and screenings.
What is the purpose of an EMR?
Electronic medical records can significantly enhance the quality of medical care provided. Also, the patient outcomes are improved to a reasonable level. With enhanced management, errors get minimized, you could avoid needless investigations, and the communication between the providers and patients is enhanced with the use of EMR.
In which way does EMR benefit the healthcare organization?
Any healthcare organization's best decision would be to upgrade traditional paper-based medical records into an EMR. The various benefits are:
• It is a much secured and digitalized maintenance of patients' medical records.
• Minimizes the trouble of maintaining traditional paper-based copies of the patient records.
• Instant access to information for reference is made easy.
• It is of great assistance to provide enhanced diagnosis and quality medical treatment.
• You can stay one step ahead in the security and privacy of the Protected Health Information (PHI).
• Your decision-making and follow-ups become pretty simple with easier tracking.
• Reduced errors.
• Considerably lower costs than the traditional paper records.
• Automation makes it simple to send reminders for upcoming screenings and checkups.
What are the various types of EMRs?
Based on the work model or the supportive network, EMR can be classified into two types – Cloud-based EMR and Server-based EMR. Both kinds of EMR have their advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the practice and the physician to choose the best one which suits their need.
• Cloud-based EMR –By using the internet, a cloud-based EMR could be accessed and set up with a third-[party vendor. Comparatively, it is cost-effective and reduces the stress as the hosting party sets it up and maintains it, even though the control remains with your cloud-based EMR provider.
• Server-based EMR –Since having your server path, you get to hold the rein of control. But it has its drawbacks as it requires proper maintenance and an additional cost as you would need an IT technician to fix issues in case any such scenario arises.
What are the differences between EMR and EHR?
There are some significant differences between EMR and EHR. They are listed below:
EMR is an electronic version of the patient's medical chart. At the same time, EHR is a complete digitized record of all patient health information.
EMR does not allow the patient details to be transferred to other practices besides printing. EHR enables easy and instant patient information access across different practices.
A provider uses EMR to offer the patient diagnosis, treatment plan, and medical care. But EHR is not limited to a single provider and can be accessed by any number of practices to make decisions regarding medical treatment and care and further diagnoses.
What are the possible disadvantages of using an EMR?
Due to the insufficient security layers, sensitive data is likely to be hacked when stored on a cloud-based server.
There is a high chance of losing the entire data in case of a technical error while your remote EMR does not have a proper backup of all the information.