Nextech Blog

We Really Do Need ICD-10 – Here’s Why

Nextech on 12/12/2014

The disruptive nature of the transition to ICD-10 poses serious questions for specialty practices; and while we’ve worked to address many questions in this blog,  including how ICD-10 works, key differences between it and ICD-9, steps for preparing your clinical functions and readying your overall practice, and how an EMR can minimize ICD-10 disruption, there still is one lingering question: Do we really need it?

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Topics: ICD-10

Absence of EMR in your specialty practice might lead to Medicare payment penalties

Nextech on 12/11/2014

Have you implemented certified EMR/EHR technology in your specialty practice? The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) required reimbursement penalties for all Medicare eligible healthcare providers who do not comply with Meaningful Use. 

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Topics: medicare payment penalties, EMR

4 Things You Won’t Want to Miss at Nextech’s Annual EDGE Conference

Nextech on 12/09/2014

Nextech will be hosting its first annual user conference, EDGE (Educate, Discover, Generate, Exchange), Wednesday, February 25, 2015 to Friday, February 27, 2015 at Walt Disney World’s Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. 

Warning: If you are looking for a boring, sleep-inducing conference, EDGE isn’t for you. If you want a dynamic, hands-on training and networking experience on the very latest in effective practice solutions, you should definitely plan to attend this conference. This will be a memorable experience with things to do for the whole family.

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Topics: Nextech EDGE, EDGE

Practice makes perfect: the need for ongoing systems training

Nextech on 11/24/2014

Most specialty practices set aside ample time for software systems training when implementing new technologies. It’s typically all-hands-on-deck for vendor training during EMR implementation, and many host topic-specific training sessions to support meeting Stage 2 requirements for practices that pursue meaningful use. In addition, most practices that bill any insurance companies are currently focused on training in preparation for the ICD-10 transition.

But what about the long stretches in between milestones?

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Topics: Healthcare IT, Compliance, Best Practices

ICD-10: How it works and what it means for your specialty practice

Nextech on 11/19/2014

ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases. This international standard is used to document all different types of diseases and other health-related conditions in many official medical records. Most member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) started using ICD-10 (the most up-to-date version) since 1994. The United States is one of the few WHO members that still uses ICD-9 and has not yet transitioned to ICD-10.

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Topics: ICD-10

How to Avoid the Top 4 IT Healthcare Security Concerns in Your Physician Practice

Nextech on 11/17/2014

Has a virus ever hit your computer networks or EMR software? How about a hard-drive failure, data leak, or someone with unauthorized access to your software (i.e. a hacker)? If you have experienced one or more of these IT issues, then you’re probably no stranger to the disastrous consequences it can have for your practice.

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Topics: Healthcare IT

How to Avoid a Software “Fail” in Your Practice

Nextech on 11/10/2014

For specialty practices large and small, optimizing functionality is a common concern, especially when taking into account future changes beyond Meaningful Use, the transition to ICD-10, and other heathcare mandates.

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Topics: Specialty Solutions, Practice Management, Electronic Medical Records

How to Determine if Your Vendor is ICD-10 Ready

Nextech on 11/07/2014

The most recent delay in the ICD-10 transition was due, in part, to issues with vendor
readiness. Another delay is extremely unlikely, yet readiness remains a potential issue with some suppliers. In fact, a recent survey from The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) revealed that only 40 percent of healthcare providers have “complete” solutions for ICD-10, an improvement of just 15 points compared to 12 months earlier, despite the extra development time.

Specialty practices that rely on the remaining 60 percent of vendors whose solutions are not complete for ICD-10 should consider two key questions:

  1. How can I gauge whether my vendor will be ready in time?
  2. What represents sufficiently “complete” vendor software and services?
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Topics: Healthcare IT, Practice Management, Compliance, Best Practices

Have the best in the business: five tips for onboarding new staff

Nextech on 10/28/2014

As specialty practices become increasingly reliant on information technology, effective “onboarding”—systems training for new hires—is essential to productivity. Unless a new hire has used exactly the same set-up previously, there is an important learning process for each system to be used, whether electronic medical record (EMR), practice management, revenue management or patient engagement. Think about how much everyone in the practice had to learn at initial implementation; each new hire must go through that same process—without the benefit of group learning.

Here are six best practices that will improve both the speed and effectiveness of onboarding:

  1. Assess the new hire’s computer skills during the hiring process. Don’t assume that everyone needs training only in specific systems. If a new hire worked previously at a primarily paper-based practice, determine whether you need to line up supplemental computer training or have other additional resources available as the start date approaches.
  2. Prepare for training in advance of the new hire’s arrival. To ensure that all helpful materials are available from day one, assemble vendor training materials and identify vendor resources appropriate for the new hire’s job function ahead of time. Practices should look for a vendor that provides unique training for each specific job function, ensuring new employees are able to leverage the system in a way that meets their unique workflow needs.
  3. Encourage peer-to-peer training. Nobody wants to begin work by pouring through training materials. One-on-one, real-time training from proficient users who perform the same function invites question-and-answer skill building and quicker mastery of specialty and practice specifics.
  4. Focus strictly on the new hire’s function. Very few people within any specialty practice need to use every feature of an EMR, for example. Plan onboarding around what the new hire must master to succeed in the assigned role.
  5. Set realistic expectations and communicate them clearly. As was the case with initial system implementations, not everyone learns at the same rate. Give a clear indication of the time expected for learning, and invite the new hire to ask for help when specific areas prove challenging.           
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Topics: Healthcare IT, Best Practices

Peer-to-Peer Insights on your EMR and Practice Management at EDGE

Demetria Wright on 10/03/2014

Going to a user conference, attendees can predict that they will hear from a multitude of company appointed speakers as well as industry thought leaders. The knowledge gained is valuable and expected for someone looking to get a better understanding of the product they are using. Although this aspect of attending a software user conference is of paramount importance, another component not to be minimalized is the opportunity to get insights from fellow EMR and practice management users to help improve your own usability.

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Topics: Healthcare IT