Advancements in health IT have come to encompass a wide range of specialized EHR functionalities, including tools designed to address various specialty-specific documentation needs. However, many EHR and Practice Management (PM) solutions remain limited in this regard. A 2015 survey found that 77 percent of respondents were working with EHR solutions that were not designed for, or suited to, their specialties. The same study also found that 80 percent of physicians at the time were dissatisfied with their current EHR solutions. How things have changed in just five short years.
A more recent study found that 86 percent of specialty providers have switched or returned to specialty-driven EHR solutions. That same study also found that 89 percent of respondents regretted rushing to implement a non-specialty EHR solution with their original vendors. Another survey found that 6 in 10 physicians responding agreed that specialty-specific EHRs have led to improved patient care.
As the years have passed, more and more specialty physicians have discovered the flawed concept of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to EHR and Practice Management solutions. This has led to a major shift in recent years, during which specialty providers have come to seek out and expect health IT solutions to be designed specifically to meet their needs.
This expectation is reasonable, as specialty physicians—including ophthalmologists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, orthopedists and others—each have unique needs when it comes to clinical workflows, documentation, executing daily tasks and clerical processes at their practice. Therefore, only with an appropriately designed, specialty-specific solution can specialty practices function with optimal efficiency, which ultimately impacts patient care and practice profitability.
Specialty Solutions Improve Operations
Specialty-specific EHR and PM solutions can improve a practice’s day-to-day operations in a number of ways. First, a specialty-driven EHR uses problem-driven workflows that automatically generate diagnosis-based findings within the chart, improving documentation efficiency and saving providers time. Specialty-specific EHRs also improve clinical productivity with optimally designed workflows that eliminate redundant tasks in comparison to generic EHRs which require extensive customizations and unnecessary workarounds.
With a specialty-driven EHR, documentation and charting can be done faster and with higher levels of accuracy. The intuitiveness of a specialty-specific solution streamlines the documentation experience, facilitating more efficient charting and reduced exam times. In the previously cited survey, 93 percent of respondents agreed that specialty-specific EHR templates were best suited for patients requiring individualized documentation. For specialty providers, for whom a handful of diagnoses are frequently encountered, specialty-specific EHRs allow faster access to the diagnosis codes they need.
Last but not least, a specialty-driven EHR comes equipped with built-in precision tools that are specifically designed for your subspecialty—such as flowcharts, drawing and stamping tools, diagnostic test interpretations and more.
Specialty Solutions Improve Patient Care
Specialty-specific EHR and Practice Management solutions make it possible for providers to stay focused on patient engagement by automating processes and administrative tasks. Intuitive templates on both the clinical and clerical side are designed to ease the burden of workflows for specialty practices, allowing staff to devote more time and attention to the patient as opposed to charting, scheduling appointments and performing other tedious tasks.
As a result, the patient experience is elevated. When providers and office staff are focused on the patient as opposed to their software solutions, the patient feels more engaged with and this is interpreted as a higher quality of care.
To learn more about how Nextech can help your practice get up and running with a fully-integrated, specialty-specific EHR and Practice Management solution, fill out this form and a member of our team will be in touch soon.