Electronic Medical Record System Sample Proposal
Electronic Medical Record System Upgrade
Blackbird Medical Group is in need of upgrading our electronic medical record EMR system. The Wyler Electronic Medical Records System has been selected as the most practical for us to adopt. We recognize that we will face certain challenges during the course of this conversion project.
During Phase we will be sharing our offices with temporary staff who will be scanning and converting our files. Most of this work will take place after office hours but there will be two to four temporary employees with us during the day. Also during Phase we will have additional equipment in our front office and billing office—new PCs scanners etc. which will be used primarily by the temporary staff. So we may feel squeezed for space during this time period.
If necessary we will temporarily give up our break room to create more office space for the temporary personnel. In this event personnel may take their breaks in the coffee shop next door but must wear their pagers so they can be called if needed.
During Phase II we will all be training in the use of our new EMR system after hours but will probably have mix of records and procedures in place during our regular work days. We must exercise patience and diligence to ensure that patient care does not suffer during this time period. Let’s all pledge to be flexible and help each other and cross train as much as possible to make all our jobs easier.
We will all be working five hours of overtime for three weeks. To facilitate this phase no vacation or leave other than the traditional Labor Day holiday can be scheduled for September this year.
We will all join the electronic age together during Phase III and there will no doubt be few glitches we need to work out. By acting as team to find solutions and support each other we will make the Blackbird Medical Group practice more successful keep our ‘family’ atmosphere and ensure even better care for our patients. Why switch to an electronic medical records system. The benefits we expect to realize are summarized below.
More efficient patient tracking – With the EMR system we can bring up all records for patient in single name search and then easily search within those records to find the exam history test results prescriptions written and so forth. MRIs ultrasounds and other images will be scanned into the record. No more paging through reams of documents in multiple paper files. Reduction in errors – The EMR system has various checks and balances built in.
For example new prescriptions are compared against other medications and supplements patient has been prescribed and any possible drug interaction or past drug intolerance will be brought to the attention of the physician before final authorization for the prescription. Health alerts and recommendations The EMR system will automatically alert physicians and staff when test results for patient are abnormal allowing us to immediately remedy hazardous situations such as dangerous glucose levels high blood pressure and indicators for cancer. In addition the system includes links for dietary and exercise recommendations that can be individualized and printed for the patient. Automated prescription forwarding and tracking – The EMR system will automatically bring up contact information for pharmacies in our area and with the press of button we can forward prescriptions to the patient’s preferred pharmacy.
This system will also track refills which can be requested with proper passcode from patient’s home computer. Time savings – Compared to our current methods of examining and comparing paper files it’s pretty obvious that the EMR system will save us time. This will allow physicians and nurses to spend more time with patients and or to take on additional patients.
Better record security – Although we have always complied with HIPAA standards for patient privacy and data security now we cannot easily track when or to whom patient records are transmitted. We also cannot know if some part of file is missing because we have no record of everything contained within file. The new EMR system will allow us to control access through settings on the computer and will also provide us with an audit trail of every time patient’s record was accessed letting us know who accessed the record and what was changed. More efficient billing – Most of the major insurance providers are linked to the EMR system so prescriptions and procedures can be easily pre approved and billing data can be easily sent to the patient’s insurer.
Electronic Health Records EHR Stimulus payments – With our system in place by our practice will qualify for federal stimulus payments authorized by the U.S. government. The federal government clearly believes it’s time to make all health records electronic and so do we. The transition from our current system will not be painless but it will be well worthwhile in the long run.
Adopting an EMR will not replace any of our staff members. Instead the new system should make our jobs all more fulfilling. Needless to say conversion from our current paper computer system to new electronic system will not be painless but it will be well worth it and make all our jobs easier in the long run. Here is basically what we can expect to happen.
Phase I – Conversion of Records
Wyler will train our office and billing staff on proper scanning techniques and file formats to convert our paper records to electronic formats. During this time we will still be using our current records and billing systems so our staff will not have much time to do the actual scanning. We will hire temporary staff as recommended by Wyler to convert records with our own permanent staff filling in as available so they understand the process.
We will convert records based on last patient visit beginning with August so that the records of new patients and regularly seen patients will be converted first. Also during the latter part of this time period new computer equipment will be installed and set up by Wyler staff and new handheld computers tablet PCs will be distributed to physicians and nurses. We will no doubt experience some crowded conditions during this phase which is expected to last approximately two months.
Phase II – Training and Notification of Associates
After the majority of our records have been scanned and converted and the Wyler system populated with our data we will begin training our staff. Physicians and nursing staff will receive training in use of the tablet PCs which will give them access to their own schedules and those of other practice members patient records the Physician’s Desk Reference and important internet reference sites as well as to local pharmacists specialists and hospitals. Physicians will be able to enter notes and diagnoses write prescriptions refer patients to specialists research scientific journals and perform many other functions using their tablet PCs which will also interface with all desktop PCs within the practice. Front desk staff will receive training on the scheduling software.
Key aspect of the Wyler system is that any patient with internet access and proper password assigned by the system can ask question or schedule an appointment from home. This means that our office staff and doctors must keep doctors’ schedules updated on the system so that everyone knows when appointment times are available and must see that all patient questions are answered by appropriate personnel. Front desk staff will also be responsible for ensuring that all patient records that have been ‘checked out’ to physicians are checked in at the end of the day with proper notations and sign offs by physicians and nurses. Our billing staff will receive training on the bill handling aspects of the Wyler system.
As we expect this new system to free up some time for the billing staff they will be cross trained in other appropriate office tasks such as front desk duties and record scanning duties which they can then assume as needed. All associates other providers hospitals pharmacies etc. will be notified of start date after which we expect to send and receive only electronic records. Our patients will also receive notification of this change.
This phase is expected to last approximately three weeks beginning in mid September. Two hour mandatory training sessions will take place immediately after office hours which will end one hour earlier than usual. This will add an hour to each work day for which all employees will receive overtime pay.
Phase III – New EMR System Exclusively in Use
On an as yet to be determined date after we have all records converted we will switch over to exclusive use of the EMR system. We hope to schedule patient appointments on ‘light’ schedule for one week after the switch to ensure that we have time to work out any kinks in our new system without causing undue stress to our patients. The Blackbird Medical Group is coordinating with the state health system and state hospital group both of which already interface with the Wyler Medical Records System. According to the state health system sixty percent of health providers in our state already use an EMR system and forty percent use the Wyler EMR system.
All the state hospitals understand the communication protocols with the Wyler system. What does this mean. It means that we can expect the hospitals and specialists that we already work with to immediately start sending us electronic records rather than print copies after our conversion.
Agencies Being Coordinated With. Hawa an State Health System – all providers have the capability to provide computerized scans of records and tests via internet or email. This will substantially cut down on delivery time when transferring records or getting test results. Each health provider organization controls access to their patient records via setting permissions on patient files.
Hawa an State Hospital Group – the hospitals currently use barcode system which is feature of the Wyler system and other EMR systems. Each patient within the EMR system is assigned barcode which the hospital and some other specialty centers will print on wristbands and charts to immediately link patient to his or her online records. Trans U.S. Health Insurers Association – most health insurance companies in the United States are members of this association.
The association sets standards for their members to coordinate their billing practices with many approved EMR systems one of which is Wyler. This means that we can send bills electronically to nearly all mainland insurers with the press of button within the Wyler system. This should cut down substantially on our mailing and document preparation costs. We are sure that converting to an electronic medical record system will save us money in the long run.
In the short run the federal Electronic Health Records EHR stimulus money which we should receive in the next year will help us defer the immediate cost of purchasing and implementing the Wyler EMR system. Detailed below is our best guess for Return on Investment ROI analysis for the project. Note that Year is based on our calendar year ending on December not one year from the date of installation of the new EMR system.
The costs for the development operations and ongoing maintenance vs. the benefits are summarized for 3 year period to give you an idea of how this would play out. All figures except for the Wyler EMR purchase price of $75 and the $1500 yearly update fees are estimates.
Financial ROI Benefits
The figures above estimate monthly savings in record processing and delivery costs of $2000 based on our average hourly cost of record keeping and billing. This may be bit conservative; savings may actually be much higher. We may also find that our physicians achieve enough time savings using the automated system to schedule one additional appointment per day which would bring in even more revenue for our practice.
Non Financial ROI Benefits
Although monetary and time savings are nice the best benefits from adopting the new EMR system are in maintaining better safer records and delivering better care to our patients which should lead to greater satisfaction among both our patients and our staff. As we decided in our last staff meeting have prepared plan for converting our current patient record system to an electronic medical record EMR system. After comparing available software and local vendors have selected the Wyler Electronic Medical Records System as the most practical for us to adopt. For simplicity’s sake will call this ‘the EMR system’ throughout this proposal.
Please take the time to read and consider this proposal carefully note any concerns or questions you may have and come prepared to discuss it at our next staff meeting on July 15. At the end of that meeting we will take final vote on implementing this EMR system.