What is the Value of an
IDD Service-Oriented EHR to YOU?
Before we discuss how valuable an EHR is to an IDD/Special Needs Service Provider we should define value itself. Value is the relative worth, importance or usefulness of a thing. We value an item based on how much benefit we think we can get from it. This is why some of us will happily buy a $1,000 smartphone or a $50,000 car but might refuse to pay $80 for a pair of shoes because they are ‘too expensive’. We then buy phone holders and park our cars in garages to protect our “valuables”. These follow-up actions prove the value we assign to the valued items.
There is no right or wrong answer here – it is simply a matter of assigning worth. Regardless of what we say our actions provide a window into what is truly important (or of value) to us.
The EHR Question is Not “How Much?” but “What Value?”
Everyone uses electronic documentation these days – emails, texts, instant messaging, even some voicemail etc. Can you imagine what it would be like if you had to do all of your personal and professional communications by snail mail?! It’s funny that this highly inefficient, antiquated and error-prone method of paper documentation that we would not tolerate in our personal lives is still very much the norm for a significant number of IDD service companies. Therefore when we choose to continue to use a paper-based system that wastes our time (and that of our staff) this is likely because deep down we do not put a high value on our time or mental health (i.e. avoiding stress) when compared to the cost of an EHR. We do not believe the efficiencies and cost-savings that will be realized following implementation of the EHR will be worth the effort it takes to coach our staff through the initial change.
The truth is an EHR is not for everyone – Successful implementation requires more than the acquisition of the software.
It demands a disciplined leader with a clear vision and the resilience to manage their staff through significant change.
What is Your IDD/Special Needs Service Business Worth to You?
I think almost everyone would say that their business is very valuable to them and serves many purposes. Some reasons for valuing a business include – providing care for vulnerable people with special needs, providing a source of employment and pay for employees and last (but certainly not least) it is a source of pride for owners and a means to support themselves and their families. But are your actions in line with your words? Do you actively seek ways to improve efficiencies, sustainably reduce costs, better your quality metrics and prevent recoupment? Do you do your best to retain good staff and reinvest a predetermined amount back into the business? Your actions prove the value you assign to a thing.
I doubt that anyone has to be convinced of the convenience of electronic documentation; the sticking point for many providers is price. It is understandable that costs are foremost in many provider’s minds especially in the current reimbursement climate where overall payments are shrinking but the real question is – are you really saving money with a paper medical records system/office? Let’s review the tables and information below that are based on data from HHS (via HealthIT.gov) and other sources like the University of New York Upstate, office efficiency expert K.J. McCorry and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The paper costs included hidden expenditures such as costly staff time spent looking for and recreating lost or misfiled paperwork, office space to store paperwork for the required minimum number of years per HHS as well as printer, toner and other costs.
The tables above prove that you save time and money with an EHR/EMR as well as increasing the likelihood of improving the mental well-being of your staff. The Focused Software system is entirely set up to help IDD/special needs service provider’s increase efficiencies. Our EHR helps your staff do more with their time (increase productivity) so that you don’t have to hire more staff (personnel are the biggest cost item of most businesses especially in care-centric organizations). Your staff will also notice increased employee collaboration and satisfaction.
Calculate the costs of using paper charts for your own office by following the steps at this website.
Let’s not forget the qualitative advantages of an EMR/EHR. Here are just a few — 30% decline in medication errors, 70% enhancement in data confidentiality, reduction in lost notes/logs, fewer errors due to bad handwriting or inappropriate healthcare actions based on the use of patient information that is not real-time.
What is your time worth to you? Nobody can buy time; no-one guarantees it but many people consistently waste it.
Do not confuse short-term gain with long-term value! Short-term gains eg over-working your staff with highly inefficient paper-based systems is not cost-effective because they burnout or leave and rehiring is expensive. Make employee work easier and more efficient by using an electronic documentation and practice management system like Focused Software. It will save you money by optimizing staff time therefore making it possible for them to do more each day!
In the IDD service industry personnel are almost certainly your most expensive and most valuable business resource. Therefore the quickest and most effective way to reduce costs is to target your biggest ticket item. Use an electronic documentation system that will allow you to get the most and the best out of your staff – use Focused EHR! It integrates the work of your team – case managers, nurses, admin, billing, direct care, family support – into one safe, secure and accessible cloud-based electronic documentation system.
Do you value the environment? Bring your company into the twenty first century, understand the negative environmental impact of producing paper and Go Green while you’re at it! Be socially responsible - the U.S. uses approximately 68 million trees each year to produce paper and paper products. The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population yet consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper!
You’ve worked hard to to grow your business this far. Respect the effort and show you value it.
Invest in an EHR that works as hard as you do – Focused Software!
FOCUSED SOFTWARE CAN HELP! When your documentation is organized and centralized, you can track services more accurately, generate reports more quickly, and free up staff to provide more services. Implementing a paper-free system can also serve to improve cashflow, save you money and reduce the administrative burdens of managing office supplies, filing, and storing paper records. All these benefits work to boost your agency’s chances for success.
Relax and build better lives for your consumers, your team and your bank balance! Use replicas of state HHS documents. 24/7 human customer service when you need it – guaranteed! Check out our client testimonial page.
After you’ve read through this blog, take a deep breath, develop a brilliant plan, and click on the big orange button below to schedule a demo today!