Some call it Electronic Medical Records while others call it electronic health records. They are both one in the same. EHR (Electronic Health Record) is the term used to describe the software system of collecting patient information by different providers at different facilities about one patient and having it located in one place. This is to allow for linking of patient information from different locations according to an ID #.
Future of Medical Billing and Coding – Electronic Medical Records
EHR provides access to complete patient information regarding prescriptions, medical tests, health problems, past medical history, etc. It offers assistance regarding medical alerts to drug interactions and to help doctors make decisions regarding patient care during the encounter. EHR also prevents delays in waiting for medical records and prescriptions. It also assists in automating medical coding and billing functions. The EHR includes patient medication lists, past presenting problems, notes, and other types of documentation. Within the EHR software system is usually total practice management software that includes registering patients, scheduling appointments, generating billing claims, processing payments, and accounts receivables.
In 2011 Medicare provided incentive to providers to become meaningful use EHR users. This is defined by Medicare as providers who demonstrate that certified EHR technology is used for electronic prescribing, electronic exchange of information according to HIT standards, and for providing care coordination.
Some people have concerns that EHR “can” allow for a breach of patient privacy. However, there are so many laws surrounding this exchange of patient information that it's no more likely to cause a breach than the paper medical record could, in my opinion. The benefits of EHR technology outweigh the possible drawbacks. The positive outcomes are improving the coordination of care between providers and facilities, improving efficiency, and reducing healthcare errors.
By: Dawn Moreno, PhD, CBCS, CMAA, MTC. Lives in the beautiful Southwest United States and has been an instructor for medical coding/billing for the past 7 years. Interested in quality medical billing training? More of Medical Billing Services
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