3 problems exist with Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology when it comes to really understanding your patient populations.
- Electronic health record (EHR) systems can be costly and are not necessary for incremental quality improvement.
- The current EHR systems have poor analytical and reporting tools. The truth is – you really can’t analyze, cut and slice your data to really understand trends and outcomes, easily and quickly.
- EHR systems can be complicated to use, cumbersome and overly-bloated.
A Healthcare Researcher’s Best Friend
Patient registries are probably one of the best tools for physicians that are participating in pay-for-performance programs. Many of the EHR’s may not have population-based tracking functionality and therefore running useful reports is not always an easy thing, according to Dr. Hornake, an internist in a private practice in Essex, Conn, especially when it comes to monitoring a physician’s performance. A strategic patient registry program can help you identify practice management patterns; help to zero in on treatment trends and assist in managing the outcomes of your patients.
And according to Dr. Hornake, when factoring your own time, you can see an immediate return on investment with a solid patient registry software system. Unlike implementation of an EHR system, he added, patient registry software tends to fit in easily with the normal workflow of the office.
Physicians also can manage their patient care using a paper-based patient registry, he said, but once they begin to track 20 or more measures, a paper system quickly becomes unworkable. That’s where using a proven software system can make a huge impact on your organization.
When researching the right system for you – make sure that behind the software is a solid team that can work with your organization to customize a system that meets your needs. Customizations made up front can save you a lot of time and money in the long run (by not having to retro-fit your data into a generic registry system.