3 Early Warning Signs an EMR Implementation is in Trouble

Now that the number of physicians implementing an EMR system has reached 50 percent, we are seeing some interesting trends emerge. Most physicians and their staff understand there will be short term headaches associated with EMR implementation before realizing the long term benefits.  But what are the early warning signs that the headache is growing into a tumor that will have dire consequences? When should you be concerned enough to take action instead of hoping things will get better?

During the past few of years we have observed three consistent warning signs that an EMR system needs immediate attention:

1. Decrease in Cash Flow

This is the #1 problem we are seeing in medical practices. There is no reason for cash flow to drop as a result of implementing an EMR system. In fact it should increase as the practice increases productivity. If you have seen a drop in cash flow you should take immediate action. Sadly too many practices wait too long to do so, causing needless burden on the practice and its staff. [See case study here]

2. Claims Rejected or Require Multiple Submissions

If you find the number of rejected claims is increasing, or worse, seem to go into a black hole, you aren’t alone. This is a common issue most likely caused by an automated computer response that is prompted by the EMR, not a coding error. If your practice has not made a recent change in coding procedures or personnel, the EMR system is likely to be the issue. If your practices is experiencing a longer A/R cycle, this is a problem that needs to be addressed quickly.

3. Staff Oversight Increases

Has staff time increased for operational and administrative matters?  If you are uncertain, ask your staff. For some practices, not only has the amount of time increased for routine matters like medical billing, the level of staff frustration has increased too. Some EMR software vendors segment customer service according to the amount practices spend on an EMR system. If you have a small practice, this could mean auto-service robots for you. For one practice this meant no one answered the phone and a free fall into the proverbial black hole.  [link to Greenway case study]

IF Your Practice is Experiencing Any of These Issues, HERE’S WHAT TO DO. 

  1. Call us and describe your symptoms. We will tell you if we are the right specialist for your situation. If we are, go to #2. If your problem is not in our area of expertise, we’ll refer you to someone who can help you with your specific situation.  Either way we’ll make sure you get help to resolve the issues. 
  2. Ask us to perform a diagnostic (takes about 2 hours) to assess the root cause of the problem and recommend a solution. If you are a client of Clinic Service, we do this for free as part of our service to you. If you are not a Clinic Service client, contact us and we can provide you with a quote. Click here to inquire.

If you think your EMR situation could potentially be more than just a headache, take immediate action. Don’t wait for it to turn into a tumor that infects other areas of your medical practice.