How to Improve Your Patient Documentation Workflow

EHRs are designed to serve one purpose: make the quality of patient care better and more efficient. EHR software is meant to streamline your practice’s workflows, protect your patients and their health, and foster communication between provider and patient. After all, helping people is at the core of what you do. 

The truth is that direct patient face-time is only a portion of how a provider spends their time. Recent studies have shown that physicians spend approximately 30 minutes of chart time for every 15 minutes they spend in direct interaction with a patient.

Documenting is a time-consuming task, but it’s also necessary to ensure continuity of care. Your EHR is supposed to help in this area, but many providers cite poorly implemented documentation functions as a missed opportunity with their own EHR software.

So how can you go about getting the most out of your electronic health record software? Here are a few industry best practices for developing a good care-to-EHR documentation workflow.    

Manage Your Paper Documentation 

The advent of the EHR in our digital world promised to eliminate hardcopy paperwork — and yet, many organizations are still reliant on paper forms to supplement their digital chart usage. Some organizations only use the paper method. 

Why is this? Your days are already busy enough. You shouldn’t have to spend more time than necessary on documentation, and the first step in developing a suitable documentation workflow is to evaluate your EHR usage itself. Are you using your EHR software to its fullest capabilities? If not, how can you reduce your paper footprint and migrate more of your operations to a digital format? Digital implementation is the cornerstone of an efficient workflow. 

Set Up Custom Workflows

A solid EHR software is built around the idea of efficiency and is meant to streamline your process. Many modern EHR softwares, such as our suite of EHR amenities, provide custom workflow options to help providers save time on their documentation. 

Setting up a custom workflow allows the attending physician to:

  • Access pre-made decision trees based on patient Dx 
  • Pre-populate relevant notation verbiage in the medical record
  • Transfer important care concerns directly to the patient’s care plan

Ultimately, custom workflows are all about eliminating the redundant, unnecessary steps imposed by reimbursing entities like Medicare, freeing you up for direct patient interaction — just like it should be. 

Encourage Communication from Beginning to End

Data silos are another unfortunate hazard of inefficient EHR usage. A data silo occurs when important information is sequestered in a single department, such as nursing, billing, or therapy. When important patient information gets stuck in a single department, your organization and patients suffer. 

This can have a trickle-down effect throughout your organization, and can ultimately lead to your downfall. That’s why it’s so important to have clear beginning-to-end communication, as it puts everyone on the same page, from your admissions nurse to the provider, and even the administrative office staff. An EHR can help improve communication and deliver better results. 

Hook It to Your Analytics

Efficiency isn’t necessarily an end goal; it’s a continual work in progress. Modern EHR solutions come equipped with a wealth of analytics and data interpretation functions. Those analytics can include everything from patient turnover rates to cost per patient. 

Every aspect of your documentation feeds into your EHR’s analytics. Analytics creates an incredible feedback loop that can improve your practice’s operations, allowing you to use that information to your advantage in order to continually refine your workflows.    

Leverage the Power of Your EHR to Improve Your Operations

A well-made EHR shouldn’t be a roadblock impeding your practice’s efficiency; it should be a tool that helps you deliver higher quality care and a better patient experience. You work hard. Your EHR should work harder. With the right tools, you can improve both your operations and care. 

Our EHR is an easy-to-use solution with a full range of features built to help improve your documentation workflows. If you’re ready for a better way to work, contact us today for a free demo!