Despite the vast amount of money the federal government is offering as incentives, physicians are still not purchasing electronic health records (EHRs).  Although EHRs offer many benefits, physicians as a group seem to be more risk-averse than motivated by gains.  Many feel the consequences of purchasing an EHR that does not meet meaningful use requirements outweighs any benefits of early adoption.

However, it is in the best interest of every EHR vendor to make sure their software is compliant.  There is no reason to believe any reputable system will fail to meet meaningful use requirements.  With that in mind, we have compiled a list of top ten reasons why physicians should put aside their fears and adopt early.

  1. Physicians see a 25% increase in revenue due to appropriate E&M coding, industry wide.
  2. Insurance providers offer discounts up to 10% for purchasing an EHR with e-prescribing and order management.
  3. EHRs can save about $24,000 per year by reducing costs associated with paper, including materials and labor.
  4. Electronic prescribing can save lives.  Every year 1.5 million people become sick, injured, or killed from misread handwritten prescriptions.
  5. EHRs allows you to document encounters in real time, eliminating the need to stay late catching up on your work.
  6. EHRs can save about $30,000 per year on dictation and transcription costs.
  7. EHRs eliminate illegible medical histories.  Currently 15% of all histories are illegible.
  8. Order management can help your patients follow up on labs and procedures, which improves care and reduces your malpractice liability.
  9. EHRs allow you to backup and preserve data against catastrophes like fires or floods, which is impossible to do with paper charts.
  10. Electronic prescribing checks formulary eligibility for drugs – saving you the time and hassle of pharmacy call-backs.

These are just some of the many benefits EHRs can offer your practice.  The longer physicians delay EHR implementation, the longer they forego these benefits.  In these days of declining patient volumes and falling reimbursements, it makes sense to run a more efficient, healthy practice.  After all, if physicians want to help their patients, they first have to ensure their own practice is healthy and strong.

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Ryan Ricks

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