The Virtual Care And EHR Marriage

In the scramble to take advantage of federal incentives for implementing Electronic Health Records (EHRs), many hospitals and physician practices didn’t effectively integrate virtual care into EHR design. But now many providers are insisting that the two should be united.

Here are some of the compelling benefits:

Eliminating extra steps in documenting care – An integrated system creates a full record of virtual care consultations and improves care coordination.

Minimizing duplicate records – Integrating virtual care and EHR data streamlines record collection and makes it faster and easier to find patient data.

Improved workflow and user experience – When a virtual care session can be launched from within an EHR record, it simplifies the user experience and saves physicians time. Large hospital systems like Nemours Children’s Health have found that EHR/virtual care integration leads to an increase in physician adoption of telehealth.

Better reporting and revenue tracking – Anything that’s documented outside a hospital’s EHR can be difficult to track. When virtual care is integrated into the EHR, all clinical and billing data is in one place, which makes reporting and reconciliation far easier.

Better care and outcomes – One Southeastern hospital recently used its integrated virtual care/EHR system to more effectively deal with a whooping cough outbreak in its service area.

The stampede to implement EHRs is over because nearly every hospital has one. Now comes the tricky-yet-rewarding part: fully integrating virtual care consultations into EHR data collection and workflow.