4 reasons your EMR should be the holy grail of document management

April 27, 2021
Categories: Home health, Hospice, Palliative care
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Document management in post-acute care is a laborious, multi-person process. Whether clinicians or administrative teams are responsible for managing documents from patients to physicians, getting signatures, etc., organizations want to keep this process centralized.

This can be a challenge, particularly for organizations that have multiple locations or operate in multiple states. When one team is supporting multiple locations, significant management and commitment are needed—especially when a more analog approach is being used to acquire signatures.

While several technologies exist to provide solutions for these issues, most do not suit an industry with an already tight labor force and tightening profit margins. Here, we’ll discuss four reasons why EMR-focused document management is the only complete solution to this industry challenge.

Fax methods are problematic.

In 2021, the most prevalent method for acquiring physician signatures remains faxing—a method that is problematic, inefficient, and not a long-term solution. While most organizations have a fax number, faxing (electronic and manual) is problematic because it goes to a location outside of the workflow, onto a fax tray with no time limitations, with the probability of being marked up and returned with no guarantee of legibility.

The lack of discrete data fields where comments can be captured creates manual processes due to having to transcribe physicians’ notes within your system. This challenge—paired with the fact that response times are subjective—makes faxing an inefficient solution to document management.

Physician portals require buy-in.

While physician portals can serve a need for real-time communication, they require buy-in—something you will likely not get from 100% of the physicians you work with. And while this kind of portal has an internal workflow with commenting capabilities, rejections, and approvals, you need complete buy-in for it to be truly efficient.

Portal apps disrupt daily workflows.

Portal apps function much like physician portals, but are often mobile-based—a huge benefit for getting signatures quickly anywhere, anytime. Typically more technologically advanced, these solutions involve discrete data and real-time record updates on both sides of the information exchange.

The real barrier with this option is that you’re asking physicians to operate outside of their daily workflow. Just like a physician portal in your EMR, you are unlikely to get 100% of your physicians on board.

EMR-based document management is the single solution for many challenges.

Just as you wouldn’t want to use four different accounts to check your email, you don’t want to use multiple document management systems. That’s why keeping the solution within an EMR is ideal—for both you and the physicians you work with.

With the MatrixCare EMR, all activity around signing post-acute documents is in the same queue as everything else that needs to get done. This makes physicians happy and, in turn, makes providers using the MatrixCare EMR a primary referral source for health systems.

By working directly within the EMR for document exchange, post-acute providers get plugged into their referral sources, and it solves the problem for everyone. Physicians can sign documents in the same system they work, post-acute providers can support an efficient process, and referral source relationships are continuously fostered. It’s the Holy Grail of getting documentation signed.

Simply put, when it comes to finding long-term solutions for document management, we want to move away from analog methods. Even though these manual methods are attempting to innovate, these solutions will always fail to address every challenge. Choose a method that allows for more discrete data exchange, is a better fit into physicians’ workflows, and supports discrete data workflows with standardized data sets that you can scale and build onto with other provider partners. Large EMR systems will have those capabilities.

Want to learn more? Let’s connect!

Chris Pugliese
Chris Pugliese

Chris Pugliese is a Senior Product Manager of Integration and Interoperability for MatrixCare. Chris has spent the last decade working with post-acute technology and EMRs, and the last 5 years focused on interoperability. His strength is enabling technology, as well as educating on the growing importance of interoperability and its benefits to the post-acute care settings. In a short time, Chris has become a leader, spearheading integration and interoperability initiatives within and outside of MatrixCare. Recent industry committee roles and responsibilities include: Leadership Team Member for the Post Acute Interoperability Work Group (PACIO), Technical Lead for the Functional Status Subgroup for the PACIO initiative – developing FHIR Profiles for Functional Status, CommonWell Health Alliance Use Case Committee member, CommonWell Health Alliance Specification Workgroup member

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