The Benefits of Using Pediatric-Specific EHRs

There’s a certain satisfaction to be gained by having the right tools for the job at hand, and this applies in the world of electronic health records (EHRs) as much as it does elsewhere in life. When you’re using a generic tool, don’t expect more than a generic result. By using a tool developed specifically for your task, however, you can expect to see results like the 30% increase in payments Bi-County Pediatrics had when they switched from a generic EHR system to a pediatric-specific one.

Issues Facing Pediatric Practices

Just what is so special about using a system developed for pediatric practices, though? If your office is working with an adult-based EHR (or still using paper charts!) you’ll experience a significant number of improvements by making the change.

For example, let’s consider the pressing issues facing many pediatric practices, which are:

  • Vaccine inventory management,
  • Time pressures during patient appointments,
  • Ensuring patient compliance with the AAP’s periodicity schedule, and
  • Optimizing the profitability of your practice.

If you could resolve all of those in one swoop, wouldn’t you consider that to be a good day’s work? I would. The good news is that now you can do so, by changing to a pediatric-specific EHR system that offers the right options.

Top Pediatric EHR Features

The best EHR systems for pediatric practices avoid the typical “shotgun” approach of many large systems. They don’t try to offer services for every type of specialty, but instead, they are laser-focused on delivering a good pediatric experience. This includes features such as:

#1: Vaccine Inventory Tracking

For most pediatric practices, vaccines are the second largest expense item after salaries. Managing supplies is vital to optimize cash flow and profitability. Few existing EHR vendors have a good system for managing vaccine inventory, and fewer still make it possible to project future requirements. 

Bonus: When your practice no longer needs to dedicate staff time to inventory count, you not only avoid incurring additional costs and inconvenience, but you close the door on the risk of human error.

#2: Making the Most of Supplier Incentives

A good pediatric EHR should have an inventory management module that enables you to:

  • see exactly what you have available and its financial value, 
  • adjust the count as you administer vaccines,
  • track expiry dates, and 
  • project your private and VFC stock for the 30, 60 or 90 days ahead. 

This allows you to take advantage of manufacturers’ incentives. 

Bonus: Practices can improve their cash flow using the “just in time” method of ordering the vaccines and other supplies when they need them, while avoiding tying up large amounts of funds.

#3: Identifying and Communicating with Patients

Instead of your team having to create a whole slate of templates the system didn’t have available, a good pediatric EHR is able to supply those. Source information from your database to identify patients due for 30-month well-visit recalls and the best method of contacting them. 

Bonus: Following up keeps patients in compliance with proper healthcare protocols, while ensuring your practice doesn’t leave money on the table. That’s a win-win for all parties involved.

#4: Improved Charting Options

A well-run pediatric practice should be able to strike a balance between the amount of time spent with a patient and that of charting the examination efficiently. A pediatric-specific EHR should have multiple preloaded templates for all types of sick visits, which enables the physician to see at a glance what to examine, provide an assessment, and chart the visit in seconds. 

Bonus: This not only reduces the time spent on paperwork, but creates a system of checks and balances to lower the risk of oversight.

Reaping the Benefit

By making the shift to a pediatric-specific EHR, practices can reap the benefit of healthier patients and higher revenue. And if you choose the right system, you no longer need to make a huge capital outlay. An EHR program operating on the basis of a monthly subscription enables you to break even much earlier in the lifecycle.

Bonus: If you’re still not sure a pediatric-specific EHR is the best option for you, download this eBook to discover how a well-rounded EHR may be limiting your practice.

Brett Cleary

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