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Remaining Compliant: The Pros and Cons of EHRs
It’s safe to say that most practices are well-accustomed to electronic health records (EHRs), and the thought of returning to paper charts is likely to cause a shudder. Yet just like everything in life, there are pros and cons that come along with EHRs. While by their very nature, they help streamline processes and minimize user error, these same electronic features have the potential to create major compliance risks when misused or relied on too heavily.
So, how can practices capitalize on the many benefits of EHRs? What are the watch-outs, and how can they best be mitigated to ensure continued compliance? Let’s take a balanced look at both sides of the coin with the following chart.
Use with Care
EHRs are powerful tools that have played an important role in simplifying and automating some of the more tedious documentation requirements of patient care. However, without careful management, they can also present major compliance challenges. Documentation that does not hold up to review can ultimately result in unwanted payer scrutiny, sanctions, and even malpractice risk. Practices must learn all they can about their unique EHR program features and how they can be used to facilitate compliant workflows and excellent patient care. Due diligence in this arena will serve the practice and its patients well.