Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What Orthopedic Surgeons Need from Their Health IT Software in 2015




Your orthopedic surgery training is very focused and specialized, so why spend your day working around software that doesn’t fully align with your needs? More efficient surgery scheduling, access to imaging, and processing of workers’ comp claims are among the many distinct needs that can be met with effective specialty-specific software.

The State of Orthopedic Surgery
While orthopedic surgeons spend most of their time diagnosing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal injuries and diseases, an increasing amount of time also goes to paperwork. If you’re like most orthopedic surgeons, you split your time between a private practice setting, ambulatory care center and a hospital operating room. Because of the financial pressures of private practice, though, a growing number are turning to hospitals for full-time employment.

Even with increased financial burdens, orthopedic surgeons remain the highest paid doctors in the United States, earning an average of $413,000 a year, according to a 2014 Medscape report. However, declining reimbursements and rising costs persist as primary concerns when it comes to future financial viability.

What Software Functionality Do Orthopedic Surgeons Need?
Seeing how most orthopedic surgeons divide time between clinical settings, many consider cloud-based EHR solutions. In contrast to client-server software, cloud-based EHRs can be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection, giving orthopedic surgeons the option of securely taking patient information offsite.

Cloud-based EHRs offer a full range of time saving options that include customizable templates. These templates speed assessment and planning of orthopedic surgeons patients through all stages of the treatment cycle from initial evaluation through rehabilitation.

In addition to enhanced efficiency, orthopedic surgeons need practice management software that will battle the declining reimbursements and rising costs that threaten their revenue.

The right orthopedic practice management solution can help orthopedic surgeons who see more patients or add ancillary services to offset any financial hindrances. Real-time patient flow charts, for example, can pinpoint where bottlenecks occur, allowing orthopedic surgeons to distribute resources most effectively.

Practice management software also must get orthopedic surgeons’ revenue cycle in peak working condition through code scrubbing, rules checking and patient eligibility review capabilities. By reducing errors, orthopedic practice management software lessens the financial blow inflicted by denied claims and can help to boost revenue after ICD-10 implementation.

Although orthopedic surgeons continue to be the highest paid specialists, taking action will be necessary to remain at the top. Effective, specialty-specific EHR and practice management systems can help orthopedic surgeons increase productivity and maintain profitability, even with the greater anatomic specificity required by ICD-10 codes.

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