1. Picking EMR vendors that fit your ASC. Ms. Webb said a good place to start is by searching BlackBookRatings.com for EMR vendors that can tailor software and information technology to an ASC's expertise. "There are certain products that are fantastic for the ASC industry," Ms. Webb said. Those products are surgical in scope and focus on things that help centers and physicians get paid.
2. Using EMRs with sound clinical decision-making support. EMRs should provide physicians with the capability to make clinical decisions as they move through the EMR.
3. Having a dashboard to help check what care has been provided. "There needs to be a measureable tool at the end of the day," Ms. Webb said. "If I can't measure it, there's no way to know if the information in my system is legitimate."
4. Assessing how important Medicare payments are to your ASC. Because of the added cost and time commitment required to meet meaningful use rules, Ms. Webb said it might not be in the interest of some ASCs to invest in EMR upgrades that will follow Medicare's meaningful use guidelines. It's best to consider if your ASC is large enough and does enough business with Medicare to put forth the effort to comply with meaningful use standards. ASCs that do not comply will face 1 percent reductions in Medicare reimbursements starting in 2015. That percentage increases to 2 percent in 2016 and 3 percent the following year, according to Ms. Webb.
She added, "relying heavily on Medicare is not a good idea, especially in the ASC industry."
Ms. Webb concluded her discussion by offering a word advice for any ASC looking to invest in a medical record system upgrade. "Make your EMR decision based on the needs of your facility," she said. "Be sure you are using EMR in a way that benefits your practice."
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