Electronic medical records (EMR) software is probably the furthest things from your mind when you’re watching football. You’re concerned with the NFL scores and the players and your favorite teams.

After all this is your leisure time. You want to forget about the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, electronic medical records / electronic health records (EHR) and HIPAA laws.

But If you are a health care provider, you’re probably never off completely. When there’s a NFL injury report, you probably wonder about the medical staff and the care that the players are receiving.

Well there is a relevant piece of NFL football news that is healthcare news as well.

What’s The NFL Football News About Electronic Medical Records?

The NFL is adopting Electronic Medical Records technology!!!

NFL moves to EHRs

Will incorporate video feed into electronic record to help with treatment

The National Football League (NFL) will make the switch from paper to electronic health records, contracting with ambulatory vendor eClinicalWorks to serve 32 teams nationwide.

“The health and safety of our players continues to be our number one priority,” Brian McCarthy, NFL’s vice president of communications, tells Healthcare IT News. “We want to provide team medical staff with the latest technology that will help with their care and treatment of players in real time at the team facility, in the locker room [and] on the sidelines. This solution will help medical staff with secure real-time information to make decisions that will benefit the player.”

“The NFL prides itself in staying ahead of current healthcare developments,” said Anthony Yates, MD, president of the NFL Physicians Society, in a statement.

Yates, a physician at UPMC and team doctor for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is also a member of member of the EMR Committee for the National Football League.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to enhance the organization,” he said. “Electronic health records are the next logical step, and we look forward to partnering with eClinicalWorks on this initiative.”

The NFL is implementing EHRs across the organization to streamline processes between locations and coordinate care, officials say. All 32 teams will have access to the EHR system, which will be accessible at stadiums during games, on the sidelines and at the training facilities.

Girish Kumar Navani, CEO and co-founder of Westborough, Mass.-based eClinicalWorks, says this implementation has some similarities to certain other ambulatory EHR deployments.

“It’s not very different in capabilities from an orthopedics and physical therapy clinic,” he says. “eClinicalWorks has had orthopedic and physical therapy components within the EHR, so this will be the same system as we traditionally implement, with a few added features.”

Still, Navani says that “extensive club visits” have led to the incorporation of some capabilities to the EHR that reflect “the uniqueness of the NFL.”

One big difference? “In this implementation, there will be a direct video feed from the NFL for players, play-by-play, and we are integrating these feeds into the EHR,” he says. “The League will be able to view video footage in the EHR of the injury occurring, which will help with treatment plans and follow-up once the player is off the field.”

And, of course, there are other features necessary for an EHR tailored toward athletes playing a dangerous game, where injuries are common. “The EHR will connect with labs, radiology, PACS imaging and a concussion app,” says Navani.

See original article: NFL moves to EHRs

So what’s the moral of the story?

If you’re one of the physicians who participate in edicare or Medicaid, you’re being forced into electronic medical health records. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires it. And if you want to qualify for the HITECH Act EHR incentive program, you must meet the meaningful use criteria.

But even if CMS is not forcing you and even if you cannot get incentive money to offset the EHR / EMR software cost, it still pays to implement electronic medical records.

In the case of the NFL, there will be video feeds which show NFL injuries as they occur.

But for all ambulatory practices you get:

  • Real time health information for making better clinical decisions
  • Coordination of care, especially with health information exchange (HIE)
  • No need to transport or search for paper records
  • Streamlined processes, which can save you time and money
  • EHR integration with lab, radiology and test results
  • Better, Safer Care delivered to your patients!

This is a big win for eClinicalWorks, one of many EMR software systems vendors. We’ll have to wait on the NFL results. But data would support the fact that the NFL scores a win as well.

Electronic medical records should have a positive effect on the health of the NFL organization, players and teams.

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about the HITECH Act, Electronic Medical Records or the
Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services (CMS)
EHR incentive program
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