Physician incentive programs are designed to reward physicians for behaviors that will promote patient safety and quality in healthcare.
In the case against Michael Jackson’s doctor, Conrad Murray, quality of care and patient safety were issues as well. Conrad Murray was found guilty of the ultimate breach of the patient safety principle.
The jury found Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.
Physician incentive programs pay for good outcomes. In cases like the Conrad Murray one, it’s necessary to turn to the judicial system to remedy the situation. When a patient death occurs, the best that can be done is assess financial and criminal damages for patient safety violations. That’s why medical malpractice insurance is so costly.
The ARRA / Recovery Act / Stimulus Bill included health care legislation called the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act or the HITECH Act.
The goals of the HITECH Act are to increase patient safety and enhance quality of care while decreasing costs. Health information technology and more specifically electronic health record software is the HITECH Act prescription for accomplishing their goals in the United States.
While electronic health records and especially the clinical decision support aspect of electronic health record systems can save lives. Things like best practices and drug interaction checking are incorporated into electronic health record software. And the HITECH Act and CMS meaningful use criteria require patient safety and quality in order to get EHR incentive payments.
Despite the vision of using health information technology to improve health care, there is some risk of introducing technology related errors.
The report by the Institute of Medicine comes as the government is spending billions of dollars in incentive payments to encourage doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic health records. The Department of Health and Human Services requested the study, in response to concerns from some doctors and public health experts that the drive for digital records might bring a wave of technology-induced medical errors.
The goal of moving from paper to computerized patient records is to improve patient care and curb health care costs. The federal report does not assert that the effort to move to electronic health records is misguided, but that safety considerations must be a crucial ingredient.
How do Physicians Avoid Technology Induced Errors?
Like with any software and technology implementation, two critical elements of success are training and testing. Most electronic health record systems have customizable features.
EHR software provides for the creation of protocols and clinical decision support rules that are specific to a particular medical practice. These must be tested for validity and accuracy.
Everyone in a physician’s office or health care clinic impacts the quality of care and the experience of the patient. They will all need training. Most, if not all will interface with some aspect of the electronic health record system.
Even if they don’t touch the system, all employees at a medical facility will need training on the HIPAA laws and HIPAA compliance aspect of the HITECH Act. An electronic health record system facilitates HIPAA compliance and the capture of HITECH Act EHR meaningful use criteria.
Remember: HIPAA Violations could send you to JAIL.
Dr. Conrad Murray faces prison time. You don’t need that drama!
Health care providers should be aware of the other physician incentive programs and requirements. Accreditation, ACOs, HEDIS, VBP, PQRS / PQRI, MIPPA, IQR, value based purchasing, pay for performance are all programs and initiatives that will also be helped by electronic health record adoption.
Compliance saves lives. That’s reason enough to get on board with the various physician incentive programs. But since they are incentive programs, health care providers can get paid.
If you want to get payment from physician incentive programs, electronic health records to the rescue.
I invite you to claim free access to an informative interview audio titled
How To Convert To Electronic Health Records,
When I’m Completely Technology Adverse,
And Don’t Know Where To Start!
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