Improving How Your Medical Records Help You Navigate 3 Common Healthcare Issues

You’re working long hours and striving to provide top-notch quality care to your patients. However, for processes to run seamlessly, we must tackle the ever-growing list of issues we’re facing in the healthcare industry — one of which is finding and managing your medical records effectively.

With a pandemic that has exacerbated healthcare issues and amplified concerns in the industry, it’s no simple task to provide quality patient care, address workplace inefficiencies, and meet revenue goals. 

To achieve all of the above, you’ll need to implement some strategic planning on your part — and offer genuine value to your patients and solutions for your staff alike.

How do you accomplish that, you wonder?

From the limited time you have to evaluate your patients during their appointments to piles of medical records you have to sift through to find the metaphorical needle in the haystack, so you can make a well-informed clinical decision or diagnosis, to staffing shortages, inefficiencies in the workplace, and the burden of countless administrative tasks — where do you even begin?  

Managing your medical records efficiently will significantly alleviate the burden clinicians and other medical staff find themselves under daily when trying to make the best possible clinical and treatment decisions. 

Your energy should be going towards providing the best quality care you could possibly offer to your patients. So where does the current system fall short?

Let’s discuss three of the main challenges physicians, nurses, and medical assistants face and how managing your medical records can bring you closer to a solution.

(1) The Number One Healthcare Issue to Address: Quality Care & Patient Experience 

The key goal for any medical provider is to ensure that their patients are given the care that they both need and deserve. But why has this become such an issue in our healthcare system?

When a patient presents to your office, regardless of whether he or she is an established patient or is coming from outside of your network, you should have a detailed medical history, no matter where the patient received treatment, to address any health concerns or questions the patient may have.

Sadly, more often than not, this is not the case.

Missing records, wild goose chases trying to obtain clinical data from other offices, and inaccurate patient narratives make it hard for physicians to make the best clinical decisions and decide on treatments that result in optimal treatment and outcomes.

Unfortunately, one consequence of this can lead to a delay in treatment, intervention, and care – which can have particularly profound consequences for specialty care providers, such as oncologists and cardiologists. Time is of the essence.

There’s an absolute necessity to obtain and manage your patients’ medical records, so you can have all the clinical data to move forward with an optimal treatment plan — that accurately and quickly treats your patients’ conditions .

One priority is to provide care that eliminates unnecessary follow-ups and alleviates patient frustration — loyal patients expect quality care and a good experience, or else they will find another provider that can handle their needs more effectively and efficiently. 

Fewer patients lead to falling short of revenue goals — despite long hours and continuous hustling.

Vivlio Health is a cloud-based solution that can help you retrieve medical records almost instantly. 

When you only have 20 minutes to see your patients, having all their clinical data in front of you without any delays or back and forth, enables you to make expeditious and optimal clinical decisions and quickly implement a treatment plan.

Knowing clinical histories that provide a complete understanding of the patient’s unique health situation signals to your patients that they’re in good hands — and that you will provide the best treatment plan for them and are ready to implement their treatment plan right away. There are no delays and there’s no need for frustration. Steps are taken immediately. 

Your patients will appreciate that you understand the urgency of their health situation and are making things happen for them. You’re a team after all.

This is what quality care is all about — an experience your patients want to rave about, paying you back with loyalty and staying on as patients with you indefinitely.

(2) Workflow Inefficiencies as an Emerging Healthcare Issue

Managing your medical records and obtaining a complete clinical history about each patient are  not the only fight physicians and their staff must fight. Increasing workflow inefficiencies is a growing healthcare issue and robs you of valuable time that could be spent seeing patients and working towards both, revenue and patient care goals.

What does that mean exactly?

It means that instead of seeing more patients or extending the amount of time you spend with your existing patients, you’re being held up by manual tasks involving internal staff and external entities that keep you otherwise occupied.

Whether it’s administrative tasks, manual processes that eat up your time, or workflow inefficiencies due to regulations  — everything that diverts your attention from seeing patients, will:

  • take away from the quality of care you can provide,
  • reduce revenue for your practice,
  • and leave you with no time to see more patients

Industry de facto and internal processes have evolved over a long period of time and are rarely looked at to see if improvements can be made because many think “this is just how we do it.” An evaluation of your status quo is therefore crucial in eliminating unnecessary steps to save you time and money.

Need the records from your patient’s cardiologist? Your clinical staff has reached out via fax multiple times — in vain. In a last attempt to retrieve the information that is needed, physicians are often asked to personally call and get involved, hoping that the other office might actually respond if a doctor is on the other end. 

But is this really how physicians and their staff should be spending their time?

Of course, physicians need the records. Physicians want to properly assess their patients and put together the best treatment plan — but this is very difficult when so many practices continue to use labor-intensive and highly cost-ineffective and time-consuming fax and paper approaches to finding clinical records.

Current medical records and data retrieval and handling processes are costing you time and money and much of the time, these processes are failing to deliver what is needed. The true cost, however, is the potential to see more patients and possibly provide better treatment for the patients that are seen. 

It’s frustrating for everyone involved. That’s why Vivlio Health aims to reduce workflow inefficiencies by offering a solution for healthcare providers to manage their medical records electronically — regardless of whether they can be found electronically in one of the clinical data exchanges or by using fax when other providers having medical records aren’t able to exchange electronically.

(3) Staffing Shortages Creating New Healthcare Issues

If you’re a medical provider, surely you’ve heard of or experienced the staffing challenges in the industry that are presenting yet another healthcare issue to overcome.

A shortage of nurses and other clinical staff has been described as a national emergency, with many healthcare workers citing burnout as the reason for leaving the field.

As a provider, you need to be flexible, so you can adjust your sails and learn to navigate the waters despite the shortage of healthcare workers.

What does this mean for your practice or clinic?

It means that your staff will have to find another way, in order to maintain quality patient care and secure good patient outcomes. With the possibility of having fewer staff members available to you to handle this complex job, it’s on you as a decision-maker to find an alternative to the status quo.

Tasks like managing medical records, calling other offices, faxing, and following up with record release forms are tedious but necessary for obtaining a patient’s complete medical history.

It’s true — many of the challenges we face in healthcare will continue to grow, more recently since the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated conditions for doctors and other clinical staff even more. 

Want to learn more about the current obstacles providers encounter when treating their patients? Listen to our newest podcast episode with Dr. Barry D. Mangel, a board-certified interventional cardiologist, who serves as a Chief Cardiology Officer of the Wellstar Health System in Georgia, and hear what he has to say about incomplete clinical data and challenges to provide patient care.

Ready to Tackle Those Healthcare Issues?

Many in healthcare are resistant to try new solutions because they believe they are too busy to investigate, say it’s always been done “this way”, or have been promised time-and-again something new that solves a problem without interruptions and costs less — only to find out it doesn’t. 

Unfortunately, practices are facing unprecedented challenges and those challenges require innovative and practice tested-and-approved solutions. Finding, retrieving, and handling clinical data are critical components of a treatment process. 

Providers must consider replacing this manual, costly and time-consuming process with one that connects to the ever-growing clinical data exchanges but also efficiently handles today’s fax and manual processes.   

Clinical data is sometimes inside a health system’s system, but there is always some that’s literally everywhere and can be nearly impossible to find and retrieve. Providers urgently need to provide staff with something that addresses this challenge. 

Your patients, your staff, and all stakeholders are all looking for quality care delivered with minimal costs.

If you’re ready to join a group of forward-thinking clinical professionals, who’re passionate about solving current healthcare issues and moving the needle in the right direction, you can schedule a free demo for our cloud-based solution because at Vivlio Health we genuinely strive to help you provide the best care you possibly can.  

We’re in this together, so let’s build a healthcare system we can be proud of!