The development of EMRs started as early as the mid-1960’s – nearly 60 years ago – and today, they have come a long way. In fact, according to the CDC, by 2017 over 85% of office-based physicians in the U.S. used an EMR/EHR system.
Implementing an EMR has many benefits and even more so for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities if they use an industry-specific EMR. While most generic EMRs could suffice for a SUD treatment practice, there can be a lot of customization required, a longer implementation timeline, and a future roadmap that does not match the industry challenges. Whereas a SUD Treatment specific EMR, like Sunwave, is purpose-built for the unique guidelines and processes found in the treatment industry. Essentially, with a comprehensive SUD treatment specific platform, you’ve got a technology platform that’s ready to be tailored into the perfect solution for your treatment facility. Here are some key reasons to implement a SUD treatment platform:
1. Increased Quality of Care
One of the most considerable benefits of implementing an EMR is the increased quality of care that your facility will offer. EMRs grant quick access to patient records and better yet, Sunwave’s comprehensive platform gives you access to the entire patient lifecycle and helps you stay in touch from admission through alumni. Ultimately having access to complete patient data provides better decision-making ability, prescription management, and treatment progression.
Plus, care doesn’t stop after treatment. In fact, maintaining contact with prior patients can help your team understand when somebody may need to be readmitted into treatment. Having a system that helps your team manage your facility’s alumni will ultimately lead to a better reputation and comprehensive care across multiple admissions.
2. Better Patient Experience
Patient experience is critical to any facility’s success. A good experience will lead to better recovery and additional referrals; a bad experience could lead to your doors being shut.
With a platform built for SUD treatment, your workflows will become more efficient, and patients won’t have to go through repetitive questions or completing the same forms over and over again. From admissions to treatment and alumni management, your system would have a cohesive set of patient information.
Plus, if you implement patient engagement tools, your clients could access crucial documents and could even complete them online, from the comfort of their own home.
3. Faster & More Efficient Processes
An EMR offers many features that will make your processes more efficient. First and foremost, with an EMR, your team can access patient files anywhere and anytime. Multiple people can also access it at the same time. There’s no walking down the hall and handing off stacks of paper.
Managing prescriptions and medication administration also become a lot easier. With an EMR leveraging e-prescribe, you can send prescriptions directly to the pharmacy.
4. Better Communication
Communication is often a core function that creates a challenge for facilities. It can be difficult ensuring that all parties involved in treatment have all the information they need; however, a comprehensive platform helps to bring that gap with communication records stored within the patient file. Sunwave offers a feature called waves, allowing treatment providers to communicate with each other or groups in online chat.
5. Reduced Costs
As discussed above, one of the keys benefits of an EMR is the elimination of duplication of efforts. That in and of itself reduces the labor expense of employees working on the same effort, eliminates the cost of duplicate tests, and reduces the labor expense of inefficient processes.
6. Enhanced Security, Compliance, & Privacy
With a good EMR, you can establish user roles and permissions on a granular level. This ensures that only the appropriate people have access to a patient’s information. Next, many systems offer changelogs that can show you which user performed each action – making it easy to hold employees accountable.
Many EMRs are also configurable to match workflows to the varying national, state, and local requirements and guidelines. This will help your team stay compliant and consistent with regulations automatically. Some systems, like Sunwave, even offer alert mechanisms to remind employees of the necessary next steps.
7. Additional Revenue & Faster Cash Flow
With improved efficiency, your team will be able to care for more patients and focus on the treatment as opposed to redundant paperwork or processes.
If you implement a comprehensive platform, like Sunwave, and have a revenue cycle management (RCM) tool, your facility will realize many benefits. You can reduce denials, receive faster reimbursements, and tie back revenue performance to referral sources – helping you understand what efforts provide the best ROI.
All-in-all implementing a solid EMR for your treatment facility will benefit you in many ways. But even more so, implementing a platform purpose-built for SUD treatment will reap the benefits faster and better. EMR platforms focused on substance abuse treatment have features out-of-the-box that will make your operations and implementation much more manageable. For example, Sunwave’s Top Customer Certified software offers a library of pre-built forms and workflows for SUD treatment and many other features to deliver better care. Get a free demo and learn how Sunwave can improve your operations, create an excellent patient experience, and deliver better outcomes.