Due to a government stimulus package, approximately $640 million has become available for regional extension centers with the intent being to help small medical practices adopt and make use of health information technologies such as electronic medical records.
In the April issue of Health Affairs a study was published saying that these extension centers may be too understaffed and underfunded to get private practices they help they need in order to learn and make use of EMR programs. A few days later the Department of Health and Human Services released $267 million to fund the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This act pertains to 28 regional centers, bringing the total number of fully funded centers up to 60 from 32.
This is great news for extension centers and private medical practices alike. This government funding is the launching point for many private physicians to improve their health and medical billing software technology.
EMR enables doctor's offices, hospitals and specialists to share medical records. This drastically reduces deadly errors. For example, when medications have been prescribed by one doctor and another doctor prescribes medications that could have harmful interactions, electronic medical records software alerts them. Not only does EMR help physicians, it helps bookkeeping. EMR catches fraud and reduces the number of insurance claims denied by insurance companies due to claim scrubbing features. Electronic medical records also have upgrades that will do scheduling of surgeries, operations rooms, specialist and general practitioner and patient scheduling.
Because extension centers have a hard time finding people with experience both in software implementation and work-flow adaptation, EMR software packages with the most extensive service packages will be the most often implemented. Researchers discovered many practices are having a hard time choosing the system that's right for them because regional extension centers lack the support they need when it comes to educating practitioners about their choices.
Healthtec Software is a full service company which provides free demos, 24 hour per day customer service and a huge selection of software plans to fit healthcare practices needs. Their customer service and sales group customizes packages for ever practice, and even leases programs, enabling choices to be more affordable for small, medium and large practices.