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    Moving EHR beyond the clinical practice

    Vendors cater to needs of ASC with software that increases efficiency, quality of care, profits


    Take home message: Implementing electronic health records into an ambulatory surgery center fosters efficiency and increases patient and staff satisfaction.


    Modern health-care facilities like ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are a primary source for surgical procedures by providing same-day care. Prior to the advent of ASCs, surgery was performed in hospitals and required that patients waited weeks for an appointment and spent days in the hospital.

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    As a result, electronic health record (EHR) vendors are beginning to cater to the unique needs of ASCs with the advent of software that increases efficiency, quality of care, and profits. Tomoka Eye Associates recently incorporated an EHR that is ideally suited for an ASC environment. Some of the lessons learned are shared in this article.

    Increase efficiency

    According to the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators’ technician benchmarking study (http://bit.ly/1ajPHk0), EHR increases efficiency. In the operating room, surgeons are able to chart quickly, as well as capture images from surgical monitors during the procedure, integrating all components into the patient’s file.

    Compartmentalizing communication between staff and employees also plays a role in increasing efficiency.

    For example, users can access test results through an EHR chart, rather than relying on a staff member to make a physical transfer of a paper chart to the surgery center for the day, then retrieve the record and file it back with the clinic.

    As a result, more than one person can read an electronic chart at the same time. All data are stored in one place, which makes access easier logistically compared with paper.

    Next: Mitigate risks

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