Nephrology EHR: Streamlined Workflows for Tracking and Reporting Dialysis

The needs of a nephrology provider are so specific to their specialty they require a nephrology EHR built with the unique functionality that mirrors their workflows.  Looking at it from a dialysis perspective alone eliminates many electronic health records software because they are not built specifically for this type of provider, but rather to include many types of providers.  This broad focus makes the EHR itself too clunky and disjointed.  Often this hinders the provider causing inefficiencies and taking his or her time away from the patient. 

Nephrology EHR Tracking and Reporting

For instance, a nephrologist performs dialysis rounds in multiple locations with multiple patients who may be on different visit levels throughout the month.  It is extremely important for them to be able to track what location, and what number of visits for that month the patient is on to ensure they are present for each appointment and don’t miss a comprehensive visit.  A nephrology EHR versus an EHR that was built for a broader audience will have the capability for a provider to 1) Set up a patient’s typical dialysis location and shift; 2) Print a dialysis rounds list highlighting patients with less than 4 visits and missing a comprehensive visit; 3) Quickly log comprehensive or normal dialysis round visits from the dialysis round list; and 4) Add a note for the visit to keep the entire clinical care team in the loop.

Tracking dialysis rounds isn’t the only important function that should be present in a successful nephrology EHR.  So is comprehensive reporting.  You should be able to easily watch your dialysis patient list grow month over month and understand what sectors of your business are growing the fastest.  Timely filing should no longer be an issue because you should be able to see all your unbilled visits in seconds.  This allows you to never miss a comprehensive visit by deploying resources when they are needed most. 

Other tracking features of a nephrology EHR should include providing an overview of your patient’s current dialysis visits for the month to keep clinical staff up to date with the patient’s dialysis center, schedule and visit history.  It should allow you to quickly add an off-schedule dialysis visit should the patient show up at a different location and provide a complete dialysis visit history that displays all the patient’s visits across time.  This functionality will only exist in a nephrology EHR.

Nephrology EHR Billing

Submitting bulk claims is one of the most important features that a nephrology EHR offers and is critical to running an efficient practice.  Being able to instantly generate multiple claims for all patients that receive the same level of service saves the billing staff an enormous amount of time versus printing individual claims which is what other types of EHRs will require.  This feature allows the billers to submit numerous claims in seconds versus one.  When it comes to billing, a good nephrology EHR will allow the practice to distinguish between payers that allow for mid-month versus end of month billing and help them achieve maximum reimbursement by identifying gaps in care.  As stated before, it will also give them the ability to create dialysis claims en masse, increasing cash flow and staff productivity.

If you are a nephrology provider using an EHR that does not provide all of this functionality, it is probably not a specific nephrology EHR.  Unfortunately, there are some vendors who make claims but are not built to meet your specific needs.  Find out more about the specific functionality you need to complement your practice and how a nephrology-specific EHR can boost your practice’s success.