Recently the Journal of the American Medical Association and Medical Care published a report stating the time spent on EHRs by clinicians of several countries. The study particularly focused on the physicians, who prefer in-house medical billing services.
The JAMA study compared the data of U.S. clinicians to those in Canada, Western Europe, Northern Europe, Middle East, and Oceania. Looking into their data, it was evident that clinicians in the USA spend more time in data management via EHRs (Electronic Healthcare Records) than other physicians do.
It was Harvard and Stanford University that collected the metadata of 371 ambulatory care health systems all around the world. All healthcare service providers with scheduled patient appointments and advanced practice practitioners participated in this study.
Statistically, U.S. clinicians spend ninety minutes on average for medical billing and coding services. While clinicians of other countries spend just an hour/day. Moreover, the Medical Care study also mentioned that it generally took 1.2 minutes more in the scheduled examination appointment for the primary healthcare services.
What to Take Away From This?
Both these studies suggest the inconsistencies in the EHR system and the inefficiency of clinicians for medical billing services. This time also lags other administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments.
The timestamps of the EHRs provided all the necessary data to review the time spent by physicians other than on patients.
The clinical activities included:
- Clinical review
- In-basket messages
Physicians’ data was judged based on the above-mentioned points.
It is also to consider that U.S. clinicians on average received thirty-four messages per day. Moreover, they spend a lot more time than the clinicians of other countries do on EHRs.
The Impact of Lagged Time on Patient Experience
The study also gave insights into the issues in appointment scheduling and patient experience. For Instance, short-time appointments are more likely to get delayed as compared to the longer ones. It is one of the major reasons that lead to burden down physicians. Ultimately, it also adds to poor communication with patients, resulting in unsatisfactory care quality.
Medical billing services are not clinicians’ forte. And, to help them in the process, it is necessary to lower down the administrative burden from their shoulders. That is why many physicians in the USA tend to outsource medical billing and coding services to others.
Administrative Load for Medical Billing Needs to Change
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association also analyzed that women clinicians have to spend more time on EHRs than male clinicians. The time difference is estimated to be thirty-three minutes. Thus, this study is a reflection of the efforts that female healthcare service providers put into their work.
All in all, this study pointed out the inaccuracies in the U.S. medical billing services process. The best option for physicians is to outsource the administrative data to a qualified company.
Whereas, health IT leaders need to come up with effective solutions that are cost-effective and time-efficient for everyone. Only then, our healthcare industry will be truly progressive.