How Electronic Health Records are Revolutionizing Healthcare Delivery in Ambulatory Surgery Centers

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ambulatory surgery center

The healthcare industry is constantly changing, and one of its most significant changes is adopting electronic health records (EHRs). EHR systems in healthcare contain a patient’s medical history, including diagnoses, treatments, and medications. 


As far as ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are concerned, these facilities have been at the forefront of the EHR revolution. What is the most significant benefit of implementing this technology for ASCs? Through ambulatory surgery automation in EHR systems, outpatient surgery providers can perform detailed case costing and analysis, identify historical patterns, benchmark data, and optimize patient, surgeon, room, staff, equipment, and anesthesia schedules.


An ASC can also save physical space by reducing or eliminating on-site paper storage. With EHR, surgery centers can convert existing spaces into new patient care areas.


This blog post will discuss how electronic health records revolutionize healthcare delivery in ambulatory surgery centers.


A paper-to-electronic transition for patient health records


In the past, healthcare providers documented patients’ health histories and care with paper-based medical records. Thanks to advancements in digital technologies and storage capabilities, the healthcare industry has led to the development of electronic health record systems.


EHRs are a methodical way for medical practices to store patients’ health information digitally. EHRs and electronic medical records (EMRs) are often used interchangeably, but they differ in some ways


Organizations in the EHR industry provide enterprise-wide systems that simplify sharing and access to medical records for your ASCs.


How Electronic Health Records are Revolutionizing Healthcare Delivery in Ambulatory Surgery Centers


With the healthcare system continuing to evolve and grow, health systems are being implemented in Ambulatory Surgery Centers for better patient outcomes and cost efficiency. 


Ambulatory Surgery Centers must adopt EHRs to be seen as compatible partners in managed healthcare by enabling the secure and timely sharing of accurate patient information. Not to mention regularly benchmarking patient health outcomes.


The following are some good reasons how EHR has changed healthcare delivery in ambulatory surgery centers. 

EHRs Manage the Increasing Volume of Cases in the ASC


The number of patients at ASCs is increasing, which makes managing patient data more difficult. Hence, the right ambulatory surgery center EHR systems can handle this challenge. 


Through technological advances, patients can undergo less invasive procedures, while advances in pain management have enabled them to recover safely and comfortably at home after treatment. In ASCs, reimbursement is often much lower than in-patient procedures. Due to this, Medicare approves more procedures for ASC settings every year.


As an ASC provider, you must equip your EHRs with the right practice management software (PMS) programs to avoid manual data entry risks. With ambulatory surgery center EHR software in place, staff can better understand case costing data and optimize scheduling.

EHRs Ensure Compliance


The EHR industry has incorporated the most important qualification for any EHR – compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. It is for the protection of sensitive patient data. 


Many providers mistakenly believe that implementing a HIPAA-compliant EHR guarantees compliance with all standards. In reality, it is only one part of a much larger process.


For your ambulatory surgery center, having a HIPAA-compliant EHR is essential. You must secure your EHR’s electronic data with cryptography or encryption


EHRs make tracking quality metrics and reporting to regulators significantly easier and reduce the chance of human error. As a result, data management becomes more consistent and streamlined, helping to improve patient care and keeping ASCs in compliance with regulatory changes. 

EHRs Play a Critical Role in Interoperability.


According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), interoperability refers to the ability of different information systems, devices, and applications to share, exchange, integrate, and use data cooperatively across organizational, regional, and national boundaries. With interoperability and ambulatory surgery center EHR systems, medical records and healthcare information can be easily transferred between providers or systems.


As ASCs integrate or align with other health systems, EHR systems are essential. Hospitals are structured differently than ambulatory surgery centers, so integration is necessary rather than conversion to the hospital’s system for interoperability purposes.


In other words, the EHR systems in healthcare should communicate well with other parties, including clinicians, pharmacists, and patients from their homes. By doing so, only the right people can access healthcare information.


What are the must-have tools for ASC EHRs?


Ambulatory Surgery Centers have unique needs regarding EHRs. To provide quality patient care, ASCs need specialized tools that are tailored to their workflows and processes. 


Here are six EHR must-have tools that help your ASC streamline operations, improve patient care, and comply with regulations.

1. Digital Automation of Patient Surgery Documents and Electronic Health Records 


Healthcare spends roughly $2.1 billion annually managing data likely to contain errors. As a result, medical records have a high percentage of inaccuracies, with 35% of documents missing or containing errors, 28% duplicates, and 15% with missing or incorrect information.

Source Website on PDF file 


That is why the use of digital automation in EHRs is essential. An ambulatory surgery center EHR system with automation can take many forms, including simple data entry (due to a lack of integrations), creating reports, or sending follow-up emails. 


Furthermore, digital automation can reduce errors and streamline billing and surgical documentation processes. This EHR tool relieves patients of the frustration that often delays treatment.

2. OR Room Patient Scheduling With Preference Cards


The operating room (OR) patient scheduling tool in EHR allows Ambulatory Surgery Centers to schedule patients based on the availability of OR rooms and the surgeon’s and staff’s preferences. Each surgeon and staff member can create preference cards detailing the procedure, devices, and supplies needed.


These cards ensure that ASCs have the required equipment and supplies, reducing delays and cancellations.

3. Surgery Center-Specific Patient Portal


The primary goal of patient portals is to enhance patient-provider communication and to encourage patient participation. Patients can securely submit their insurance information, forms, and packets before their appointment. This process streamlines the check-in process and reduces wait times. 


Furthermore, ambulatory surgery center providers may use the portal to estimate patient costs based on insurance coverage. Transparency can help patients understand their financial responsibility and make better decisions about their care.


ASC physicians can communicate with patients via the patient portal during treatment processes to provide updates and answer questions.

4. Surgery Quotes for Insurance and Patient Costs


EHRs offer a beneficial tool for ASCs called the Surgery Quotes. This tool simplifies the cost estimation process for surgical procedures by considering several factors, such as the type of operation, required equipment, and anesthesia expenses. Moreover, ASCs can create precise quotes for patients and insurance providers that speed up the process.

5. Vitals and Anaesthesiology Machine Interfaces


For Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs), Vitals and Anesthesia Machine Interfaces are essential resources that can assist with improving the delivery of healthcare services. This tool allows ASCs to track vital signs and other critical metrics during surgery in real time from anesthesia machines and patient monitors. 


As a provider, you can integrate your ambulatory surgery EHR software with this information to create a comprehensive patient care record.

6. Automatic Speech Recognition for Operating Room Records


Automated speech recognition (ASR) is a technology that automatically recognizes and transcribes oral speech. With this innovative tool, you can seamlessly integrate accurate and comprehensive surgical documentation into your ambulatory surgery center EHR. It reduces errors and improves the accuracy of patient records by reducing manual data entry. 


Moreover, it increases operational efficiency by allowing providers to focus on patient care instead of documentation.


Providing you with the Best


So far, it has been challenging to determine what proportion of ASCs use an EHR. According to vendor estimates, 20 percent of ASCs will adopt an EHR within the first year, although new facilities will likely do so as soon as they open.


In conclusion, EHRs have revolutionized healthcare delivery in Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) by providing a comprehensive and integrated system for managing patient records and clinical workflows. Whatever EHR you select, ensure it has the functionality and capabilities your facility needs.



Choose only the best for your ambulatory surgery center practice!


At 1st Providers Choice, we understand our client’s needs and expectations for higher billing and EMR software performance. That’s why we only offer the top-tailored medical billing system and EHR with features allowing your practice to operate at its optimum potential, save time, and double your revenue.


Call us at (480) 782-1116 for immediate assistance or schedule a free demo with our experts TODAY.