It’s Never too Late for Spring Cleaning: Tidy up Your NextGen EHR/EPM

CARMEN SOTO | May 13, 2019


It’s Never too Late for Spring Cleaning:  Tidy up Your NextGen EHR/EPM

By Carmen Soto | May 13, 2019

Healthcare practices should always be thinking about what they can do to get more out of technology. And right now, there are two important technology deadlines that practices cannot miss: Upgrading to NextGen 5.9/8.4 before October 1, and upgrading to Windows 10 before Windows 7 End of Life in January 2020.

Fine-tuning your EHR/EPM settings is just as important as staying current with upgrades. And like spring cleaning, it’s worthwhile to do any time of year. When you’re running a busy practice, it’s hard to set aside time to review settings and ensure they are all at the right levels. And with multiple people accessing your system each day, important settings can be changed without your knowledge because someone thinks it’s the right thing to do (even if it’s not).

But taking the time to do this ongoing maintenance can make a huge difference. Think of it like a tune-up to keep your car running at peak performance. Even if everything seems like it’s working as well as it should, there are always things you can do to make it even better. Regularly reviewing and fine-tuning EHR/EPM settings may not seem like a big deal, but it can deliver major efficiency gains and time savings.

Here are three areas where you should review and tidy up your NextGen settings. Some features may differ based on the version you are using. And of course, if you haven’t already done so, we strongly recommend upgrading to version 5.9/8.4 now.

  1. EPM Settings
  • Appointment Scheduling Preferences
    1. Tooltip tab:Set up your tooltip to refresh every 2-3 seconds and customize the items to display. Autoviewing information related to patient appointments (such as patient portal enrollment status, insurance eligibility status, and copay information) will save your staff time.
    2. General tab:Set this to refresh appointments every minute so that you always have the most current information. Make the appointment lookup screen easier to use by setting your defaults to date and status filter.  Use the default appointment lookup status of “expected” for searching future appointments or to check-in patients.

  • Check and Balance Process
    1. Track co-pay collections: Add columns for Copay Amount and PatPay Amount to the Encounters report to verify if the Enc Copay Amount is being applied at time of service.
    2. Flag charges as “discounted” at time of service. First, set your preference to “enable discounts in charge entry.”Then, setup your transaction code “Discount for patient”.

In the charge screen, the discount can be applied by encounter or line item, and by dollar amount or percentage.

  1. BBP Settings
    1. Automate RTS Eligibility. Eligibility can be set to run for future appointments, giving your staff time to contact patients and confirm insurance. This will decrease wait times at patient check-in.

  1. EHR Settings
      1. Assessment.  In the diagnosis search window, right click and add ‘HCC indicator,’ to save this preference for future settings.

      1. PAQ Preferences. Setup to refresh every minute so you are not missing updated items.
      2. Encounter display. Setup how the encounter displays in the patient chart. Right click on encounter and select “Customize Display.” Then add location, remarks and provider.

    1. Out of Office coverage. Note in Workflow Manager when you are Out of Office and delegate users to cover your sign-off PAQ items and workflow tasks on your behalf.
    2. Medication.  Right click on the columns in medication module view and add formulary status, date last refilled and Last Audit (to display if medication was ERX/Faxed/Printed) and other helpful items as needed.

    Our NextGen Expertise

    Reviewing and optimizing EHR/EPM settings is one example of the work we do at ITelagen to help customers be more successful. Our IT support team has a high level of certified expertise in NextGen solutions, HIPAA as well as the latest network, computer and security technologies. Our NextGen Certified Professionals provide Level 1 and Level 2 support for both NextGen EHR and EPM every day.

    Our goal is to help practices realize the full potential of healthcare technology. It’s all about consistent, continual review and fine-tuning to maximize performance and results. I encourage you to complete the steps above to optimize your EHR/EPM settings and improve efficiencies in your clinic today. But if you don’t want to go it alone or have questions, contact our experts today. We’d love to help.