If 2017 showed us anything, it’s that the rate of advancement in healthcare technology continues to accelerate. Here at ITelagen, we helped customers keep pace in many ways, including helping providers stay up and running during natural disasters through the power of the cloud, adding new partners and expertise to maintain the security of critical patient data, and launching a new website and blog to share knowledge and get input directly from customers.

 

After the frenzied pace of 2017, many practices I meet with ask what they can do in 2018 to be more successful. Here are six things that I recommend, and I’ll cover each of them in more detail in future blogs.

 

  1. Focus on the Patient
    As always, our top priority must be on the patients we serve. This means finding new ways to use technology solutions that enable – not obstruct – efficient, high quality patient care. Be assured you are working with a technology partner that shares your goals and has the vision, ability and real documented proof of experience servicing IT – helping doctors be more productive, see more patients each day and increase revenues.

 

  1. Optimize Your EHR
    Most practices have implemented an EHR, but don’t regularly optimize it to keep up with evolving needs. What works well today with your EHR and practice probably doesn’t work well tomorrow. It’s critical to continually configure and re-configure the EHR to your specific practice requirements and to the changing industry and governmental demands.

 

  1. Unlock Your Data…the Time has Come
    EHRs produce troves of useful data, but most practices don’t know what to do with it. Leverage this data to achieve – and even surpass – your clinical, financial and operational goals.  Now is the time to be thinking about robust data analytics and how outcomes can be achieved through a fully integrated technology infrastructure.

 

  1. Security Risk Assessment – a MUST
    The risk of a security breach has never been greater and many practices are unprepared. If you have not sufficiently protected yourself, it’s not a matter of IF but only a question of WHEN you will get hacked.  To underscore the importance, a security risk assessment is now required under recently added MACRA and MIPS regulations, and practices who do not comply could lose up to 25% of reimbursement payments plus incur fines. But, the public announcement of a breach could put an end to your brand and your practice.  If you haven’t done an assessment yet or haven’t done one in the past two years, the time is now.

 

  1. Embrace the Cloud
    Despite the upswing in breaches, many practices are still asking how they can manage data security on their own. The short answer is: you can’t. The cloud is the most efficient, cost-effective and secure method to host your EHR. And it’s not just any cloud – it has to be a cloud focused on HIPAA and HITECH security.  No matter the size of your practice, 2018 is the year to embrace the cloud so that you can confidently focus on patient care instead of worrying about technology and cyberattacks.

 

  1. Streamline Upgrades
    NextGen has revolutionized the upgrade process, enabling practices to upgrade the version and knowledge based model (KBM) at the same time. With this new upgrade strategy come new complexities to consider. Be sure you have a certified, knowledgeable partner to help you succeed when upgrading.

 

I’m excited for ITelagen and our clients to see what lies ahead in the new year, and remain committed to helping practices navigate the changing tides of healthcare with new and better solutions for their most important needs.

 

What are you doing to ensure your practice’s continued success in 2018?