EHR in Multi-location Healthcare Practices

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Written By Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller is an experienced healthcare writer specializing in Electronic Health Records (EHR), healthcare technology and data analytics. Her insightful articles help healthcare professionals stay abreast of emerging trends and practices in EHR and EMR.

In today’s healthcare landscape, multi-location practices are becoming increasingly common. However, managing electronic health records (EHR) across multiple locations can present unique challenges. We understand the importance of EHR in streamlining operations and enhancing patient care in multi-location healthcare practices.

For eligible professionals participating in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, it is crucial to ensure that at least 50% of patient encounters during the reporting period take place at locations equipped with certified EHR technology. This means recording and maintaining patient data in EHRs at these locations.

Locations can be considered equipped with certified EHR technology if they have permanent installations, portable computing devices, or remote access capabilities. Outpatient locations without all necessary capabilities for meaningful use objectives will be included in the calculations, but not in the numerator.

If EHR technology is not easily accessible, eligible professionals can apply for a hardship exception. It’s important to note that professionals must attest with complete data from all locations equipped with EHR technology to demonstrate meaningful use.

Key Takeaways:

  • EHR plays a vital role in streamlining operations and enhancing patient care in multi-location healthcare practices.
  • Eligible professionals must ensure that at least 50% of patient encounters occur at certified EHR-equipped locations to meet meaningful use requirements.
  • Outpatient locations without all necessary capabilities for meaningful use objectives are included in calculations but not in the numerator.
  • Hardship exceptions are available for professionals unable to access EHR technology easily.
  • Professionals must attest with complete data from all EHR-equipped locations to demonstrate meaningful use.

Patient Encounters and Meaningful Use in Multi-location Practices

In order to meet the meaningful use requirements, eligible professionals practicing in multiple locations need to ensure that at least 50% of their patient encounters occur at locations equipped with certified EHR technology. These encounters include any medical treatment or evaluation and management services provided, excluding hospital inpatient departments and emergency departments.

The definition of patient encounters may vary in different programs, so practitioners should review the specific requirements of their state Medicaid agency. If professionals are unable to obtain meaningful use data from a particular location, they still need to include the patients seen at that location in the denominator of meaningful use objectives. However, without meaningful use data, they cannot include actions taken for those patients in the numerator.

To accurately calculate meaningful use measures across multiple locations, professionals can add the numerators and denominators calculated by each certified EHR system.

Location Patient Encounters Meaningful Use Numerator Meaningful Use Denominator
Location A 120 85 100
Location B 80 60 80
Location C 50

Impact of Multi-site Practicing on Access to Care

Multi-site practicing is a common practice among physicians, with a significant number of healthcare professionals in Georgia reporting multiple practice sites. In fact, 63.2% of physicians in the state have more than one practice location. The average number of practice sites per physician is 3.3, indicating the prevalence of multi-site practicing.

It is important to note that certain factors such as age, gender, and practicing in a group setting can influence the number of practice sites per physician. Younger physicians, male physicians, and those practicing in group practices tend to have a higher number of practice sites.

While multi-site practicing provides physicians with flexibility and opportunities to reach a wider patient population, it can also impact access to care. The geographic distribution of physicians is affected, leading to variations in spatial accessibility. As a result, it is crucial to have accurate physician practice location data to assess and plan healthcare accessibility effectively.

Measures of spatial accessibility significantly change when accounting for multiple practice sites. This highlights the importance of collecting and utilizing accurate physician practice location data in order to ensure the accessibility of healthcare services to all individuals. To address this issue, further research and investment in health workforce information infrastructure are needed to accommodate the evolving practice patterns of physicians and facilitate accurate data collection and dissemination.