A Physician's 3 Tips for EHR Success

January 9, 2015
Aubrey Westgate

Internal medicine physician Troy Tyner says his practice's EHR has increased reimbursement. Here's why and some of Tyner's top tips for other practices.

Internal medicine physician Troy Tyner's Dayton, Ohio-based multi-specialty group implemented its EHR in 2012. Though the group has not been able to see the same volume of patients since implementation, Tyner says it is in great shape financially. The reason? Physician documentation has improved dramatically due to the EHR, which has led to higher reimbursement.

"Because you are documenting all the care that you really were doing before, that you couldn't document in the paper world, you are now getting paid properly for the hard work you are already doing," says Tyner, whose practice has successfully attested to both Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the EHR incentive program.

Here are three of Tyner's suggestions for practices attempting to master their EHRs:

1. Adapt to physician needs.

Post implementation, a few of Tyner's physicians voiced concerns about the tablets they were using to access the EHR. Rather than forcing the issue, Tyner allowed them to test out and purchase new devices (after confirming that they were EHR compatible). "We did not want to be penny-wise, pound foolish," says Tyner. "Give [the doctor] what the doctor wants."

2. Upgrade your connection.

If your Internet connectivity is slow, get it to the fastest speed possible, says Tyner. "We have fiber optic. It may cost a little bit more but you’re not waiting. Each click [you're making in the system] costs money. My general calculation is if you're a family doc each click costs you 5 cents. Get rid of clicks."

3. Recruit physician champions.

Make sure physicians take an active role in the EHR planning and implementation process. "My whole push as a physician leader in our group and whoever I talk to is: doctors take charge," says Tyner. "There are lots of people that will take things away from you, but if you are out there and you want to take charge and take care of your destiny, you have that opportunity. Get your training, understand it, and you can thrive. We're in private practice; we're not employed; we have to make it work."