Unlocking the Hidden Power of Your EMR: The Challenge of Making Your Data Actionable

In today’s healthcare landscape, data is often the missing link to fully unlocking the efficiency of your practice. The information stored in your electronic medical record (EMR) can significantly enhance efficiencies, improve patient outcomes, and drive practice growth. However, accessing and utilizing this valuable data can seem insurmountable. For many medical practices, particularly those using systems like athenahealth EMR, the journey from data to actionable insights is fraught with obstacles.

The Hidden Treasure in Your EMR: Every day, your practice generates a vast amount of data. For an average five-provider practice, this means handling information for hundreds of patients weekly. From patient demographics and treatment histories to billing information and clinical notes, this data is a goldmine waiting to be explored. However, much of it remains buried deep within your EMR, inaccessible and underutilized.


The Challenge of Data Retrieval: Accessing data from your EMR is not as straightforward as it seems. The sheer volume of information can be overwhelming, and without the right tools and expertise, finding specific data points can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Even with a user-friendly system, the complexity of healthcare data often requires more than just basic EMR skills.

When building your own reports, are you using the correct filters to generate the information you need? There are multiple filters within Athena that look and sound similar but yield different results; how do you know which one is accurate? Furthermore, when viewing the pre-built reports Athena offers, how do you add additional columns to meet your specific practice needs? Ensuring you're pulling the right data points, cleaning the data properly, and making sense of it all is crucial for improving your practice's efficiency and effectiveness.


Making Data Usable: A Daunting Task: Once you've managed to extract the data, the next challenge is making it usable. Raw data in itself is of little value; it's the insights drawn from that data that can drive meaningful change in your practice. However, transforming raw data into actionable insights requires careful data analysis and interpretation, tasks that can be complex and time-consuming for busy medical practice staff.


The Cost of Expertise: To truly harness the power of your data, you might consider hiring a data team or bringing in consultants. While this can provide the expertise you need, it comes at a significant cost. Data analysts, IT professionals, and consultants command high salaries, and for a small to mid-sized practice, these expenses can quickly add up. Additionally, the process of finding and onboarding the right talent can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Furthermore, data visualization software is not only expensive to acquire but also difficult to manage. Why spend hours diving into a CSV file when the answers you seek can be instantly visualized with a picture?


The Reality of Data Management & Effective Solutions: The reality is that managing and utilizing data effectively is a complex and ongoing process. It’s not just about pulling reports from your EMR; it’s about understanding the data, identifying trends, and using those insights to inform your decisions. This requires the right tools, skills, and mindset. For many, a simple solution that integrates with their existing EMR is the best choice. This option typically reduces costs, requires minimal implementation and onboarding, and provides instant and real-time actionable insights. Tools like DOCPACE work with your athenahealth data to give an intelligent visual of your day and beyond to help you and your team identify bottlenecks, trends, and other meaningful insights hiding in plain sight.

Find Hidden Treasures in Your Data! Upcoming Webinar: Three Effective Scheduling Strategies to Enhance Your Practice's Performance

Join us for an insightful webinar on “Three Effective Scheduling Strategies to Enhance Your Practice's Performance,” featuring industry experts Brice Sanderford from DOCPACE and Cory Legere, an athenahealth expert. Discover key strategies from your EMR data to address challenges such as no-shows, extended appointments, and time management while enhancing patient care quality. Learn how to design efficient schedule templates, track essential metrics, implement best practices, and leverage patient-centered care approaches. Don’t miss this opportunity to streamline your practice workflows and improve efficiency. Register now for an enlightening session on June 27, 2024, at 11 am CST!


Unlocking the hidden power of your EMR data is not easy, but with the right approach, it is possible. Stay tuned for more insights and strategies to help your practice thrive in the data-driven world of healthcare.

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