Practice in an Underserved Community Realizes the “Triple Aim” With Help of an EHR
Many components will be necessary to realize the Triple Aim goal of delivering better care for individuals, better health for populations, and reducing per-capita costs. One critical component to transforming healthcare is the primary care provider.
One primary care physician in a small practice saw the overwhelming need to provide better care to more people in his local community. After implementing a new electronic health record (EHR), 2012 HIMSS Ambulatory Davies Award winner Dr. Jeremy L Bradley not only increased the number of patients he cared for by 28%, but improved the health of his diabetes and hypertension patients, and saw a savings to his practice of 277%.
Dr. Bradley leads a small practice of one physician, a nurse practitioner, and a physician assistant in Daviess County, Kentucky. The county, with a population of 50,000, became a federally designated primary care physician shortage location in 2008 after the retirement and relocation of several primary care physicians. Dr. Bradley and his small team made the decision to address his community’s new need by setting a goal to care for an additional 2,000 patients (a 28% increase). He knew that in order to serve more patients while maintaining quality care, implementing an EHR was the next critical step. The end results were staggering.
Post-EHR adoption, patient satisfaction increased by at least ten points in ten areas, including timeliness of routine preventive care testing and receiving disease-specific materials. Patients’ health improved too, as measured by a nearly 10% decrease in patients’ total cholesterol numbers. Staff spent less time on paperwork and more time providing patients with personalized attention. Dr. Bradley’s time with each patient has increased by 20%, which has improved patient-physician relationships and presented an opportunity to implement practice care guidelines.
Increases in efficiencies and safety were also experienced. In six months, the office went from 100% paper-based to 95% paper-less. Medical errors were virtually eliminated.
The practice experienced a return on investment (ROI) in numerous ways, including a 15% savings on malpractice annual premiums, nearly $10,000 in savings from a reduced need for a lab tech to print results and pull charts, and a $1,300 a month savings in transcription costs and office supplies, all adding up to a 277% ROI.
Through it all, Dr. Bradley’s small team was able to meet their goal of caring for an additional 2,000 patients all while improving patient care and health, and realizing a remarkable ROI.
How has your doctor’s use of an EHR affected you as a patient?