“A capital expenditure is a commitment of resources that is expected to provide benefits during a reasonably long period, at least two or more years” (Cleverley & Cameron, 2007, p. 397). Torrington Health and Rehabilitation Center a skilled nursing facility in Connecticut has determined that a capital expenditure of the implementation of electronic medical records (EMR) for the coming year is of importance. The cost of the undertaking will be approximately $200,000. This will include the software, hardware, labor, training, and service costs. The following paper will discuss how the purchase of electronic medical record software and hardware will support management and organizational goals based on need, and how the economic environment of the organization will improve over time. Management Goals
One of the goals of the management team at Torrington Health and Rehabilitation Center is that of productivity. As the facility becomes more automated through the use of the EMR system tasks such as filing and pulling physicians orders for renewal and documentation redundancies on multiple forms will no longer be labor intensive. Gathering data for chart audits to determine code status, new physician orders, and completion and accuracy of assessments can all be done with ease. The management team would also like to implement the technology with an interface to the business office. Billing and reimbursement can improve and stream line compliance with skilled nursing facility regulations such as the minimum data set, and Medicare, and Medicaid. The time needed to gather data for additional documentation requests from Medicare and Medicaid will also be reduced. Efficiency
Productivity is just the starting point with an increase in staff retention and satisfaction. The efficiency in which documentation can be retrieved and documented with little to no errors is important in health care. Physicians will have access to data such as current medications, diagnosis, lab values, allergies, and nursing documentation. The multi-disciplinary team will have access to physician orders timely to stream line patient care. EMRs can ensure the patient’s records are legible, complete, and organized. Revenue
An increase in revenue will be seen with the ability to have improved insurance reimbursement. Management’s goal to integrate billing with the medical record will assist in the accuracy of diagnosis codes and treatment plans such as: physical, occupational, or speech therapies. The process of an integrated system in relation to patient billing will also decrease the amount of time it takes to process claims. Improved clinical documentation by nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, physicians, and other clinicians will assist in supporting appropriate billing. Another possibility for revenue is the reduction of paper charting. The storage space that would typically be used for closed records, over flow of current records, medication delivery slips, investigations, wound statistics, etc. would be cut in half or be totally eliminated, possibly making room for a patient care area or storage for other items currently stored in an off-site location. Organizations that provide quality care can often re-negotiate service contracts with health plans and increase revenue. Quality Assurance
“One of the most important factors in any business but especially health care is the perceived quality of the firm’s product and service” (Cleverley & Cameron, 2007, p. 104). Cleverley & Cameron (2007) mention quality assurance in relation to revenue, but quality assurance in relation to patient care can be improved using the EMR system. Data can easily be accessed from the system and reports generated for patients who have fallen, have frequent pain, are currently experiencing a urinary tract infection or have shown a decline in activities of daily living. These reports can be used to compare historical trends within...