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Occupational Medicine, also commonly referred to as occupational health, is a specialty that is focused on the prevention and treatment of injuries or illnesses that people might sustain in the workplace. It encompasses a wide range of techniques, from health risk assessments to nutrition coaching to the implementation of fitness programs and more.
According to one recent study, the total cost of workplace-related injuries alone hit $167 billion in 2021. That factors into not only medical expenses but also lost wages, productivity issues, and more.
Because occupational medicine is such a broad area, sometimes merely keeping track of it all can quickly prove to be overwhelming. Yet that is exactly one of the issues that the best occupational medicine EHR solutions are designed to alleviate, simplifying workflows as much as possible so that the attention of a doctor is always right where it needs to be. This is true in a wide range of different ways, all of which are worth a closer look.
The Current Challenges of Occupational Medicine EHR
One major challenge of occupational medicine EHR tool is that you’re not just managing the needs of one entity. Not only do you have to account for yourself as a medical provider, but you also have to address the needs of employers, too. It’s a delicate balancing act, to be sure. Tracking injuries in the workplace, for example, is different for doctors and employers. For the latter, they need to track this data for regulatory and compliance requirements. For doctors, they need to be able to see the same information within the context of the critical care someone needs.
Managing training initiatives and protocols is often difficult as well. Employers need to be able to access state and federal regulatory information, while medical providers need to make sure patients are following advice and that they are on the pathway to a better lifestyle. Because of the sheer number of “moving parts” that are involved with occupational medicine, finding an EHR platform designed for this environment can often feel like an uphill battle. Thankfully, those solutions do exist – provided that you know where to look.
All this, and it must also be acknowledged that workplace trends are constantly changing. Because of that, any viable occupational medicine EHR platform needs to offer users the flexibility to change right along with them.
Top Benefits of EHR in Occupational Medicine
Perhaps the biggest benefits of using an EHR platform in occupational medicine comes by way of how it can offer a “bird’s eye view” of a patient’s entire medical history. Through the case management feature, medical professionals can accurately track all accidents and injuries in the workplace, for example. They can see exactly what type of care someone received and for how long. They can see (and communicate with) any other providers a patient may have been seeing.
All case-related medical records and claims are right there and available in seconds – significantly reducing the amount of work needed to even begin treating a patient when they walk through your door.
On the subject of simplifying workflows, another one of the major benefits of EHR in occupational medicine comes by way of custom templates that can help save an enormous amount of time. While it’s true that every patient is unique, there are certain types of forms that will look more or less the same, or certain pieces of information that will need to be entered into various places time and again.
Custom occupational medicine templates can help reduce this need by offering pre-made templates that include but are not limited to options like:
- Pre-employment physicals.
- Worker’s compensation forms.
- Drug and alcohol testing.
- Urgent care procedure templates.
- OSHA-related forms.
- DOT regulatory forms.
- And more.
To find out more information about how the right occupational health EHR platform can benefit your organization, please contact the team at Bizmatics, Inc. today.
Key Features of the Best Occupational Medicine EHR Solutions
While the features included in occupational medicine EHR software will obviously vary depending on factors like the provider, to make sure you’re ending up with one that works well for your practice there are a few key features to be mindful of:
- E-Prescriptions – This allows you to send prescriptions electronically, reducing the amount of time someone has to wait to get the medication they need. This also helps to eliminate prescription errors as well.
- DOT Forms and FMCSA import capabilities – This feature allows your occupational medicine EHR to integrate with Federal and State DOT forms, automatically uploading them to FMCSA as needed via a unique interface.
- Random Drug Screen Testing – Random drug and alcohol testing keeps organizations productive and most importantly, safe. This type of testing often involves not only urine testing but also hair and salvia testing as well.
- Prior Authorization Tracking – Prior authorizations play a vital role when working with workers’ compensation claims. Having a system with a good authorization tracking system is vital.
- Integrated Billing Option – Inaccurate billing and similar issues are on of the major reasons why a business would look elsewhere for an occupational medicine provider. By choosing a solution that has a billing already integrated, you not only reduce the chances of billing problems and other errors – you give employers far more flexibility in managing their account and paying for essential services.
Choosing the Right Occupational Medicine EHR Solution
The number one thing to understand when choosing the right occupational medicine EHR solution is that not all platforms are created equally.
There are some out there that try to appeal to every medical specialty in the most generic way possible. They include the baseline functionality that overlaps in most areas, but don’t get much deeper than that. Because of this approach, they tend to become a bit of a “Jack of All Trades, Master of None.” They do what is promised, but they don’t do enough to be able to consolidate all the tools you’re using into a single solution.
Because of that, you still need to hang onto a lot of your old legacy software, some of which may not interface with this EHR. Suddenly, you’re being forced to enter the same information into multiple places – adding complexity to your workflows instead of simplifying them, and increasing the chances of data duplication and human error as well.
You need to look for an EHR solution designed with occupational medicine in mind. One that includes the type of advanced reporting features that make sense in this context. If you want to be able to quickly see a list of patient injuries that corresponded with missed workdays, there should be a report built with that in mind. You should be able to get a full overview of OSHA 300 logs. A medical professional working in pediatrics doesn’t necessarily care about any of this.
- Occupational medicine is concerned with the treatment and prevention of injuries and illnesses that someone might get in the workplace.
- Critical features to look for in an occupational medicine EHR solution include the ability to track injuries in the workplace, not just for the purposes of providing care but also to account for things like regulatory compliance as well.
- Drug testing, pre-employment screenings, worker’s compensation injury treatment, and others are just a few examples of services that would fall under the umbrella of occupational medicine.
- The overall goal of these tools is to help employers, doctors, and most importantly, patients maintain the best health and wellness possible.
If you’re interested in finding out more about tapping into the full potential of occupational medicine EHR software, or if you’d just like to go over your organization’s own needs with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact Bizmatics, Inc. today.