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Why Training Is Key To A Successful Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Practice Management (PM) System

Why Training Is Key To A Successful Electronic Health Record (EHR) or Practice Management (PM) System

No matter what stage of the EHR lifecycle your practice is in, on-going training is necessary in maintaining efficiency with your software system. It offers opportunities for you and your team members to become more familiar with the program and the company supporting it. Recall why your practice made the decision to purchase the EHR system in the first place. Was it to boost revenue or productivity? Perhaps your firm decided to use a software program to ensure regulatory compliance? Regardless of the rationale behind the decision to make the shift, training is essential for its overall success. 

1. Continuously Improve Procedures and Regulations

When was the last time your office checked to see if the processes you are doing now are the most effective for your company? It's probably been a while. Continuous improvement and staff training consume significant time throughout the day, especially when you are trying to manage your business simultaneously. You simply might not have the time or resources to dive deeper into the systems and procedures you have set in place for you and your staff to improve on.

Like any other industry, healthcare practices go through turnover. Because of the high turnover rates, we regularly miss outdated processes from past jobs that could be improved. The key to overcoming staff turnover is through on-going training. Your practice can examine dated procedures, make the required adjustments, and ensure that all user profiles are set up in accordance with how you want your practice to function. In the end, on-going training and optimization efforts will boose your practices's overall productivity and effectiveness.


2. Recognize Updates for Releases and New Features

The majority of EHR software companies will have at least one vendor release per year, with numerious minor updates and bug fixes. Upgrades to the software that are intended to improve your practice processes are frequently included with version releases.

At Criterions, we include new solution partners, client-requested functionality, PM and EHR updates more than 20 times per year, and on-going training packages for our customers. All of these updates and releases are intended to improve how the user interacts with the system while streamlining the process to increase efficiency. However, you will only profit from the updates and releases if your staff takes the time to learn what the features do and how to use them to your practice's advantage.

Want to learn what's new with the Criterions software? Check the release notes by clicking the Criterions logo once you are logged into your EHR. 


3. End-User Contentment

If your office staff can fully grasp the software they use on a regular basis, they will frequently be happier with the system as a whole and your office will operate efficiently. A bad user experience could make a provider agitated and spend more time trying to record an encounter than caring for their patients. The degree to which end users are satisfied with the software system is directly tied to the initial and on-going training they receive while using it, especially as upgrades are released and positions change.



At Criterions, we understand how important user training is when implementing a new EHR or PM system, as well as providing additional training when our customers need. We have various on-going training packages available with flexible hours to ensure your staff learns the software inside and out. Should any questions arise following implementation, we're always here to help.



To purchase Criterions training blocks, click here.

For more information on training available at Criterions, please complete the form below. ​

MIPS Requirements for 2021

MIPS Requirements for 2021

2021 is coming to an end, but before the year is over, there are a few MIPS requirements that must be addressed. Please determine the correct course of action for your practice as soon as possible, as these requirements are time sensitive. As always, Criterions is happy to assist with guidance on these requirements, but only CMS can give definitive client specific clarifications.

By the end of the 2021 calendar year the following MIPS items MUST be completed:

Security Risk Analysis

A completed security risk analysis. The CMS issued tool can be found here.

Improvement Activities

Documenting and/or updating completed Improvement Activities. A full list can be found here.

Hardship Exemptions

Hardship Exemptions exist for practices under strain due to COVID, practice size, rural locations and other issues. The Hardship Exception Application must be completed by the deadline. More information about exceptions can be found here.


Top 5 Patient Engagement Tools

Top 5 Patient Engagement Tools

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, the way providers communicate and engage with patients is changing too. Patients are becoming more interested in taking control of their health, which includes being able to access their health information from virtually anywhere. As a result, patients have become more interested in using technology in ways that can help increase accuracy of information while reducing the burden on practices. This is becoming a win-win scenario. Medical clinics can reduce cost and labor by adopting new technologies, which patients are naturally proficient at using. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of these technologies to engage patients in new ways. This is resulting in some of the most reliable and up to date information the industry has ever seen.

Below are our top 5 patient engagement tools we have seen being used by our clients. While these tools will never replace in-person communication with medical professionals, we expect that they will continue to be used to increase patient engagement for years to come.

1. Telehealth

With a telehealth solution, practices will be able to offer virtual healthcare services to clients, like one-to-one and group video and messaging appointments, and securely share files and forms with patients. Practices can digitize the patient onboarding journey to boost acquisition from intake and informed consent, pre-appointment device testing, and automatic payment information.


2. Text Check-In

Providing the option to check-in via text message allows patients to check-in away from the front desk, reducing physical contact between patients and office staff. Text check-in messages and instructions can be customized by practice, providing flexibility in the process. By streamlining the intake process, practices can reduce patient wait times and increase time available for staff members to complete other administrative tasks.


3. Appointment Reminders and Follow Ups

Appointment Reminders can be sent via text message directly from EHR systems, allowing patients to confirm or decline appointments without a phone call. Because patients are very responsive to text messages, this helps reduce no-shows. Practices can also utilize Appointment Follow Ups to send information after the visit is complete. The automation of texting and email allows practices to engage patients both pre and post visit, providing a well-rounded experience.


4. Patient Portal

The Patient Portal allows patients to communicate securely with their doctor and provide important health and contact information. During the visit, doctors can upload resources to educate their patients by sending directly through the portal, leading to a more informed patient who can access information from virtually anywhere. In addition, the Patient Portal can display patient charges, allow payment via credit card, post money to practice account, and automatically update the patient’s ledger.


5. Questionnaires and Consent Forms

Consent forms can be assigned both manually and through the appointment schedule. Patients can then accept or decline the forms through their patient portal. Questionnaires are customizable and allow practices to collect information such as COVID-19 and depression screenings, satisfaction surveys, and more. Both forms and questionnaires can be sent prior to a patient’s visit to reduce input by nursing staff, allowing them to verify information provides rather than ask each question. This saves time for both patients and office staff while increasing efficiency at the practice.


These tools have been instrumental in engaging patients since the start of the pandemic and are here to stay. As technology continues to advance and patients continue to take a greater interest in their health, we can expect more patient engagement tools to emerge for years to come.


For more information on patient engagement tools available at Criterions, click here.

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