Dr. Julie Servoss: A GI tech must-have

What do you think is the most important recently released technology for GI practices to have?

Ask a Gastroenterologist is a weekly series of questions posed to GI physicians around the country on business and clinical issues affecting the field of gastroenterology. We invite all gastroenterologists to submit responses.

Next week's question: What hobbies do you have outside of your GI practice?

Please submit responses to Carrie Pallardy at cpallardy@beckershealthcare.com by Thursday, August 6, at 5 p.m. CST.

Julie C. Servoss, MD, MPH, Medical Director of EMA Gastroenterology, Modernizing Medicine: Without a doubt, cloud-based gastroenterology-specific electronic health record systems are the most important recently released technology for GI practices. I realize that with my roles as a gastroenterologist plus developer of an EHR system that's the obvious answer, but I feel that gastroenterologists are better served by an EHR system that effortlessly lets us access patient information in the exam room and at the ASC and the hospital. With native systems available on the iPad and smart phones, we’re able to effectively treat patients and manage clinical workflow practically anywhere, anytime. Gone are the days when you had to return to your desk to review laboratory results and write prescriptions. In addition, having all the gastroenterology medical information already in the EHR system improves efficiencies.

Medical practices are complicated businesses to run, and it's imperative that we have the right technology to manage them successfully. Cloud-based systems combined with structured data entry are powerful and efficient. Patient information only has to be entered once, and it becomes useful information by tracking individual patient outcomes, as well as group outcomes, to obtain scientific data on our treatment modalities. Another example: when ICD-10 starts we'll see 80 codes for inflammatory bowel disease, and utilizing an EHR system with an intuitive, touch-based interface that automatically captures the correct code will not only be a huge time saver, but will also significantly help maintain or boost revenue.

Gastroenterology technology available today improves efficiencies and medical outcomes, and helps rather than hinders, while improving service to our patients and our referring providers.

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