What is the difference between an EMR and an EHR?

By: Ellen Sullivan

An electronic medical record (EMR) is a digital version of a paper chart that  contains all of a patient’s medical history from one practice. An EMR is  mostly used by providers for diagnosis and treatment. Instead of relying on paper charts, the EMR allows providers to easily store data, track it over time, identify when patients should be contacted for services and to be able to measure indicators used to monitor health. An EMR is typically used in a provider office and is basically a computerized version of the hard copy record.

 There are standards for documenting in the medical record. The main concern, or the chief complaint or why the patient is a key part of the medical history. Other information includes a family medical history. Immunizations are also recorded. Documentation of the physical examination and  details of the physician’s findings, particularly as related to the  complaint and any other observations. Vital signs such as pulse, breathing rate, temperature, and blood pressure are recorded. A  diagnosis and assessment as related to the chief complaint will be documented,  followed by a treatment plan or plan of care. This plan of care addresses how to manage the condition along with the appropriate medications, lab tests, or other  interventions. Discharge notes, follow-up care, referrals to specialists and test results are also documented.

There are benefits to the EMR which include:

Information is readily available to providers. It can also be shared via a secure portal to another provider when needed. Examples of how this can help includes transfer to an emergency room or if information is being to sent to another physician for follow up care.

  • The chances of errors in medication and treatments reduced especially reducing errors due to poor handwriting.
  • They are easily stored and not susceptible to damage from fire, flood or other calamities.
  • Records can be easily reviewed with alerts set up to ensure that important information is not overlooked that may impact patient care. This is important from a patient safety perspective.

Electronic health records (EHR) are designed to contain and share information from all providers involved in the care of a patient. EHR data can be created, managed and consulted by authorized providers and staff. It also allows patients to take their health record with them and it can be shared with other health care providers, specialists, hospitals, outpatient or ancillary providers.

Most patients want to know if their records are safe and if they are kept private. In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act known as HIPAA, in order to help protect personal  health information, including medical records. This law gave patients more  control over their health information, set limits on the use and release of  their medical records, and established a series of privacy standards for health  care providers which provides penalties for those who do not follow these EMR   safety and EHR security standards.

Here is a link to an article that further discusses this topic http://www.healthit.gov/buzz-blog/electronic-health-and-medical-records/emr-vs-ehr-difference/



Follow Legal Guidelines When Considering Purchasing A Franchise

Seeking legal counsel is an important component in due diligence when considering not only the purchase of a franchise, but through the lifecycle of the business.  Understanding the legal climate and specific regulations impacting the decision making will help reduce risk and potentially avoid  future litigation.

Here is an article by The Witterman Law Firm P.C. discussing the importance of following legal guidelines when considering the purchase of a franchise.

Click here to view the article – Follow Legal Guidelines When Considering Purchasing A Franchise

Potential franchisees are advised to follow all legal guidelines

By : The Witterman Law Firm, P.C. posted in Franchising on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

Georgia entrepreneurs wanting to buy into a franchise may see a business opportunity leading to dancing dollar signs, but they need to follow the legal requirements to operate this type of business. A franchise is an agreement between the operator, or franchisee, and the franchise, or business, to use the business brand and marketing strategies to realize a faster return on their investment. Theoretically, it may sound simple on paper. But building a successful franchise takes careful planning and solid business advice.

Franchises can include either starting from scratch or taking over an existing business. There are as many franchising opportunities as there are types of businesses, and before embarking on this type of endeavor the franchisee should decide what they want in a business. It brings greater risk than working a 9-to-5 job, the hours are longer and there is always the possibility of losing money. But owning a franchise can also generate greater financial rewards.

After doing the research and attending franchise workshops and webinars on the topic, finding a trustworthy franchise broker is an important first step. An ethical broker can help the franchisee avoid making bad business decisions that might lead to legal trouble. Deciding whether to take on a business partner or go solo is also critical, as is learning the laws regarding employees’ rights on the job. Small businesses are the backbone of Georgia’s economy, and entrepreneurs with a clear understanding of the legal landscape can avoid litigation more easily.

Georgia is one of 26 states with business opportunity laws in effect. Many of those laws ban sales of business opportunities unless the seller provides potential purchasers with a pre-sale disclosure document that was previously filed with a designated state agency. Unlike some other states, however, no filing is required in Georgia. This is an important detail, and potential franchise operators can obtain legal counsel from a business and commercial lawyer.

Source: Advantage Business Magazine, “Are You Thinking About Buying A Franchise? Here Are 10 Things You Need To Know“, Ellen Sullivan, June 10, 2013

Source: http://www.alpharettagabusinesslawblog.com/2013/06/potential-franchisees-are-advised-to-follow-all-legal-guidelines.shtml

Entrepreneur Magazine Article – Two Medical Pros Change Course With an Urgent-Care Franchise

Two Medical Pros Change Course With an Urgent-Care Franchise </a

This article ran in Entrepreneur Magazine August 2012 about our opening a Doctors Express Center. We were the 16th Doctors Express to open in the country and the first to open in Florida. It has been a very rewarding experience to be part of a quality-driven, affordable business that meets the needs in local communities.

Are You Thinking About Buying A Franchise? Here Are 10 Things You Need To Know

By:  Ellen Sullivan

Published in Advantage Business Magazine

Thinking about starting a new business? Want to be an entrepreneur? Not sure you want to start from the bottom? Purchasing a franchise may be an option for you. But, you will want to address several key areas as you embark upon your journey of discovery.

What is a franchise? It is an agreement between you (the franchisee) and a business (the franchisor) to use its brand, operating processes, and marketing strategies to help you expedite your investment returns. You are purchasing a system, and a name, and you will be required to follow the rules of the franchisor. In return, you should go to market more quickly—with the support of the franchisor—equipped with tried and true strategies. At the end of the day, your profitability should be expedited by capitalizing on the value that the franchisor brings to the table. That’s how it’s supposed to go.

With so many choices in franchising available, how do you know where to start?

To read the full article, click here.