Introduction to medical audits and why they exist
Medical audits can help a medical practice objectively review its employees’ practices of diagnosis, billing, consumption of materials, and time usage. These are all components of quality medical care and profitable operations, and must be balanced for the good of the practice. It is possible to discover weaknesses in a medical practices procedures and care before that weakness is able to be discerned by actual patients or their care through the findings of a diligent medical audit.
Why medical audits are needed
To ensure profitability of a medical practice, the business must find a method of measuring performance of personnel, justifying monetary and time expenditures, and quantifying adherence to accepted standards of care to patients. An efficient way of keeping track of these dissimilar matters is by accurate charting procedures by all staff. That chart record establishes a course of treatment for each patient and forms a traceable medical record of a patient’s treatment history. EHR migration is becoming more popular in the medical field, and requires strict attention to detail. Moving records online makes it easier to store and access data for further treatment or audits. Being able to audit a medical office’s activities can provide a detailed history of the care given to a specific patient and the cost of that care. Those are vital facts for anyone coordinating the operations of a medical office.
What is covered; how to prepare, and how to benefit from an audit
Prior to beginning a medical audit, a medical office beginning such an audit should start with a vision of what is to be looked at, looked for, and what the results should represent. It is always important to be able to identify that a practice can migrate properly within the established standard for those records. It is also important to ascertain the level of quality to be achieved and how to reach that level if it is not reached at the time of the audit.
It is important to have a quality standard to aspire to when beginning an audit. That way, future goals can be set using the results of your medical audit to improve your operations and elevate your standard of care. By using the audit as record of how the medical practice is performing and serving its patients as well as its own business interests, a medical audit can serve as a quality control study to highlight the state of the practice. Future operations and practice decisions can result from studying the outcome of a medical audit and determining what the medical practice needs.
In conclusion, medical audits are something that can help your practice and the medical industry. Audits help you ensure that all physicians are following proper procedures for charting etc. With the digitization of most records, it’s not surprising that the medical industry is also following that trend. This can be good news as far as audits go, and storing medical records securely online can make them easier to organize and access for the future. Before beginning your audit, remember to have a vision of what you want your company to be like. Encourage employees that this is a great learning opportunity to help everyone become better and more efficient.
Emma is a freelance writing currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2
Please also review our Case Management Education program to learn more