Why managing sleep disorders with EHRs is important

Managing sleep problems with medical software should continue to be a growing trend in the next few years. According to findings that were examined in 2014 from the National Ambulatory Medical Care survey, there have been "striking increases" both in the number and percentages for sleep-related problems during outpatient visits. What does this mean for medical offices? A large number of primary care physicians and some specialists might be required to know more about how these conditions affect the overall health of their patients.

Sleep research is increasing
It's also important to note that the amount of studies related to sleep-related problems is increasing. According to Modern Medicine, the number of sleep studies skyrocketed between 1997 and 2011, and the reasoning behind this research makes sense given the amount of individuals in the U.S. who struggle with getting a good night's rest.

"40 million Americans deal with long-term, chronic sleep issues annually."

Sleep disorders are becoming more common
Many of your patients are likely suffering from sleep disorders, as the rates for poor sleep continue to grow. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, at least 40 million Americans deal with long-term, chronic sleep issues annually, and an additional 20 million individuals have occasional sleep problems. Sleep problems can have wide-reaching effects, impacting an individual's work habits, driving skills and social life.

Additionally, according to the NINDS, sleep-related disorders cost an estimated $16 billion every year – putting a strain on providers and patients financially. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even classified insufficient sleep as a "public health epidemic." However, many sleep issues can be treated, so long as they are identified and correctly diagnosed.

It's worth noting that many health IT leaders are also trying to convince government organizations to make sleep assessment part of the meaningful use core objective. Most notably, representatives from the National Sleep Foundation presented its support for such an initiative in 2014, so having adequate software that delivers on sleep assessment strategies might become an important part of your IT strategy soon, especially with stage 3 set for 2016.

Luckily, with robust and intelligent medical software, primary care physicians and specialists can utilize disease-specific templates and features to more effectively manage sleep problems. Because these issues are prevalent and impact the overall health of many demographics, it's a wise investment to include sleep medicine EHRs into your treatment and diagnosis plan.

Senior Health Care Needs Require EHRs

Across the health care industry, providers are already preparing for a massive shift in medical coverage, as the baby boomer generation is heading into retirement age. In the next few decades, geriatric care will become a major focus for care providers due to various factors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, modern medicine has extended the life spans of many Americans – which means that the population of seniors is expected to double in the next 25 years to 72 million individuals. In fact, according to the CDC, 20 percent of the U.S. population will be comprised of seniors by 2030. Clearly, physicians need to take steps now to come up with care strategies for treating this demographic, which includes the adoption of intelligent medical software.
Senior health care needs require EHRs.

Many seniors move from acute care settings and often face chronic illness at the same time, which means that health IT infrastructure should not fall short. Some of the biggest health crises in the U.S., including diabetes, heart disease and obesity, will become quite challenging for the elderly in the next few years.
There are several IMS benefits that can assist providers with optimal senior care, including:

  • Chronic care management EHR features
  • Scalable solutions that adapt to practices large and small
  • ICD-10 compliant software
  • A single database for EHR and practice management
  • Specialty templates that adjust to the myriad challenges of senior care, including osteoporosis, arthritis, emphysema, hypertension, COPD, diabetes and other chronic illnesses
  • E-prescribing options that allow providers to keep better track of medications
  • Referral management capabilities for specialists

Senior care will become one of the key challenges facing the U.S. medical system in the next few decades. As such, physicians need to be prepared to treat this growing population with the best possible health IT advancements, including IMS.