The emergency department (ED) is a hospital’s front door to the public. It’s also an open back window for revenue loss. ED volumes continue to rise while reimbursements drop. And according to recent executive surveys, there is no end in sight. Long wait times, primary care shortages, and an underinsured population combine to fuel executive concerns.

Furthermore, technology applications meant to bolster ED productivity also hinder physician-patient relations. The average percentage of time spent on physician data entry into the EMR/EHR is 43 percent (well above the 28 percent figure for direct patient interaction).[i] The same study reports that the average ED physician racks up nearly “4,000 mouse clicks during a shift.” Will ICD-10 documentation and coding make matters worse? Perhaps.

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