Understanding Ambulatory Medical Records in Healthcare

ambulatory medical record

Running a medical practice of any kind requires detailed recordkeeping to organize your patient information. Whether you’re starting a practice or adapting one to the developments in technology, you might have trouble delineating between the electronic health records available. For example, if you are operating outside of a hospital setting, you will likely store information in an ambulatory medical record

Outpatient and non-hospital medical providers use this kind of electronic medical record to track patient data, treatment, and billing information. So, understanding this widely used system better could help streamline your recordkeeping for ambulatory care. 

Read on for more about these medical records, or contact PracticeForces for some help with medical billing and coding services. We provide one of Florida’s top medical billing services to help you track patient expenses and much more.

AMRs Only Record Data From Outpatient Care

The first important distinction between an ambulatory medical record and hospital electronic health records is that they cater specifically to outpatient care. 

The care can include anything from urgent care centers to a checkup at a doctor’s office. It can also include surgeries that don’t require overnight stays and other specialized treatments. 

However, any in-patient treatment within a hospital will function on a separate medical record. The different levels of treatment provided in hospitals necessitate storing records separately. It also makes it easier for providers to track only necessary information.

Simpler, More Streamlined Records Than Hospital EHRs

During a hospital stay, care providers coordinate complex information and lots of it. Everything from lab reports and MRIs to surgical data will play a role in the hospital care a patient receives. Doctors and nurses in these settings need separate records to coordinate complex logistical and medical considerations.

Conversely, ambulatory medical records only track smaller treatment experiences. While a yearly checkup at the doctor’s office offers important information for care providers, storing it in the same place as a hip-replacement surgery gets confusing. Thus, ambulatory medical records use a separate system.

Improves Patient-Provider Relations

Ultimately, the goal of ambulatory medical records is to improve the patient-healthcare provider relationship and patient experience. That’s why many ambulatory medical records now come with an online portal to allow patients to make appointments, pay bills, and download their records. 

It also provides caregivers with pertinent information for the patient’s treatment. Most medical care is ambulatory care, so storing these records separately helps all parties involved.

A Long-Term Picture of Patient Health

Finally, as outpatient treatment records accumulate, ambulatory medical care records create an overall picture of a patient’s long-term health. That way, doctors providing care can easily consult longitudinal data to ensure they are providing the best treatment possible. 

Discover Medical Billing Solutions With PracticeForces

There are so many complex considerations involved in medical billing, from Institutional Billing vs. Professional Billing to keeping track of patient data. Why not streamline the process by working with PracticeForces? We work hard to help you maximize your practice’s profits, optimize workflows, and collect insurance earnings.

Do you need detailed help creating an ambulatory medical record with pertinent billing information? Call PracticeForces at (727) 202-5429 today!

Parul Garg, CEO and co-founder of PracticeForces, has significantly contributed to the growth of over 1,000 U.S. medical practices through her expertise in medical billing and coding since the company’s inception in 2003. With a background in Computer Science and an MBA in Human Resources, her leadership and AAPC-certified coding skills have been pivotal in managing the company’s operations effectively.

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