General Practice EMR Software should offer support to the needs presented by patients in this setting, particularly the diverse variety of conditions treated among a high volume of patients, who in many cases require referrals to other providers.
There’s no ‘specialty feature set’ for general practice EHRs as such, but at a minimum, an EHR for general practice should contain what the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has identified as eight-core care delivery functions.
Features of General Practitioner EMR Software
To have a good understanding of how the software works, it is advisable to learn about the different features and functionalities of the software. Before choosing a General Practice EMR Software, we should check if the software has the following key features:
- Health information and data – EHRs should store patients’ diagnoses, allergies, lab test results, and medications while remaining HIPAA-compliant.
- Result management – all providers participating in the care of a patient should be able to access new and test results
- E-prescribing and order management – allows healthcare providers the ability to enter and store orders for prescriptions, tests, and other services to enhance legibility, reduce duplication, and improve the speed with which orders are executed.
- Clinical decision support – using reminders prompts, and alerts, EHRs can help your practice improve compliance with best clinical practices, and ensure regular screenings where required.
- Electronic communication and connectivity – efficient, secure, and readily accessible communication among providers and patients to improve the continuity of care, increase the timeliness of diagnoses and treatments, and reduce the frequency of adverse events.
- Patient portal – as well as a useful booking and messaging tool, tools a patient portal can be used by patients to access health records, provide interactive patient education, and help carry out home-monitoring and self-testing to improve control of chronic conditions. Patients, or authorized third parties, should be able to view, download, and transmit their health information within 24 hours of it becoming available, or be able to do so through an ONC-certified API for third-party applications.
- Practice management software features – these are administrative tools, designed to improve efficiency and provide more timely services to patients. It is important to note that the difference between EHR and practice management software: EHRs are mainly concerned with clinical tasks whereas practice management enables practices to provide better clinical care through making the administrative side of practices more efficient, such as billing and staff scheduling.
- Reporting and population health – electronic data storage that employs uniform data standards will enable healthcare organizations to respond more quickly to reporting requirements, including those that support patient safety and disease surveillance. Reporting and population health features should also offer the ability to submit immunization data and receive immunization forecasts and histories from the public health immunization registry/immunization information system (IIS), and also to provide syndromic surveillance data from a non-urgent care ambulatory setting for EPS.
The following features are not essential, but could improve patient satisfaction and make your practitioners’ live easier – if you have the extra budget.
- Some EHRs have fully-integrated telemedicine modules, – which allow providers to conduct appointments over a video or phone call. If your practice is thinking of introducing or expanding its telehealth appointments, finding an EHR with integrated telemedicine functionality will streamline the experience both for the patient and the healthcare provider.
- Integrated billing modules – streamline the billing process, and make it easier for your finance department to process claims, understand why claims were rejected and minimize lost revenue.
- Voice recognition – voice recognition frees up your physicians to fully engage with their patients, rather than having to constantly disappear behind a computer to type up notes. Of course, it’s perfectly possible to have strong patient-provider relationships without this feature, but if you want to make your physicians as accessible as possible, this is a good place to start.
Top 5 General Practitioner EMR Software by EMRFinder
EMRFinder has consolidated a list of top 10 EMR Solutions that provide benefits and features that are necessary for the success of your practice. It is overwhelming to select the best software vendor but once you are well informed the decision process gets easier. Let’s look at this list.
Make sure the software you’re going to purchase is certified. For General Practice EMR Software, the certification you should be looking out for is by the ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (“ONC-ATCB”). They are responsible for making sure your vendor meets Meaningful Use objectives and is HIPAA compliant. Many General Practice EMR Software vendors offer a lot of features but providers mostly find them redundant or perceive them as a marketing gimmick. Some of these features are actually very helpful as they are advertised, but what you should be concerned with is whether they are relevant to your particular practice or not. You really need to look at your financial workflow. It is highly imperative that the software you choose is compatible with that of the rest of the practice and with the existing EMR Software if you are opting for a stand-alone option. Please do consult your provider to ensure that the software you are choosing only provides those features and not more than what you need.