Paperwork and documentation have long been a hindrance to healthcare. It’s laborious, time-consuming, and unreliable which in this industry can be costly. Not to mention the risk of error outweighs the time put in.
Simply put, electronic medical records (EMRs) are digital patient records and charts. To create and maintain these records, healthcare providers often implement the use of EHR Software.
A modern electronic medical record system allows medical professionals to create detailed data sets of patient and clinical information, whilst offering up-to-date feature sets to benefit the management of a practice (i.e., practice management software) and the integrity of patient information.
It’s quite standard for an EMR system to provide more functionality than this. Since their creation, the standard EMR system has become a core part of the operation of a practice and so EHRs have evolved, along with their regulations, to better suit the needs of your practice.
Why use an EMR System?
Apart from the many benefits to workplace productivity, EMR software systems have been mandatory for a practice to use since the introduction of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Mandate in 2014.
Furthermore, many incentive programs such as Meaningful Use (or Promoting Interoperability) have been implemented to further incentivize the use of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT) to further improve the quality of care.
You can find a more extensive explanation of meaningful use and more important details in our buyer’s guide.
Benefits of EMR System
The benefit of having clinical notes stored electronically and instantly accessible from any part of your practice is far more beneficial than the hassle involved in physical paperwork.
Not only does this help clinicians but also patients in providing a platform for communication between providers and patients.
Ensuring that your solution is as simple and easy to use as possible will also have a great impact on the productivity of your practice.
A practice management (PM) system can provide great benefits for the productivity and workflow of your practice when paired with your EHR software of choice. Ideally, your practice management software should provide a platform for you to better manage the administrative tasks of your practice.
Typical features of a PM can include appointment and calendar management, client management and databases, financial reports, and others, but some PMs may provide a different set of features than others. For example, telehealth video calls are not standard across all practice management software (PM software).
Integrated practice management solutions often provide greater reporting capabilities and offer more functionality to manage business operations.
For a more in-depth guide into EMR Solutions with practice management check out our list of top practice management software and our buyers guide here.
Promoting Interoperability/Meaningful Use
The meaningful use (promoting interoperability) incentive program was initially introduced to push healthcare providers to use EMR/EHR systems in meaningful ways.
Meeting this criterion by ensuring you have a certified EHR system will not only help to improve the quality of care and productivity of your practice but also provide tangible and financial benefits.
Other Useful Features for an EMR Software
For your EHR program, you may want to look for additional features which would benefit your practice and help create a much more efficient workflow.
Such features include cloud-based EHRs, patient portals, and e-prescriptions to help create easy accessibility for your team and even your patients:
- Medical Billing
- Patient Portal
- ICD-10 ready
- Billing and Coding
- Telemedicine Platforms
- Mobile platform
Other key features to look for in an EHR software include interoperability and integration. Depending on your specialty and the nature of your own workflow you may appreciate more features and accessibility for your EMR system than what your software vendor may provide. You may also choose an EHR Software and practice management software from two different vendors.
Depending on the compatibility of this software, you can not only create a smooth and even personalized workflow but also ensure clean and easy long-term operations.
Additionally, interoperability can be a huge added bonus for communication and access to more extensive patient records and information – considerably simplifying the process for your practice and patients.
How To Choose an EMR Software?
A key point when choosing your electronic health records (EHR) software is the size of your practice. For example, Epic EMR Software would provide your practice with a great EHR system. However, despite it having a large and robust feature set for an EHR software, it is designed with larger practices and hospitals in mind. So, it might not justify the price or cost of maintenance for a small orthopedic clinic.
Would a small practice benefit from a telemedicine module?
Choosing a suitable EHR program for your specialty is also crucial. ModMed (Modernizing Medicine) would be fantastic for those looking for a great dermatology EMR system, however, chiropractors may not see much benefit from it.
Health IT knowledge and Ease of use
Another point to consider is how comfortable your team is with computers and IT. Learning curbs can potentially be a great hassle and so having an intuitive and easy-to-use EMR software may be an important point for your practice.
Customer Support and Resources
You may also want to consider what resources are available outside of the program itself. Customer support and online resources (such as EMR video demos) can ensure that your practice has support for your health IT needs for the long run.
Choosing an EMR system can be a tedious task, especially considering how contextual it can be. To make this easier we’ve curated a list of the top EMR software with pricing, demos, and reviews to help you make your decision, over at emrfinder.com.