How to Choose the Right Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software

How to Choose the Right Electronic Medical Records

86.9 percent of office-based physicians in the US are already using electronic medical records software to manage their patients’ records.

Still, experts expect adoption rates to rise. However, the essential aspect isn’t using an EHR system; it’s selecting the right software. Essentially, the right system can improve your patient outcomes and save money and time.

You want something that fits in your workflow to improve your practice’s efficiency. For that reason, this post is here to help you determine the right EHR software for you.

Keep on reading to learn more!

Assess Your Needs

The first essential step is it to determine your current needs. You’ll have to factor in your practice specialty and size. Of course, you should also consider your future needs as your business grows.

Not all practices are the same, even though they seem to share some similarities. Identify your high-priority needs and match them to EHRs features that best suit them. The larger the practice, the more needs you’re likely to have.

You can also make your selection easier by considering specialty-specific EHR system. These systems have customization, which includes templates and features for your particular practice. This makes using them easier.

Consider Certified EHR Systems

You can also take the guesswork out of the process by only considering certified systems. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) tests, rates, and certifies EHR systems to help physicians make the right choice.

Some certified systems also qualify for federal EHR incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). This program requires service providers to make “meaningful use” of accredited systems. You must meet the requirements of meaningful use to get ongoing incentives.

Some of the reputable certification bodies for electronic medical records systems, include the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) and Drummond Group, Inc.

Review System Architecture

Developers can build electronic medical records software using an on-site computer server or a cloud service. In this case, you need to select an architecture that best suits your practice.

Using an onsite computer server means you have control over your medical records since it offers central storage. Some providers prefer this option as it easier for them to meet the HIPAA security obligations. The only problem with using an onsite service is that you’re responsible for maintenance and upgrades.

With a cloud EHR system, you can access your medical records via the internet. Your vendor is responsible for data security and system maintenance. Also, you can access your data remotely and anywhere.

Look at the Features

Reviewing the features of an EMR system is crucial. You want to ensure that it all the essential functions for guaranteeing proper records management.

Be sure it has a scheduling module to make it simple to manage patients’ appointments. Your staff should be able to enter patient details with no trouble. It should also have auto-reminders for reminding patients about their appointments.

Smart workflows is another feature to consider. A good example is the real-time record keeping and tracking. This allows your entire staff to access the most up-to-date information on a patient.

Task management features, such as signing notes, reviews, and patient messages, are also crucial to your practice. Having a feature for reading and responding to patient messages saves time on patient communications.

The system should also allow you to view complete patient history, such medications, allergies, past conditions, and other health factors. This saves time during recurring visits for a patient.

Request a Demo

Just because a vendor has highlighted several features, it doesn’t give you the green light to purchase. Be sure to request a demo to see how those features work. Also, remember to involve your team members in reviewing the demo.

Don’t try to assess a software demo the first day their salesperson calls you. Instead, always set a date for that. This gives you time to prepare and identify the important things you’re looking for in a medical records software.

Don’t allow the salesperson to focus on showcasing their product in the best light. Instead, they should show you how their software meets your unique needs. The best way to do this is to have a demo script of at least five crucial processes that the software will automate.

Give the script to the vendor so they should show you how it will work for those processes.

Consider Client Reviews

You’re probably not the first provider to use a particular system. So, before forking out your money, be sure to read past and current client reviews. They will offer some clear insights into the functionality and performance of the software.

You can visit a practice that’s currently using the software you want to buy. Talk to them about the system and let them tell you some of the prevalent issues they experience.

There are also online review and rating sites that can also help identify the ideal software for your needs.

Customer Service

This is one of the most critical considerations when assessing different vendors. The last thing you want is getting delayed responses for your support tickets.

Identify what support channels a vendor has for their customers to contact them. Be sure to determine their hours of operation to know when to reach them. But regular and ongoing technical issues means you should consider moving to another vendor.

Some large vendors usually offer 24/7 support, including web training and forums. Also, you can talk to a live person via chat or call. You also need to determine if their support is free.

Pick the Right Electronic Medical Records Software

The spending on EHRs is expected to grow, and this means you should spend your practice’s money and time on the best system. If you’re using EHR system, evaluate it to determine whether it’s meeting your needs.

If it’s not hitting the mark, you may need another one. Take the time to compare vendors when shopping for the right electronic medical records software. Develop a Request for Information (RFI) to ensure every vendor provides the right information about their product.

When you are ready to convert to a new system – we can help. Seamless data migration and archival and easy access to legacy patient records is critical to smooth office operations. If you have any question, feel free to contact our team for further assistance.