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How a Robust EHR and Practice Management System Can Transform Your Medical Practice

Electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management software have become indispensable technologies for running a modern, efficient medical practice. As patient expectations and healthcare regulations continue to evolve, having the right tools and features in place is essential for delivering high-quality care, streamlining workflows, and managing the financial health of your practice.

Defining EHR and Practice Management Software

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Electronic health records (EHRs) have become a critical technology for modern medical practices. EHR systems allow providers to store patient medical records securely in a digital format. This includes information like clinical notes, test results, medical history, treatments, and more. A key advantage of EHRs is that this patient data can be easily accessed and updated by authorized healthcare providers.

Meanwhile, practice management software handles the business side of running a medical practice. This includes scheduling appointments, tracking insurance billing and payments, managing patient billing accounts, and other administrative tasks. 

Practice management systems help streamline office workflows and financial operations. A key difference between EHRs and practice management software is that the latter does not contain protected health information of patients.

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In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore some of the key questions around selecting and implementing an EHR and practice management solution:

What are the Key EHR and Practice Management Software Features?

EHR systems allow you to digitally create, store, and access patient medical records and facilitate core clinical workflows. Practice management software handles vital administrative tasks like scheduling, registration, and billing. 

Here are some of the most important features to look for:

EHR Key Features

  • Intuitive and customizable documentation tools for recording patient histories, exam notes, treatment plans, medications, allergies, and other critical health data.
  • ePrescribing and prescription management to electronically send prescriptions, check drug interactions, and monitor refills.
  • Clinical decision support with alerts, guidelines, and data analysis to aid diagnosis and treatment planning.
  • Interoperability to securely share records across care settings and integrate with labs, pharmacies, HIEs, etc.
  • Patient portal for engagement, communication, and access to health records. Allows patients to schedule appointments, request medication refills, review test results and more.

Practice Management Key Features

  • Appointment scheduling and calendar tools to manage availability, book patient visits, and track pending appointments.
  • Patient registration and check-in capabilities for efficient workflows. Stores comprehensive demographic and insurance information.
  • Medical billing and claims management to submit clean claims, process payments, generate patient statements.
  • Reporting and analytics for insights into practice KPIs like collections, denials metrics, referral tracking and more to inform decisions.
  • Referral and authorization tracking to coordinate care and obtain approvals from insurers.

How Do EHR and Practice Management Software Enhance Healthcare Delivery?

By automating time-consuming administrative tasks and facilitating quick access to patient information, EHR/PM software delivers numerous benefits:

1Improved quality of care and patient outcomes through evidence-based guidelines, prescription safety alerts, and complete health data.
2Increased care coordination between providers by securely sharing patient information across the care continuum.
3Accelerated billing cycles and faster revenue realization through claims automation and analytics.
4Reduced healthcare costs and medical errors through clinical decision support and access to comprehensive health history.
56Enhanced patient engagement and satisfaction by enabling convenient self-service options like scheduling through patient portals.

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What Features Do EHR and Practice Management Software Share?

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There is considerable overlap in the features and capabilities offered by EHR (electronic health record) and practice management software systems. This integration allows for efficient workflows and a streamlined user experience. Some of the key features commonly found in both types of systems include:

Patient Portals

Secure online portals that allow patients to access their health records, view test results, request appointments and prescription refills, communicate with providers, and more. Patient portals facilitate two-way communication between patients and healthcare organizations.

Interoperability and Data Exchange

Capabilities to share patient data securely with other healthcare entities like labs, pharmacies, specialists, health information exchanges (HIEs), etc. This includes HL7 and FHIR interfaces, APIs, etc. Interoperability allows data to flow seamlessly between disparate systems.

Scheduling Tools

Features to manage provider calendars, appointment booking, resource allocation, scheduling workflows, waitlist management, etc. Streamlines scheduling operations.

Billing and Claims Management

Tools to verify patient insurance eligibility, submit and manage claims, process payments, generate patient billing statements, etc. Automates billing and revenue cycle management.

Clinical Documentation

Functions to create, edit, sign and manage clinical documentation like progress notes, referral letters, discharge summaries, etc. Structured templates enable fast and accurate documentation.


Allows providers to electronically prescribe medications to pharmacies, check formulary status, medication history, etc. Improves prescribing accuracy and safety.

Reporting and Data Analytics

Robust reporting capabilities to measure performance metrics, identify care gaps, track quality measures, demonstrate regulatory compliance, etc. Data analytics empowers informed decision-making.

Document Management

Features to store, index, retrieve, share and manage digital documents like scanned records, images, charts, clinical notes and more. Enables a paperless environment.

Order Entry and Results Viewing

Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) and ability to view diagnostic test results directly within the EHR system facilitates efficient ordering and results review.

The tight integration between EHR and practice management tools creates a seamless user experience and is critical for streamlined clinical and administrative workflows.

Why are EHR and Practice Management Software Features Essential for Clinics?

Electronic health records (EHRs) and practice management (PM) software provide essential features for optimizing clinic workflows and improving patient care. 

By consolidating all patient information into one secure digital record, EHRs enhance care coordination between providers, reduce medical errors, and eliminate duplicative tests or procedures. Robust EHRs also include clinical decision support to promote evidence-based care protocols.

EHRs and PM systems greatly simplify appointment scheduling, a complex and time-consuming task for busy clinics handling high daily patient volumes. Features like template scheduling, waitlist management, and automated reminders help maximize provider time and ensure smooth patient flow. Some systems even enable online self-scheduling for patients.

Revenue cycle management is streamlined through claims management automation. By integrating coding, charge capture, claims filing, and other functions, clinics can accelerate reimbursement, reduce rejected claims, and avoid costly billing errors that jeopardize revenue. Analytics provide real-time insight into revenue cycle KPIs.

Practice management analytics overall deliver data-driven guidance for administrative decision making. KPI dashboards track metrics like patient volumes, referral patterns, payer mix, staff productivity, and more to inform growth strategies. Managers can pinpoint opportunities for improvement.

Finally, patient portals and virtual visit capabilities engage patients in their own care. Features like appointment self-scheduling, bill pay, secure messaging, and telehealth visits promote access and convenience for patients while reducing administrative burdens on clinic staff.

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What Are Some of the Latest EHR and Practice Management Software Features?

Some exciting new features on the horizon include:

1Enhanced patient engagement through wearables integration, mobile apps, and AI-powered chatbots.
2Voice recognition and natural language processing for streamlined clinical note-taking.
3Predictive analytics leveraging AI and big data to forecast outcomes, suggest diagnoses, improve care planning.
4Expanded telehealth and virtual visit capabilities for video consults and remote patient monitoring.
5Point-of-care clinical decision support providing diagnostic and treatment suggestions at the exam room.
6Native mobile accessibility and easier provider workflows through tablets and smartphones.

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