Software for electronic medical records (EMRs) is being adopted by more healthcare organizations to manage patient charts and enhance patient results.
Whether you're a medical provider, healthcare professional or organization, the article offers valuable insights to help you comprehend EMR software and how it could benefit your practice. EMR solutions allow medical practices and facilities to digitize patient health histories, orders and test findings, streamline workflows and improve the quality of care.
As healthcare organizations aim to simplify procedures, save money and enhance efficiency, now is the perfect time for facilities to take advantage of modern technologies like electronic medical records (EMR) software.
EMR software, a digital solution, enables healthcare professionals to easily document and access patients' medical data in a secure, centralized way. Gone are the era of hastily written notes and piles of physical charts; with EMR solutions, the healthcare industry has transformed how providers store and track patient information.
EMR technologies offer benefits like: reducing medical errors, improving health outcomes, streamlining workflows and simplifying administrative tasks for medical teams.
But what are the actual benefits of EMR software? Let's break it down:
EMR software eliminates the need for physical storage and record keeping, saving healthcare organizations significant amounts of money on paper, storage space, and administrative staff. Moreover, it minimizes the risk of lost or misplaced records that could lead to costly errors or even malpractice suits.
Improved patient care: EMR software improves patient care by providing healthcare providers with easier access to complete and accurate patient medical records. This allows healthcare providers to quickly identify any allergies, chronic conditions, or prior treatments that might interact with current medications, preventing medication errors and ensuring patients receive the best possible care and treatment.
EMR software can also increase efficiency by streamlining administrative tasks such as appointment scheduling, billings and claims submission, and reporting requirements. This frees up healthcare providers to provide more face-to-face time with patients, improving overall patient satisfaction.
EMR software is equipped with customizable templates that allow healthcare providers to integrate records from a variety of sources such as labs, imaging, and other specialties, making records more comprehensive and less disconnected. This means that healthcare providers can make more informed decisions about patient care without having to sift through disparate sources of information.
EMR software provides healthcare providers with an array of benefits, ranging from cost savings and improved efficiency to enhanced patient care and record keeping. By streamlining administrative tasks and reducing errors, healthcare providers can dedicate more time and resources to providing personalized and high-quality care to their patients. It's no wonder that EMR software remains a critical tool for modern healthcare organizations.
In this section, we will explore the various types of EMR software and their features, to help healthcare professionals choose the best software that will work for their organization. Let's dive in.
Cloud-based electronic medical records (EMRs) provide healthcare providers ease of use, security and cost benefits. Clinics gain remote access to patient data anytime from the cloud, avoiding costs of hardware/software upgrades and IT maintenance.
Providers pay monthly subscription fees instead of costly licensing. This can save independent practices money.
The cloud model eliminates in-office IT demands. Medical teams securely access patient history and treatment plans from any location. Lost data from disasters is avoided.
Enhanced security comes from cloud encryption, blocking unauthorized access. Automatic system updates ensure the software remains current, eliminating manual updates.
In summary, cloud-based EMRs offer a low-maintenance solution that is easy for providers to use while improving patient care. Remote access, automatic updates and reduced IT demands benefit healthcare organizations while securing patient data.
Locally-hosted desktop EMRs allow providers access to patient records within facilities. They offer privacy, storage and customization - along with limitations.
Privacy is provided as records are stored locally, not requiring internet. Patient access is faster than with web-based systems.
Customizable options let providers tailor specific aspects of the software to facility workflows and needs. Templates, automated workflows and reminders can reduce administrative errors.
However, supporting the physical servers and software can be costly for small practices. The systems rely on manual updates and may lag in security.
Top desktop EMRs include Cerner, Epic and Meditech. They offer customizable templates, workflows and documentation - though some note a steep learning curve.
When selecting desktop EMRs, consider the interface design for ease of use. Customization options allow tailoring to specific workflows. Integration with other systems like billing avoids data silos and improves workflow efficiency.
Hybrid EMR systems combine cloud and desktop solutions to provide medical providers convenience and fast access to patient records.
While cloud EMRs enable online access anywhere, desktop systems offer offline storage and access. Hybrid EMRs blend the best of both: an option to switch between cloud and desktop interfaces.
Providers can access records online while on-the-go but switch to desktop mode for routine offline tasks.
Hybrid EMRs provide flexibility, customization and ensure patient privacy while aiding compliance with health data regulations.
In this section, we discuss the features to look for in an EMR system to ensure that it meets the unique needs of your practice and empowers you to deliver better patient care.
Choosing the right EMR system is vital for medical practices. User reviews and ratings help determine software quality and customer satisfaction, impacting patient care outcomes.
Resources like AmericanEHR Partners Free Technology Contract Reviews and Coker Group Benefit assist providers in selecting the ideal EMR.
Popular systems include:
When choosing an EMR system, security and accessibility are essential.
HIPAA compliance using robust protocols and encryption safeguards sensitive patient data from internal/external threats.
Encryption turns data into code only authorized users can decode, rendering stolen data useless.
Authentication, access control and authorization secure the system. Authentication verifies user identities using passwords, biometrics etc. Access control defines access rules while authorization determines if a user's access request conforms.
Centralized authentication lets users sign-in once to access multiple tools, simplifying login for staff and patients. Access management architecture controls and manages user identities ensuring only authorized users access patient records.
Automation features in EMR systems improve efficiency and free up staff time for patient care.
Appointment reminders sent via email, text or call greatly reduce missed appointments, saving staff time and improving patient experience.
Automatic billing and claims processing speeds up payments while ensuring accuracy and completeness, lowering claim denials.
Prescription refill requests enable patients to request refills online instead of calling or visiting, quickly reviewed and approved by staff.
Other automation features include:
Interoperable EMR systems allow efficient patient data sharing between healthcare providers.
EMR systems ensure interoperability by offering interfaces with surrounding labs, hospitals and pharmacies enabling consistent data exchange like sending lab orders and results, medication lists and hospitalization history.
Integration features like e-prescribing and secure patient messaging further improve workflow. E-prescribing allows providers to send prescriptions electronically, avoiding errors. Secure messaging enables providers to safely communicate with patients.
Additional integrations from EMR vendors may come at a cost if custom interfaces must be built, so research potential costs first.
Reporting capabilities are a major advantage of EMR solutions, providing data to identify areas for quality improvement and patient experience gains.
EMR systems generate reports transforming raw data into insights. Reports include:
Customization options are crucial, including adaptable templates and integrations with other systems to enable data transfer.
EMR reporting facilitates:
By implementing EMRs with advanced reporting, providers can make informed decisions based on analysis of a large amount of data, providing high quality patient care.
Initial costs include licensing, setup, hardware and training fees. More advanced systems have higher costs. Some vendors offer packages for different budgets.
Monthly subscription fees range from $150 to $1,100 per provider based on package, features, number of providers/patients and users. Avoid lower cost EMRs lacking necessary features for an established practice.
For small or new practices, research the value of different EMRs. Features that save time and money include:
Selecting the right EMR at the right price yields benefits like:
Track initial costs, ongoing fees and included features in your budget range to find the most suited EMR for your needs.
In this section, we'll take a closer look at some of the popular EMR solutions being used today and compare their features, pricing, and suitability for different healthcare practices.
DrChrono's EMR solution is suited to small and large general and specialty practices. Features designed to streamline processes include:
DrChrono was one of the first EHR companies to offer mobile apps, allowing healthcare professionals to access its EHR system remotely. This makes it easy for busy practitioners to manage tasks from anywhere.
DrChrono aims to provide an EMR system that is accessible and easy to use so practitioners can focus on patient care rather than administrative work.
Kareo Clinical provides comprehensive features that simplify clinical workflows, enabling doctors to focus on patient care. Features include:
It is geared towards small healthcare providers, helping them manage practices effectively with minimal effort.
The easy-to-use interface provides:
Kareo Clinical is designed for ease of use, even for those unfamiliar with technology.
It offers features and simplicity for small practices, enabling providers to access patient data and manage their practices efficiently, allowing high quality patient care.
AthenaOne is a cloud-based EHR designed for healthcare professionals of all sizes, allowing efficient care while connecting to patients.
Key features include:
Interoperability easily shares patient data with other providers ensuring continuity of care and team collaboration for better outcomes.
Its cloud-based platform provides seamless updates and maintenance minimizing practice disruptions, along with award-winning 24/7 customer service.
Practice Fusion provides customizable cloud EHR software for small independent practices and ambulatory services.
Key features include:
Other practice management options provide:
Practice Fusion provides comprehensive and adaptable EHR software to help providers streamline operations, improve care and remain compliant. So if you need a cloud EHR solution that is both flexible and user-friendly, Practice Fusion is an excellent choice.
Founded in 2008, PatientNow rapidly became a go-to solution for healthcare providers of all levels. The company aims to make the medical experience more seamless and customizable for any healthcare facility.
PatientNow provides a comprehensive EMR solution to streamline practice and management operations.
Key features include:
RXNT provides cloud and certified EMR software for healthcare providers, aiming to improve outcomes and revenue management.
Key features include:
ONC certification meets industry standards and regulations, ensuring secure and careful data handling.
In addition to EHR, RXNT offers:
These capabilities help practices stay organized and operate efficiently.
AdvancedMD EHR provides an all-in-one cloud solution with practice management, EHR and CRM for healthcare organizations of all sizes.
Key features include:
NextGen Healthcare's EHR software is suited to ambulatory practices of all sizes, offering:
EClinicalWorks provides cost-effective EHR solutions for primary care providers and 40 medical specialties, making it versatile. It serves over 130k physicians and 850k medical professionals generating $500M in revenue.
The comprehensive EHR capabilities enable providers to easily manage patient information like:
Practice management tools streamline:
Features like patient portals, appointment reminders and secure messaging improve patient engagement.
Tools for care coordination and population health management help providers:
This improves quality of care and patient outcomes.
GE Healthcare has provided reliable EHR solutions for over 25 years, including their flagship cloud-based system, GE Centricity EHR.
The EHR system focuses on: