athenahealth is a leading provider of cloud-based and on-premise healthcare solutions for medical groups and health systems nationwide. Their vision is to create a thriving ecosystem that delivers acc.. Read more
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eClinicalWorks is an award-winning vendor offering integrated EHR, Practice Management, Population Health, and Revenue Cycle Management solutions and services to more than 130,000 physicians across th.. Read more
PrognoCIS, set up in the early 2000s, is a healthcare company that is suitable for all sizes of practices and hospitals. It offers integrated modules for EHR, practice management, and patient portal a.. Read more
Epic Systems Corporation, or Epic, has been in the market since 1979 and employees around 10,000 personnel. Headquartered in Verona, Wisconsin, Epic has ranked in numerous accolades and awards over th.. Read more
AdvancedMD is an integrated medical software suite for independent practices. Founded in 1999 and based in South Jordan, Utah, the vendor serves an expansive national footprint of more than 22,500 pra.. Read more
Cerner is the leading US supplier of health care information technology, offering a unified suite of digital solutions that streamline clinical and administrative workflows of large health organizatio.. Read more
Allscripts has been in business for the past 30 years with presence across four countries; US, UK, Canada, and Australia. Over time, the company has transitioned from a core electronic prescribing ent.. Read more
Amazing Charts, a leading developer of Electronic Health Record, Practice Management, and Medical Billing Systems for outpatient practices, was founded in 2001 by a practicing family physician. In 201.. Read more
DrChrono’s All-in-One integrated EHR and medical billing software aims to modernize patient care and optimize practice efficiency. The EHR software is apt for practices of all sizes, small to large, c.. Read more
ChartLogic, a subsidiary of Medsphere Systems Corporation, has been in the market since 1994. It is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The vendor provides an ambulatory electronic health record sy.. Read more
Health IT company Greenway Health has been in this space for the past 30 years. It offers several options when it comes to electronic medical records (EMR) such as Intergy, Prime Suite, and Success EH.. Read more
Practice Fusion, an Allscripts company, founded in 2005 is the #1 cloud-based ambulatory EHR platform in the United States. It has a partnership with some of the leading medical billing software compa.. Read more
Kareo was founded in 2004 and has been in business for over 13 years. The solution is purpose-built to cater to the unique needs of independent small practices, avoiding the standard complicated, time.. Read more
NextGen Healthcare offers NextGen Office (formerly known as MediTouch)—a cloud-based EHR – specifically designed for private practices. NextGen Office is a fully integrated practice management solutio.. Read more
Clinicient provides an EHR system that is specially designed for outpatient rehab. It covers a wide range of necessary features ranging from registering your patients to managing their billing.
Cli.. Read more
In its simplest form, EHR software enables providers to create a digital representation of a person's medical record. However, since its inception, top EHR companies have expanded the capabilities of EMRs from simple note-taking modules to an analytical and decision support system that helps providers deliver better healthcare.
Here are a few benefits of EMRs over paper-based care:
There are hundreds of EHR companies operating in the US alone. Not all of them, however, meet technical standards set by the government for ensuring better and safer care. It is imperative, thus, to only use the Top EMR software that is certified by the government regulatory agencies.
If you are a Medicare or Medicaid participating physician, chances are you need a certified electronic health record software. A certified EHR is a system that has received a nod from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCB) for meeting standards for structured data set by CMS and ONC.
You can view the most updated list of certified Top EHR vendors here.
At times these certifications can be confusing to understand. You must ask EHR companies the following questions regarding their certification:
Before you embark on your software purchase journey, you need to get a better understanding of your requirements. It includes taking stock of the financial and logistical circumstances of your practice. Below we will discuss some initial steps involved in the buying decision-making process.
But before we do that, let's get the elephant out of the room and talk whether free software is good enough for you.
A free EMR can be a good fit initially for a small or solo provider practice. However, be prepared for the challenges that come with such a system:
An excellent alternative to a free EMR only would be to opt for a medical billing service deal with vendors for which most EHR companies offer their EMR and Practice Management system for free. Learn more about Medical billing companies.
We have also compiled a list of low cost/ free EMR vendors for small practices in our blog, "Top Alternatives to Practice Fusion."
Start by answering a few questions about the entity that requires the software.
With so many EHR companies out there, not all of them cater to your medical specialty or business size. For example, some vendors only provide software for outpatient and ambulatory care settings, while others offer inpatient functionality as well. You need to start your research by shortlisting candidates that specifically cater to your practice size and type. The industry division based on practice size is as follows:
It is a healthcare setting with solo or less than five physicians. Most buyers are either moving away from paper to meet regulatory requirements or replacing their existing EMR system for something better. Most of these offices do not have a lot of staff or IT support. Therefore, an ideal EMR software for them would be one that does not require a lot of hands-on IT support. It should also help automate most tasks in the organization, thus reducing the need to hire extra staff.
An EMR company that offers both monthly subscription and per visit pricing model would be a good fit, especially it this practice is starting new and does not anticipate a large patient volume from the beginning. Software vendors like AdvancedMD EMR can be a good fit as they have multiple pricing options for smaller practices.
These buyers usually have around 6 to 25 physicians on staff. Apart from looking to improve efficiency, most such buyers are in search of a system that caters well to multiple specialties. A free system would not work for such a setting as the level of customization required would not be available with such a solution.
Such practices also prefer software that is scalable and functions across multiple locations.
As considerable cost is involved in implementing a new system, the buying journey for midsize to large practices is longer. Such organizations also have the flexibility to influence EHR costs rather than accept standard contracts, something which they should make use of while negotiating with an EMR company.
You can learn more about EHR contracting by downloading our whitepaper "EHR contracts: What they mean & how to Protect your Practice."
Like their midsize counterparts, larger practices are also usually long term buyers looking for a system that would last the organization for a long time. There are more than two dozen physicians on staff and considerable support staff to run such an organization.
EMR buyers can also be differentiated based on first-time buyers or practices looking to replace their existing system. Here are some additional guidelines that apply to them.
If you are a first-time EMR buyer or a new practice owner, you need to make sure that both software and hardware support is available to you. The hardware you purchase should support the requirements of your new EMR software or vice versa.
There are many third-party managed IT services that can help you in this phase if you do not want to have a full time IT person on board. Some EMR vendors also offer these IT support services to their clients during the onboarding stage.
Make sure that you discuss it with potential vendors before finalizing an EMR company for your practice.
If you are looking to switch your existing system, however, your concerns will be slightly different. Firstly, you need to make sure that your contract with the current EMR vendor is up because if it isn't and you decide to leave midway, there may be financial penalties. You will also need their support in data migration to a new system. Some vendors, such as eclinicalworks and CureMD EMR, offer basic data migration for free. However, if you are looking to migrate clinical content, it can cost you around $1500 to $3000 one time fee depending on the size and volume of your data. It would be prudent to learn from these initial interactions with EHR companies and try to negotiate a better contract with a new vendor.
The needs of a specialty practice are different than that of primary care. For starters, they require different templates, treatment plans, devices, and lab integrations. A primary care practice involved in family medicine requires different templates than other specialists, such as psychologists. Most EMR vendors offer a standard system that is customizable for other specialties. Some vendors specialize in one thing only. Which one of these will work best for you will depend on the depth of specialty content needed by your facility.
Please also keep in mind that EMR costs will vary between specialties. For example, EHR software for cardiologists, Oncologists, and Dermatology practices are generally higher priced than for other things as these require complex workflows and integrations.
Your size will also determine the amount of support you'll need. Not all entities employ permanent IT staff. If you need external help or assistance from the service provider for training, implementation, troubleshooting, and more—24/7 if possible—pick one where it's included in the offer.
Note that this aspect has a financial impact too: If this isn't already included in their standard package, it can become quite expensive.
Vet your options according to these features to determine which is best. Keep in mind that relevancy to your setup is always your starting point. Studies show that in most cases, 75% of software features never get used. That means you'll waste money if you purchase an elaborate program with functions you don't need.
Here are the ones that should be on your priority list.
If you're already using other software, you don't want to reinvent the wheel. Make sure the EMR you pick can be integrated into your hospital or practice management system. Working with two separate systems will only slow you down. You should also inquire about labs, radiology integrations, and device integrations
Does the vendor integrate with inhouse labs?
Do they have bi-directional interfaces with all leading labs across the country?
Can you integrate your camera with your EMR?
It counts in your favor if you don't own any system yet. You can opt for an integrated EMR and Practice Management software, so one system governs all your tasks from the start.
The choice of the deployment method you choose is as important as selecting an EMR company. Each option comes with its own set of pros and cons. There are two main options to choose from:
Web-Based/ Cloud: You can access the software anywhere with the internet. Data hosting is in the cloud
On-Premise: Software is stored and implemented in on-site servers.
Either option has repercussions on price, security, and accessibility.
Both your patients and the authorities require quality security features to keep data safe & confidential. Firstly, you need software with dynamic encryption services. Whether it's stored or sent to a third party, unauthorized parties or hackers shouldn't be able to access details.
Of course, you want a smooth implementation process for your staff's benefit. Even though EMR service providers usually provide training, a user-friendly, intuitive interface is a sign of a quality product, designed with the user in mind.
User-friendliness in Kareo
Patient Portal in Greenway Health
With COVID-19, Telehealth software adoption has seen a massive uptake. Hospitals have deployed the systems to provide safe care to their patients without exposing them or their staff to the infection. At the same time, many providers are using telemedicine software to run their practices, which would have been impossible otherwise due to a countrywide lockdown.
Responding to the need for quick deployment and implementation of these solutions, top EHR companies are offering a limited-time free or discounted telemedicine software to their users.
Many vendors that did not have telemedicine software such as PrognoCIS, Chart Perfect, WRS health, and Chartlogic have recently launched their solutions as well. You can learn more about these offerings in our article COVID-19: How EMR Companies are Helping?
Pricing for EMR software varies depending on your specialty, practice size, brand name, and the level of customization and training required at your end. There are low-cost EMR products but with limited functionality as well as more expensive EMR vendors. The following pricing rules apply to the healthcare industry:
Download: EHR companies Pricing List 2019
The following EHR companies have received recognition by KLAS* for their performance in 2019