Gastroenterology EHR Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: September 23, 2023
Gastroenterology EHR Software — Make the Ideal Long Term Decision
The change from paperwork to digital record keeping was a great milestone in the health industry. However, it leaves you with a major challenge now: How do you distinguish which software package to invest in?
The market is flooded with options because there are many practical solutions to medical administrative challenges. Each service provider will try to sell you their answer to the problem.
So, here’s how you make sure you don’t waste your money: Buy according to your niche. Gastroenterologists have unique requirements and we’ll help you understand how to align them with the EHR software packages on the market.
But let’s start at the beginning.
10 Important Questions to Ask About Your EHR
Before you pick your customized gastroenterology EHR software, you should gauge whether it’s a quality product in general. These 10 questions often help medical professionals identify which programs are trustworthy:
- Does it have an intuitive layout? Can you accomplish a lot without too many clicks and typing? This saves you valuable time on a busy day.
- Will it also help with financial aspects such as billing or reporting?
- Is it user-friendly so your staff will quickly get used to the new software?
- Can it communicate and integrate with other software in your office?
- Does the service provider offer training? You don’t want to miss out on great features because your staff members aren’t aware of them. You also need help to get the process streamlined as soon as possible. (Allow one or two months as a transition period.)
- Is it scalable or appropriate for you size practice?
- Does it suit your budget?
- Does it provide an easy to use patient portal? Modern patients appreciate interactive options and this can be a drawcard for potential patients. This can even include scheduling features which minimize office staff’s workload.
- Can it analyze Big Data to provide insightful feedback?
- Is there a secure server system and who owns the data if you should ever change service providers?
If you find options that impress in all these areas you can move on to the next step: Finding the best option for the unique niche of gastroenterology. Here’s what else you’ll need.
The Unique Features Gastroenterology EMR Must Have
Now you have to focus on what is necessary to treat patients optimally when they face digestive problems. Remember: Each feature of your diagnosis, administration or testing that gets automated leaves you with more time to focus on the patient. You can also help more individuals if you spend less time on paperwork.
Here’s what you need
Each medical niche focuses on different aspects of a patient’s health. The templates provided by your EHR software must align with your type of work and the organs involved. In your case it should relate to all parts of the digestive system from the mouth to the anus.
Appropriate templates may cover (but aren’t limited to):
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Rectal bleeding
- Stool test
- Weight loss
You need your software to include common complaints and also allow for customary gastroenterology tests such as a colonoscopy or barium swallows.
Yes, the options are vast and your software should provide quite a few. Without these niche specific options, general templates (found in all generic EHR software), may hamper your tasks rather than streamline them.
Can You Customize?
Of course, you may also have specialized tools or resources or perhaps you have a unique work method. Ideally you should be able to modify templates in terms of options and layout. Change it to suit your preferences to streamline your workflow.
Appropriate Coding and Disease Registers
As a gastroenterologist you will make diagnoses different to a GP or other specialists. That means your software must allow for the appropriate ICD-10 codes that you’ll add to claims and paperwork. Also make sure it’s not an outdated system—if you only have access to ICD-9 codes it will slow down your paperwork instead of improve your flow.
You will also treat diseases unique to your medical niche and your EHR software is supposed to help you identify risks & problems. Yes, that’s how efficient modern software can be. But for this to happen your software must be designed to:
- Store symptoms
- Analyze data
- Identify signs that could mean a condition is worsening
- Give warnings about allergies
- Suggest appropriate drugs for prescriptions
You can see with this vast amount of information at your fingertips a consultation can be quick and accurate in determining the source of a problem.
Easy Imaging and Archiving
Not all your work as a gastroenterologist relates to examining the patient. A large part involves images such as X-rays, MRIs, CAT scans as well as radiology reports. Your EHR software must be able to store these and give you quick access to them when necessary.
A gastroenterologist practice is often involved with PQRI (Physician Quality Research Institute) projects. You can optimize your returns for being part of this project if your EHR software generates the right kind of reports. Automated administration means less work for your staff, while you get better returns.
Assist in Educating and Treating Patients
Your Gastroenterology software doesn’t exist for your benefit only. There are many ways quality programs can help your patients too. High-end EHR programs offer educational materials that you can instantly share with your patients.
Because success in gastroenterology treatments is often dependent on patients’ self-care, diet, and lifestyle changes, this is a vital part of niche appropriate software.
When you purchase the wrong type of EHR software you’re bound to waste money on features you don’t use or endure the frustration when it doesn’t streamline your office workflow. You can prevent that by simply picking the right product with the tips above.
Does this guideline help? If you have any further questions, please leave your remarks in the comment section below.