Orthopedics EHR Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: September 26, 2023
EHR for Orthopedic Practices—An Insightful Overview
Yours is a unique healthcare specialty that offers hope to people after accidents, sports injuries and many other scenarios. Is your EHR helping you give optimal care to these individuals?
We list a few EHR features orthopedists shouldn’t go without in this modern age of medicine.
Vital Features of Orthopedic EHR Software
You may not know how streamlined your life can become, simply by investing in the right technology, designed specifically for your niche. Here’s what to ask for when vetting vendors.
A patient who enters your office is bound to revisit at least once or a few times, since the treatment you provide doesn’t always have immediate solutions, but leads to results over time. Does your EHR provide user friendly options to track long term care?
A handy tool is a progress charts feature. This displays conditions before, during and after treatment. Having an overall view of your journey with the patient helps you to quickly recap on a case before starting a consultation.
A Bonus: Helping You Remember
During the recovery process there are many factors at play and you need to stay on top of all your patients’ needs. If your EHR can help you remember vital details it enables you to deliver better care:
- Which medications are preferable in a certain case or for a specific patient
- Set reminders for preventative treatment for certain patients
- Get health reminders
Templates: Your #1 Priority
Purchasing an EHR without niche-specific templates is, in short, a waste of your money. This is essentially why you’re investing in EHR: To streamline your day and save time.
Appropriate templates will offer you:
- Layouts that make it easy to document conditions you often encounter, with the least amount of effort.
- Details in the templates pertain to your healthcare niche. This makes it easy to document the details of a consultation with a few mouse clicks.
- Dropdown menus are filled with options you’ll find relevant, making it easy to find the details you want included in your patient files.
Without these orthopedic centered features documenting your work will still be tedious and time-consuming. For this reason alone it’s wise not to purchase a general EHR product.
The Right Codes
Another aspect that robs both you and your staff of time is working with the modern ICD coding system. The system is designed to ensure accuracy, but you know how frustrating it can be when claims are returned due to minor mistakes.
To prevent this your EHR must contain the correct ICD-10 codes that relate to your area of expertise. Because quality EHRs also help you with managing billing and administration, adding ICD-10 codes can become a quick task, accurate every time. The benefits to your practice:
- Staff members have more manageable workloads
- Your income improves thanks to fewer claim rejections
The correct EHR benefits all aspects of your practice.
Unique Charting Features
The schedule of an orthopaedist is quite unique. You need an EHR which will respond well when you handle emergencies after accidents as deftly as it helps you navigate an ordinary consultation. You also have the unique approach of not always knowing the patient’s history as a GP or a family dentist would.
Your EHR software is supposed to help you in this regard:
- Does it allow you to add a patient’s history of present illness (HPI)?
- Can your software handle the workload when you work on multiple patient files at the same time, instead of you having to close one in order to open up another one. This helps you when you see multiple patients a day and plan on revisiting some later or need to review their cases. Each click takes time, so the fewer mouse clicks you make per day the better.
- Make sure you can add images to patient files. For your niche certain documents play integral roles and you need them on hand at a click of a button. Make sure your EHR can import them easily from the source, adding them to a relevant file:
- X rays
- Hand-drawn images or notes you created yourself
Documentation Made Easy
The nature of your work makes you the professional who needs to supply patients with documentation to prove their conditions, for a variety of situations:
- Documents for attorneys
- Worker compensation claims
- Disability claims
- Work or school absence forms
Instead of writing these manually, a proper EHR will contain templates that you can simply complete. They should have the proper terminology to make it easy to create, process, send or email legally acceptable documentation.
While the features above need to be on the specs list of your EHR, you can’t settle for sub-par software that doesn’t at least have these basics in place too:
- Excellent security features to ensure your patient records stay safe.
- Quality customer care and technical support from your vendor—you can’t allow downtime or problems with the software to disrupt your patients’ or your staff members’ days.
- Easy to understand menus and layout—you need to ensure it’s easy for you and your team to get used to it quickly.
- Compatibility with software and equipment you already use, as well as programs other entities use:
- Other specialists
Over time the market has produced various quality products, so you don’t have to settle for an impractical program anymore. The good news is that you’re likely to find one that makes sense for your practice as well as your budget.
Handy tip: Don’t spend money on a complicated program with unnecessary features you’ll never use if a simpler one will do.
As with many ambulatory care providers you need solutions that help you manage your day, income and patients in a unique fashion—quite different from specialists treating patients booked into a hospital or clinic.
Make it easier on yourself and more beneficial for your patients by using 21st century technology from now on.