As the healthcare industry is evolving, finding the right EHR is becoming more grueling. What worked ten years ago needs a second look as the industry moves forward. The market is becoming a competitive ground in offering so many features of EHR software. The inability to meet practice needs is one of the most common reasons many practitioners look for a new solution.
Having a list of what is important when choosing software should also align with the features that it must have.
And to make your goal easier, here are the top features of EHR software to look for when choosing an EHR!
More Than a Provider
Choose a business partner that will provide more than just software. Your vendor must understand the importance of EHR features for your clinical needs, shares your values, and will contribute to your success. The partnership should not end at implementation; it should start a relationship that grows with time with mutual benefit.
A proactive vendor that will provide:
- Insights for growth and development.
- Flexible with your work.
- Understands your revenue cycle management.
- Guidance in financial interests.
- On-demand healthcare business support.
- Additional ancillary services.
Have a look at the top EMR platforms for Revenue Cycle Management in 2021.
Top features of EHR software must be simple and easy-to-use. Factors as such are critical for easy navigation. It will help you save time with increased employee satisfaction and engagement.
Your EHR platform should have seamless integration with PM for smooth patient check-in, walk-in visits, and scheduled appointments.
Look for the following must-haves for easy navigation:
- Follow-up reminders.
- Appointment notification.
- Reminders for test results.
- Calendar organization.
- Single-click selection.
- Automatic check-in process.
- Automatic billing.
- Electronic scanning.
Powerful Business Intelligence
Making smart business decisions has become increasingly competitive in this new era.
In today’s healthcare industry, we are inundated with data, from the demographic information we collect from patients to registration. Data collection is required at every step of the way, from complaints to the types of protocols that are followed, time spent per encounter, etc.
Your EHR should give you the ability to configure data in a way that makes sense for your business, get numbers fast, identify trends, and drill down to get specific, actionable data that is relevant to your clinic.
There are endless advantages to having a robust BI in your EHR:
- Increase profitability.
- Access more data.
- Improve operational efficiency.
- Provide better patient care.
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Applying BI technology to your EHR’s repository content will authorize providers to extract quality and meaningful information. This facilitates real-time decision support, evidence-based practice, and improved patient outcomes. The extracted data from the repository can help focus on the scarce resources and accelerate necessary changes in your practice or the healthcare industry in general.
Having an EHR that can communicate information in and out is crucial. It acts as a central unit for patient data. Opt for a system solution that can interface with labs, radiology centers, and pharmacies for ePrescription.
Most interfaces are facilitated through the Health Level Seven (HL7) standard language today. But this is moving forward to an API world. Therefore, your EHR should have bidirectional interfacing capability, being able to swap information back and forth. This feature enables updates in one system; e.g., if a patient updates his/her address, it is automatically recorded in the interfaced system.
This increases efficiency when x-rays or lab work is involved. Hence, make sure your EHR solution has successfully completed the types of interfaces your practice needs. Experience with interfaces means they can quickly and affordably create the interfaces you require.
Training & Technical Support
Successful implementation of the software calls for continuous training and technical support for the administrative and clinical staff. Make sure to always ask your vendor about the training programs, whether on-site or online; continuous support ensures that you and your staff are updated on the functionality and latest trends.
Questions to ask:
- Do they have trainers on staff to help get clinic personnel up to speed during implementation?
- Is training included as a part of implementation or an additional cost?
- Is ongoing training provided?
Whether online or on-site, continuous training ensures your staff stays up to date on software functionality.
Access to online training will help save your time when onboarding new personnel. Of course, personalized training will be the most effective for EHR mastery, so keep a check if your vendor has a separate, role-based training for registration, triage, and billing staff.
Tips to remember:
- Your vendor must provide consistent help for any questions or complexities that might come up later.
- Your vendor has its technical support team.
- Make sure the support team can speak your specialty language and understands the U.S. healthcare industry.
Your EMR is compliant with the rules and regulations.
Having tools for patient interaction is always another of must-haves feature of EHR software. EHRs that are easily functional and available for multiple devices can drastically improve your care delivery and build strong patient relationships.
Some EHRs also have interactive tools to help patients take charge of their health choices and payment options.
Think about the patient-centric tools such as electronic registration and wait time transparency.
A portal on which patients can:
- Complete registration before arriving.
- Check-in kiosk system.
- Queue display that shows the order of patients.
- Text-based appointment reminders.
- Wait time notifications.
- Notifications for lab results.
- Online payment option.
- Payment plans.
Accessibility to all these features will not only improve patient experience but also decrease collection time and delinquent patient accounts.
In any specialty-specific practice where patients typically follow up with their primary care physician, communication should continue even after the visit.
An EHR should also have a window for online reviews with a simple text-based, post-visit patient survey. Reviews on service quality can send up a flag when a patient is dissatisfied and allow your staff to follow up with timely service recovery.
Choose an EHR software that is built to work with your service line and typical patient scenarios. Save time and hassle of modifying an EMR that will fit your clinical workflow. A one-size-fits-all EMR does not exist for any practice.
Larger EHR vendors are often focused on facilitating hospitals and enterprises —neglecting other specialized practices. Nor do they cater to the speed of documentation.
Tip: Pick an EMR that has quick and accurate charting its priority.
So make sure that your EHR has an on-demand healthcare environment, providing user convenience by speeding up documentation and allowing work on-the-go. Think about mobility when you make your choice. Tablet or mobile-based EHR solutions are the ultimate choices for convenience than applications that work only on a desktop.
How to get the most from your EHR vendor demonstration?
No doubt that choosing a suitable software system solution that entails all the top features of EHR systems is a daunting task—especially with endless industry choices. The limitations of switching or implementing the software can either be hindered or helped by your vendor.
Therefore, take your time and test each option against your practice’s features that are best needed. Perfect software, including a perfect EHR, does not exist. But out of the million options, there is a solution that will work for your clinic’s situation.
Keep in mind not to settle for a solution without thinking about the progressive growth of your practice. Choose a vendor that will stay ahead of the trends in the industry. A good business partner will not only help your practice run smoothly but will also be committed to the success of your business.
If you still require more information or help, reach out to our EHR consultant to discuss further!