eClinicalWorks EMR Software is an award-winning vendor offering integrated EHR, Practice Management, Population Health, and Revenue Cycle Management solutions and services to more than 130,000 physici.. Read more
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So, you’re ready to make your sleep medicine practice relevant to the 21st century: EHR software will gain you the respect of the public and help you align with the requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But take care—don’t pick the first vendor that submits an apparent reasonable quote. You could pay the high price, not only in costs but with the time you’ll waste trying to implement it.
EHRs work, but they only give you real return on investment when they’re appropriate for your niche. In managing a sleep medicine practice your niche is as unique as they come.
We’ll help you pick the best products the first time, thanks to the tips below.
Firstly you need to ask vendors about the basics of the product. This foundation determines how much satisfaction (of frustration) you’ll get on a day to day basis.
When it comes to software, security features should always be at the top of the priority list. Talk to the service provider about protection against hackers so you can be sure your data won’t be taken ransom.
Customer service will also determine the quality of the product as you may need assistance from technicians. Ask if they’re available 24/7 to ensure minimal downtime.
An important feature modern EHRs should have is to contain all relevant ICD-10 codes. As EHR software should ideally help you with billing and insurance payments, you need this feature to ensure accurate claims. Good news: This will improve this revenue stream.
It goes without saying that it needs to be HIPAA compliant.
It must be easy to use and quick to get used to the new product. If it’s an intuitive design the transition period will be short. You may want to ask your partners or office staff to review the dashboard layouts too so you know it suits everyone.
EHRs help practices improve accuracy but also time management IF it contains the necessary features:
- Least number of clicks to get to relevant menus or information
- Less typing thanks to menus with relevant tick boxes
- Easy record keeping with automated features instead of writing, scanning documents or manually adding information to patient files
We suggest you pick a product that allows customization. It should be scalable to suit the size of your practice and if you can change templates to fit with your preferences & habits you’ll save a lot of time on charting.
Do you want to keep the data on site or would you consider a cloud based system? The latter makes the data easily accessible from almost any device which is a benefit if you work at various venues. Cloud systems can also be more secure.
In all these aspects it’s wise to read reviews about the company so you know what to expect from the supplier.
A quality foundation still needs unique features, relevant to your niche, such as the following.
Your medical assistance rarely leads to instant solutions to problems. Testing for the reasons for abnormal conditions such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy can take time. Your EHR must contain templates that make it easy to track the process, including:
You’re bound to have many return patients—something not relevant to all healthcare niches—so your EHR must make it easy to have a holistic view of the patient’s history during every visit.
This feature also affects the other reason EHRs are so highly valued: Improved patient care. If you’re up to date on a patient’s case thanks to a comprehensive report that’s available you have more time during a consultation. You’ll be informed and have more focus instead of trying to remember details or looking for your notes on the case.
Part of your patients’ progression will be determined by what they do once they’re home. Lifestyle changes or self monitoring may be necessary. But they need guidance to get it right.
Quality EHRs contain niche specific information or allow you to upload your own information which you can share with your patients:
- Opening the documents during a consultation. Explaining with graphs and images on hand can help them better understand.
- Emailing leaflets to patients.
If you want to interact with patients you need a dynamic infrastructure that will support it. High end EHRs contain patient portals. Through this you can send information about their conditions, but also simplify these tasks:
- Updating personal details
- Sending accounts
- Completing documents online
- Messaging between healthcare provider and patient
This creates an accurate record of everything that relates to the patient. You also cut down on the time you or your staff members spend on manually transferring information to a database.
Prescribing medicine forms a central part of your treatments. Wouldn’t it be best to cut down on the time you spend on this?
E-prescription modules make it easy—and more secure—to send prescriptions to pharmacies. You also won’t forget to write out a repeat prescription ever again because your EHR can remind you of these tasks. This means less time spent on the phone with patients reminding you.
The goal of EHR is to help health care agents function more effectively. If your software gives you niche specific templates and SOAP note layouts you’ll record patient & consultation information in a fraction of the time you’re spending on it now.
Ready to change?
Picking the right EHR for your niche is what gets you one step ahead of the competition in the healthcare industry; But also steps ahead of overwhelming workloads and capable of better time management.
Will you invest some time in picking the right product to ensure long term success?