Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Medical Records

How to Buy an Ophthalmology EMR System

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Specialty electronic medical records are growing in popularity, and ophthalmology EMR programs are no different. They keep track of patient records, offer billing and coding functionality, and provide document management. But they also generate templates specifically for ophthalmologists and have features that make diagnosing, treating and prescribing much easier.

Ophthalmology EMR: documents and imaging

The first major feature that you should consider is the document and imaging functionality. This is particularly important for ophthalmologists because they need to be able to record and store such information with each patient's file. The document and imaging function should be high-quality with little margin for error.

For physicians who prefer to explain procedures to patients using images, you might want to look for an ophthalmology EMR that allows you to draw directly on images using a Tablet PC or similar device. This is available in many ophthalmology EMR packages, and should be considered, especially if you already have the equipment.

Patient scheduling

An ophthalmologist might see dozens of patients each day, so scheduling is particularly important. Your ophthalmology EMR software should be capable of scheduling patients clearly and easily, and such schedules should be accessible through any computer terminal. Look for options that are color-coded and high-security for maximum value.

Dashboard access

Speaking of security, it is a good idea to get an ophthalmology electronic medical records program that allows you to assign different levels of access from the dashboard. For example, physicians might be able to access all areas of the computer system, but administrative personnel and nurses might have limited access. This increases security for patients and makes it easier to manage your databases.

Document creator

You'll want to find an ophthalmology EMR program that allows you to quickly and easily create documents -- everything from referral letters to treatment reports. Many of these programs allow you to store macros for later use and may even come with pre-designed templates to make your job faster. As a bonus, you might want to find a program that allows you to attach images to these reports when communicating with out-of-office physicians.

Many of the electronic medical records options on the market have very sophisticated functions that will cost more, but might be beneficial for your practice in the long run. For example, some have automatic dialers that will call patients the day before their appointments as a reminder, or will issue postcards in the mail. These extras may seem unnecessary but they're worth considering.


One of greatest benefits to an EMR platform is that many provide access and connectivity via the web. Also known as software-as-a-service (SaaS), this functionality enables you to access patient data from any web-enabled device, including tablets, smartphones, or a laptop computer.

Available through platforms that include iSalus, Patient Click, and Acrendo, this capability makes an SaaS solution practical and highly efficient for those who are routinely out of the office, whether traveling or simply doing rounds. Though this type of solution is far more cost effective than client-server systems, which can run up to $100,000 by some estimates, an SaaS can still have a total price tag in the neighborhood of $26,000 to $58,000.

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