Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Medical Records

Choose the Best EMR Software

Google Plus One LinkedIn Print

The right electronic medical records software (EMR software) can change the way your practice works. By replacing all your paper charts with computer files, the best EMR software makes your office more efficient in many ways.

All medical software packages should be fully compliant with HIPAA regulations. The best EMR software can bring your office to 100% compliance with HIPAA's privacy and security rules in regards to patient charts, but you'll still have to handle billing records and other sensitive data appropriately.

Compare Ease of Use

The best EMR software is focused on ease of use. If your doctors and administrative staff can't use it easily, even the best EMR software won't provide much of a productivity boost. And the only dependable way to evaluate ease of use is to try the software yourself.

Go through all your most common tasks during the demonstration provided by the vendors you're evaluating. See if you can figure out where information goes, if it's easy to navigate from one screen to another, and if the software can be set up to match the way your office works.

Consider the functionality

While this factor may sound like the previous one, it's a bit different. Deciding on what you need will certainly narrow the field of options, but there might still be a number of products to consider. Now that you've picked your top three or four software packages, you need to make a choice. For instance, you might prefer a product that includes an e-prescribing feature. Besides the obvious gains in patient safety, you know that Medicare specifically rewards such capabilities. In deciding between different vendors who offer this feature, you might look at factors like ease of use, patient tracking, patient alerts, and more.

How Will You Transition to EMR?

If you have a substantial amount of paper charts, you'll need to work out how to get them into the EMR system. The most common approach is called the "scan forward" method: the vendor will set you up with a scanner, and every time you access a patient's file that isn't in the system yet, you'll scan it into the EMR software. This lets you get your most used records into the system quickly, without the expense and effort of scanning all your old files in at once.

Electronic medical records, or EMR software, are a crucial building block in digitizing health care data. It will help improve patient care, enhance portability of information, and enable a more accurate exchange of patient data between providers, patients, and payers. It will also lower the risks for medical errors and lower the incidence of unnecessary patient testing.

Implementing the new medical records software can be painless, but remember that it may not be that easy for everyone in the office. Every individual needs to learn something, and one person may not be as quick as another. Here are some tips to make a seamless transition to a new medical records tool:

Removing psychological barriers

Adopting new medical records software may be a daunting task for clinicians and other members of the health care team. The implementation should promote a collaborative environment where everyone will be involved. A buddy system can also be set up in order to assist staff who might have some problems with the new software.

Anticipate problems

Using a new EMR program is a significant undertaking. The system might have been tested from top to bottom, but expect that there will be glitches and some problems until everyone is quite familiar with it. Enough training should be provided prior to the transition. Round up doctors, nurses, and other practitioners who might encounter difficulties using the software.

If you're switching from an old EMR system to a new one, the transition should be completely automated. The best EMR software companies will carefully import the data from the old system to make sure it's all accessible in the new software without any down time.

Retrain and remind

It will be an iterative process when you transition to medical records software. You can introduce new features once a month since a good chunk of information about a new technology cannot be absorbed all at once. Monitor the progress of the staff and see who needs more support. It would also be wise to have a phased transition that clearly defines the roles and process at each stage.

Address problems and let the process evolve

Integration of the EMR software into your work flow may take some time. When you detect issues and problems with it, address them right away so that they will not occur repeatedly. It does not end at rolling out the program to every computer in the office. The implementation process should evolve naturally until it integrates well with the habit and practice of the clinicians and staff.

Choosing the Best EMR Software Company

As you search for the best EMR software companies, you'll probably encounter two very different approaches to software delivery. Traditional systems, where you run the software on your own computers, are contrasted with application service provider (ASP) or software as a service (SaaS) models, in which the bulk of the processing and data storage is done at the software company's data center and you access it over the Internet.

Both models can provide excellent reliability and most of the same features. One important distinction is that in-house software involves a larger up-front purchase fee, while ASP software is usually priced per user per month.

Ultimately, the best EMR software companies are those that treat your business like a partner, taking the time to understand your needs so they can offer a solution that you'll be happy with. And the first step in finding the best partner for your EMR software needs is using BuyerZone's free electronic medical records software quote request service to get connected to qualified suppliers in your area.

Ready to Compare Electronic Medical Records Price Quotes?