How to choose the right EMR system for you?

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In our EMRSCloud series of articles we have already discussed various topics such as digitizing your medical records and using EMR with limited internet connection. However, we know that deciding which EMR system will be the best for your needs can be challenging as well. Therefore, today we would like to explore an important question: How to choose the right EMR?

What is an EMR?

choosing the right EMR

In case some of our readers are new to the topic, we would first like to quickly explain what an EMR actually is.

The shortcut stands for Electronic Medical Record. It is a software that automates documentation, storage, and retrieval of patient records. It serves the purpose of improving healthcare services by taking some of the responsibilities off of clinicians’ shoulders. While the computer is dealing with some parts of the work, medical workers can focus fully on helping their patients. EMR systems also increase the integrity and accessibility of health data, making it easier to accurately diagnose patients and plan effective treatments.

EMR features

choosing the right EMR

There are plenty of EMR systems offering their services. When deciding on which one to choose, it is important to first look at the features that most good EMRs have. If you encounter an EMR that lacks all of these functionalities, you should probably keep on searching for another one.

Patient portal

It is an online portal where patients can access their medical records, including past visits, e-prescriptions, test results. Being able to always check this information increases the comfort and satisfaction of patients. They no longer have to worry if they remembered prescriptions correctly. It also improves the overall information exchange between the facility and the patient. 

Charts

This feature allows to display medical diagnoses in the form of a chart. Such a visual way of showing data is clear, accurate and easy-to-understand, and can be helpful to both patients and clinicians.

Reminders

Even though everyone knows how important it is to take care of your health, this knowledge often ends up being only theoretical. In practice, it is easy to forget about an appointment, or not even realize that it is about time you do some prophylactic tests. Reminders feature can be of great help to the patients, not only notifying about booked appointments, but also sending prophylactic reminders, for example women of a certain age can receive a reminder to do a mammogram.

E-prescribing

Electronic prescribing replaces other forms of communication between a physician and a pharmacy, being a lot faster and more convenient than handwritten prescriptions. E-prescriptions can also involve important information such as a patient’s allergies, drug interactions and dosage amounts.

Types of EMR software

choosing the right EMR

To choose the right EMR software for your facility, it is good to first gain basic information about the types that you will be choosing from:

Cloud-based EMR software

Softwares of this type store the medical data in a cloud. It saves the space in a facility, as there is no need to set up a separate server room. It also helps in keeping the database updated, because as soon as someone enters new information into the system, it will be visible to all of the other authorized users. Some cloud-based EMRs can also be accessed in offline mode. It is especially useful in facilities with limited internet connection.

Mac EMR software

This type of softwares is compatible with Apple devices. Some of their features are macOS-exclusive. There are two versions: cloud- and web-based.

INC-Certified EMR software

If your requirements involve compliance with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), you should look for an INC-certified software. ONC sets standards regarding proper storage of sensitive data and its management. 

Behavioral/Mental Health EMR software

This type of EMR software is dedicated to specialized facilities that are dealing with behavioral and mental health. Programs suitable in such situations offer features specific to this sector’s needs (e.g. features useful for therapists and group clinics). One of the characteristics of this type of software is very advanced notes management, including easy access to old notes. It allows therapists to work more efficiently.

Medical Billing software

This type of software is most often used by hospitals and clinics that have a lot of administration work to do. It integrates EMR with the administrative department, enhancing processing of patient statements, verifying insurance, and processing of payments.

How to choose the right EMR system for your facility?

choosing the right EMR

Now that you have all of the basic information needed, it is finally the time to search for your best choice among EMR systems. 

In order to choose an EMR system correctly you should follow these steps:

  1. Set your needs straight – what are your clinic’s priorities? What do you want to achieve with your chosen EMR system?
  1. Look at the features – focus on the ones that you know your facility needs. Do not get overwhelmed by the diversity of choices, and carefully select the most important ones.
  1. Review system architecture – make sure it is clear and easy to understand. If you find it messy or confusing, it might be better to search for different options.
  1. Try a demo – nothing will give you more sense of an actual user experience than trying a demo. It is one of the best ways to decide whether a system is right for you.
  1. Look at client reviews – customers’ opinions can be of great help in the process of choosing the right EMR. Take your time on reading reviews. Users’ insights are a great sort of information.
  1. Check if there is a customer service or community available – a product such as an EMR system requires some kind of support from the provider, in case some bugs emerge or you encounter a problem with configuration, updating or overall usage of the system. Due to that reason it is good to check what type of support the provider offers. Is there some kind of customer service available? Or maybe the community is responsible for supporting each other? Depending on what type of support you prefer, select through EMRs.
  1. Pick the right EMR! – Now that you have all of the tools in your box, it is time to pick the best system for you. We hope that our information was helpful in this process.

But this is not the end – we can help you even further!

If you would like to have a trustworthy, high-quality EMR system implemented by experienced specialists, and hosted in a cloud, we can offer you our service – EMRSCloud!

EMRSCloud’s mission is to give more people access to OpenMRS, and make their quest of saving lives easier. We are offering cloud hosting, implementation and configuration support, modules selection support, and overall help throughout the process of installation, as well as later on, during the usage.

If you would like to learn more and become EMRSCloud’s client, visit this website: emrscloud.com.

Source

Wheel | Types of EMR Systems

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