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What To Look For In Your Next EHR

Finding the right EHR system is a crucial decision for any medical practice. The right EHR will improve your practice, help you attest to Meaningful Use, improve patient communication, provide medication management and more. How well a system ultimately meets the needs of a practice largely depends on how well the practice defines its needs before selecting a platform.

Most practices begin by establishing key goals for implementation. They may be clinical goals or business and productivity goals. To help you define the requirements for your EHR system, we’ve provided a list of the most common features to look for when buying EHR and practice management software.

24/7 Access: In a cloud-based system, the data is stored externally and can be accessed from anywhere, only requiring a computer with an internet connection. There is no hardware or software installation required. Client-server systems store data in-house and requires a server and software be installed in the physician’s office. These days, practices are increasingly turning to cloud-based EHRs for IT resource savings, improved accessibility and security reasons.

Templates: A good EHR comes pre-loaded with the appropriate content for quick and efficient charting. With most systems, you can customize your charting preferences and integrate them into your existing workflow.

Specialization: A specialty-specific EHR is designed for the needs and workflows of an individual practice type. They include forms and templates tailored to the specialty, which helps improve overall workflow and efficiency.

Connectivity: One of an EHR’s most valuable features is the ability for it to share information with laboratory and diagnostic services.

Patient Communication: The patient portal enables patients to update their demographic information, request appointments and prescription refills and ask non-urgent questions. Portals can increase practice efficiency and improve patient satisfaction and increase compliance.

Revenue Cycle Management: Automatic charge capture and claim creation is important for billing efficiency. Having a claim automatically created and populated with appropriate demographics and charge codes from the visit can help streamline the revenue cycle process.

Certification: Eligible health care professionals and eligible hospitals must use certified EHR technology in order to achieve Meaningful Use (MU) and qualify for government incentive payments. Certified EHRs have the functionality and security necessary to reach those benchmarks.

Meaningful Use Reporting: Meaningful Use defines the minimum government standards for using EHR and for exchanging patient clinical data between healthcare providers, insurers and patients. The rules determine whether or not a healthcare provider may qualify for government incentive payments. The ability for on EHR to create detailed reports tracking MU attestation is essential for reimbursement. It also provides documentation in the case of a Meaningful Use audit.

The process of choosing an EHR can be challenging and takes time. Knowing your organization’s goals and the features you require will help you decide on a system that best meets the needs of your practice.