Electronic medical records (EMR) software is an electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one health care organization.
Who Uses EHRs?
Nearly every healthcare provider uses an EHR. This includes private practices, medical groups, and hospitals. More specifically, the vast majority of ambulatory surgical centers, specialized clinics, hospitals, and general physician specialized clinics use EHRs.
Improved Quality of Care
EMR software can potentially improve patient care in a number of significant ways, allowing you to:
- Access legible records immediately and easily
- Increase patient time by reducing paperwork and filing
- Reduce mistakes and omissions by charting at the point of care
- Eliminate mistakes with overlooked symptoms and misread prescriptions
- Eliminate mistakes with drug interactions, conflicts, and recalls
- Set alerts and reminders for follow-up visits, preventive health procedures, lab work, etc.
- Improve communication and management of treatment from multiple physicians
Questions to Ask EMR Vendors
Is your solution CCHIT and ONC-ATCB certified?
The extent to which each EHR can help you take advantage of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) participation through a merit-based incentive payments system (MIPS) is, for some organizations, one of the most important considerations when choosing software.
If you do want to participate in MIPS and MACRA, you’ll need to eliminate solutions that are not CCHIT and ONC-ATCB certified from your consideration. You can do this at the top of this page by clicking the checkbox next to “ONC-ATCB Certified” and then clicking “Filter.”
How much will support and training cost?
- What kind of support and training does the vendor offer?
- How much does it cost?
- What do customers think about it?
What does the patient portal offer?
Patient portals have become nearly ubiquitous among EHRs, in part because they’re incentivized under Meaningful Use. And for good reason. A patient portal with secure messaging can reduce no-shows, provide instant and secure information to authorized patients, and overall contribute to a highly interactive doctor-patient experience.
But not all patient portals are created equal.
When choosing an EHR system, ask the vendors whether patients can view the following using their portals:
- Complete charts
- Treatment plans, past and present
- Appointment history
- Vaccination records
- Lab results
- Outstanding balances
It’s also helpful to find out whether patients can request refills and contact your practice directly through the portal.