Digital transformation is taking over every industry and brings numerous advantages both for providers and users. The healthcare industry is not an exception. Healthcare is one of the industries that rapidly undergo a digital transformation, acquire new technologies, and improve the services.
Electronic medical records software (EMR) is the element of a digital transformation that is gaining popularity within the industry and professionals.
It brings advantages both for providers and patients. Now when data can be stored online rather than on paper, data storage and exchange have become easier thus facilitating the work of medical personnel.
What Is an Electronic Medical Records Software?
Electronic medical records software (EMR) is a type of program that is designed for medical professionals, hospitals, private clinics, etc. EMR is a digital form of medical data storage. It has a number of features that allow medical professionals to keep all the patient’s medical records, electronic prescriptions, lab results, as well as to schedule appointments, communicate, etc.
EMR is a new way of storing data that makes it easier to find necessary information, as there is no need to go through paper records. Everything is kept in one place and can be accessed at any time needed. EMR system brings a lot of benefits, facilitates the work of medical professionals, and overall enhances the assistance.
Benefits of EMR Software for Medical Professionals and Patients
The usage of electronic medical records software solutions brings a number of benefits to both medical practitioners and patients. If you are looking for software for your business, here are the top benefits you get with an EMR system.
Digital transformation brings new tools and technologies at your disposal, so if you want to grow and prosper in the future, take advantage of the available tools to keep up with the evolving healthcare industry.
Benefits for Medical Professionals:
- Better storage management, there is no need to keep records on paper
- Unified data storage that gives access to the information whenever it is needed
- Data can be easily shared and transferred from one department to another
- Improved management, EMR allows seeing more patients during the day, reduce time on searching for necessary information, send/receive reports instantly, etc.
- Reduction of errors and misfiling
- Easier to track patient details
- An efficient way to store and track clinical documentation
- The improved process of patient billing
- Reduced time on getting lab reports
- Ability to provide treatment remotely with the help of telemedicine
- Better healthcare services
Benefits for Patients:
- Instantly provides necessary information on the patient’s medical history in case of emergencies
- No miscommunication, as medical professionals have all the records
- Better treatment and faster decision making
- Making appointments remotely
- Reduction of errors in personal health records
All the benefits listed above result in better service delivery, increased patients engagement, and decision making in case of emergencies.
Competitive Advantages of Using EMR Software
Taking into account the benefits that electronic medical records software solutions provide for the professionals and patients, we can sum up and eliminate the most prominent competitive advantages of these programs:
- Optimization of medical records: EMR unifies all the records in one system, provides 24/7 access to the data, medical staff is able to view up-to-date information on the patient and quickly receive lab results, thus time on decision making is gradually reduced that can be helpful in times of emergencies.
- Collaboration with patients: medical staff can track patients’ progress and communicate with them 24/7. EMR allows hospitals to have live chats and video appointments, so, in some cases, treatment can be provided remotely.
- Collaboration with multiple healthcare provides: EMR program enables hospitals and private clinics to build a network of institutions that can be involved in the process of treatment.
Common EMR Features that Must Be Included
Electronic medical records software vendors offer a customized approach to building EMR programs, but there is a number of features that are common across various institutions of the healthcare industry. Make sure you have all the necessary tools to provide high-quality services to your patients.
The list of the most common features includes:
- Patient portal: personal page of every patient treated at your establishment that contains personal data, all the medical records, information on allergies and immunizations, summaries, recent doctor visits, lab results, appointment scheduling, etc.
- Customized templates: EMR should contain templates of reports and charts that allow medical staff to create and store the patient’s medical records and documents
- Appointment scheduling: a program should allow both medical professionals and patients to schedule appointments online and check the available hours. This feature is quite useful as it saves a lot of time
- Reminders/alerts: the system can send out reminders to patients not to miss their appointment or to schedule the ones they need. It can also help medical staff to remember to check the patient’s results, not to forget about personnel meetings, etc.
- E-Prescriptions: allows sending prescriptions to patients and authorizing refills, directly communicating with pharmacies, and keeping a record of all the medications that have been prescribed
- Lab integration: enables doctors to receive laboratory results and make quicker decisions, as it saves a lot of time. Patients also will be able to check their results
- Billing management: system helps to create checks and bills for the patients, take payments, keep the record of payments, etc.
Types of Electronic Medical Records Software
Electronic medical records software vendors offer the following types of EMR software:
- On-premise: EMR program that is installed on every computer in the public hospital or private clinic or launched from a local server. The updates cannot be installed remotely. The system cannot be integrated with other software, and data is available only within the practice’s office.
- Cloud-based: the implementation of the system is easier and can be launched from the vendor’s server, it is constantly maintained and updated. Another great feature of cloud-based EMR is that it is scalable and easier to customize. Medical professionals and patients can access information anytime and anywhere with the Internet connection.
- SaaS (Software-as-a-Service): a program that can be accessed via a web browser. It is stored on the vendor’s server. There is no need to buy a license as you use it on subscription bases. The system is maintained and supported by the vendor.
What’s the Difference Between EHR and EMR?
When investigating this topic, you might come across two terms: EHR (Electronic Health Records) and EMR. These two notions are usually used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings. So, what is the difference?
EHR systems integration contains information about patients from multiple resources. It is an integration of two or more systems. For instance, hospitals and different lab systems create an EHR network.
Electronic medical records software (EMR) is a medical record of health-related information on the patient that is gathered, managed, and stored by one organization. So, different EMR systems, when integrated with each other, create an EHR network.
Which EMRs Meet Government Healthcare Regulations?
Electronic medical records software vendors and their products should meet certain government regulations established by CMS as this is a type of program that gathers tentative personal information. They should be strong, secure, and able to communicate/integrate with other systems.
So, if electronic medical records software, companies should test their system and get certificates that prove their systems are developed according to the government standards and regulations. They should submit the program to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology - Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) for testing.
Once the system is certified, ONC-ATCB continues to monitor it. When choosing the EMR system for your business, check whether the vendor provides a certified program. Otherwise, penalties can be imposed on you.
How to Find Electronic Medical Records Software Vendors?| The Guide
Before you start research on electronic medical records software vendors, you have to list a number of features you need in the program. It is an important point in the process, so it’s better to discuss it with your board and listen to your staff’s opinion. They might add valuable information and insights, so you choose the system that covers as many functions as possible and facilitates the work of your staff.
Then, you should think about the goals of EMR. They should be specific and make a difference for both professionals working in your organization and patients, measurable, relevant, attainable, and time-bound (set up deadlines so there are no pauses in the process and everything is done on time).
Decide whether you want the system to be installed on-premise, or you would rather use cloud or web-based deployment.
Next, provide research on available vendors who are capable of providing all the necessary features for your program. But you should consider all the reviews about the work of the system and check whether their system is certified and lives up to the government standards.
You can check certified vendors who have proven to be the best ones on the following websites here, here, and here.
In addition to this, check the information with your colleagues, ask about their experience with the EMR program, contact local medical societies for their recommendations, which can evaluate tools and resources.
Design RFI (Request for Information) to ask for the information from vendors about their services and products. You should learn in detail about the vendor, how they implement the system and their training models, how they will support the system after it is installed, as well as know about health information exchange capabilities, MU (Meaningful Use) guarantee, estimated costs, etc.
Compare the data received from RFI and narrow down the list of vendors you would like to test.
The next step is to schedule demonstrations with a number of vendors to test-drive their EMR system and communicate face-to-face with the vendor’s team. Make sure there are all the necessary features for your organization, practice management features, etc.
And finally, ask for the list of providers who have implemented the vendor’s program in order to collect their references. This will help you to make your final decision on the vendor of the EMR program for your business.
The List of Questions to Ask EMR Vendors Before the Start
- In order to miss anything important, consider the following questions to ask vendors before you make a deal.
- How long does the implementation process take?
- How do you train the medical staff?
- Is it possible to add customized features? At what costs?
- Does the software work on both desktop and mobile devices?
- Does the EMR software integrate with other systems?
- How often is the system updated? Will it influence the work of the software when 24/7 access is needed?
- How will data be migrated from the previous system? Does it cost additional fees?
- How do you keep the system secure?
How Can an EMR System Benefit Your Medical Business?
Implementation of the EMR system brings numerous advantages for businesses in the medical industry. EMR can speed up physician diagnoses and administrative task management (that make up around 30% of healthcare costs). Thus it saves time and costs spent on different operations.
Besides, this system improves patient appointment scheduling and makes it possible to see more patients during the day. It is easier to pull out the necessary information and make decisions faster, especially in emergency cases.
In general, EMR programs enhance assistance, organizes the workflow, and simplifies daily tasks. Thus, medical staff can do more in less time.
How Does an EMR Improve the Quality of Care for Patients?
Medical businesses and professionals are not the only ones that benefit from EMR systems. Patients also can enjoy numerous perks, thanks to this type of program.
EMR software brings customer satisfaction with the services to a higher level as it improves customer engagement and provides transparency.
Patients are in control of the situation, have all the necessary information in their personal accounts, can schedule appointments online whenever they need to see a doctor. The system makes sure all the patients receive their lab results as it is constantly updated.
Another important advantage that improves the quality of healthcare aid is that medical professionals can give online consultations, and there are support services that can provide necessary information 24/7.
Thanks to the implemented solutions, the EMR system improves the quality of help for the patients.
How Much Does Electronic Medical Records Software Cost Today?
The cost of EMR program implementation and maintenance varies from vendor to vendor. It is important to check all the information about the costs beforehand in order to be charged additional fees and make estimations for your budget.
Electronic medical records companies take the upfront cost for the program installation that can be between $25000 and $35000. This will depend on the type of system you choose (on-premise or cloud-based).
Once the system is set up, you will need it to be updated and supported, so there will be some recurring costs to keep on the run. These costs can vary from $4000 to $8000 per month. Apart from this, there can be some hidden costs for program integration with other systems, customization, storage, etc.
Additionally, you should think about the license for the system, whether you want to buy it one-time (the costs can be from $1200 to $500000 and up) or pay for it on a subscription basis (from $200 to $35000) and pay for it every month.
Electronic Medical Records Software Solutions Make It Easier
Choosing the right EMR program for your organization and its implementation is not an easy process, but it should have suitable solutions to facilitate and enhance your services. Vendors should offer such solutions as:
- Patient accounts: the account should contain all the necessary information, including personal data, lab results, allergies, immunizations, medical history, recent appointments, etc.
- Administrative management: every medical professional should be able to perform certain operations within the system (creating personal files, filing reports, sharing data, etc.). It should have appointment scheduling and reminders both for medical staff and patients.
- ePrescriptions: generate digital prescriptions, send them to pharmacies and patients.
- Billing: track all evaluation and management codes, created electronic invoices.
- Lab results: create digital requests for lab work, medical tests, consultations, etc.
All these solutions should be provided by the vendor, so the medical organization of any type is capable of covering the essential needs and delivering high-quality services to its patients.
Psychiatry Electronic Medical Records Software
Electronic medical records software solutions can be designed specifically for certain types of hospitals. Here is the list of the best EMR applications for the Psychiatry field:
- Kareo Clinical
The List of Mental Health Electronic Medical Records Software
- Power Diary
Top Hospital Electronic Medical Records Software
The Best Behavioral Health Electronic Medical Records Software
- Speedy Claims
- AntWorks Healthcare
What to Expect in 2021?
Digital transformation has just begun, and we will experience a lot of changes in the upcoming future as technologies and solutions continuously evolve. We already have quite a standardized image of the EMR program, but many of its solutions need to be refined to make healthcare help even better.
Here are some of the trends in the EMR system development that might go through the most remarkable changes:
- Accessibility: it can be easier to access stored data from any available devices, thanks to IoT.
- Integration and Data Migration: there will be more solutions for integrating different systems and data migration from previous systems to the new ones, as it is quite an issue. Hospitals store large amounts of data, and it is impossible to transfer it manually without any mistakes.
- Enhancement of Search Engines: thanks to such tech solutions as ML and AI, it will be easier to find the necessary information in a data-heavy environment.
- Scalability/Adaptability: the developers will pay much attention to creating scalable and adaptable systems that can be easily updated in the future as technologies continue to develop.
Intellectsoft offers high-quality assistance in the design and development of various kinds of healthcare IT solutions. By referring to us, you can be sure the solution provided will serve you long, integrate into your digital ecosystem successfully, and manage the data accurately.EMR
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