Choosing an EMR: The Checklist – Part 2

I concluded my last blog on the subject of all-in-one Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solutions that are available in the market today. Physicians are already occupied in their busy schedules and they barely have time to first implement and then learn two separate applications. Hence, choosing an all-in-one solution becomes the most appropriate option. These solutions integrate EMR and practice management software in a single, affordable package. This resolves the issue of affordability and mitigates the problems associated with managing different applications.

“My all-in-one EMR solution is not only innovative but also affordable. From documenting clinical encounters to performing billing operations, I can do it all from a single platform. In fact, it is so affordable that even a solo provider could afford to automate practice workflows”, says a Michigan based physician.

Moving on, since patient engagement is one of the pressing issues whose significance can be comprehended by its inclusion in the meaningful use stage 2 requirements, physicians should always check if the vendors offering EMRs also provide patient portals. While many vendors would claim to offer such services, in reality only some of them truly provide it. Certification is another important aspect that should not be neglected at any cost. Before choosing an EMR, physicians should make sure that they are opting for a certified EMR which would eventually help them qualify for the government’s financial incentives.

With the availability of specialty centric EMR solutions, depending on the specialties, physicians should choose an appropriate EMR. According to reports, a specialty specific EMR could bring a significant improvement in physician productivity. Physicians should also choose an EMR that offers customization. By using easily customizable templates and components, physicians can document patient notes as they please, without getting into the hassle of superfluous documentation.

Technology is evolving with every passing day, and EMRs have come a long way to provide features like point and click technology, clinical decision support system, and transcription etc. You do not buy an EMR every other day; hence whenever you make such a decision make sure it encompasses these advanced features and is worth your buck.

Keeping confidential patient information secure is certainly a priority for every physician. With increasing incidents of information theft, physicians should make sure that their chosen system ensures compliance with appropriate security protocols, such as data encryption and role based access. Lastly, physicians should also make sure if the EMR allows secure sharing of information across multiple locations or not and also whether the system allows more than one person to simultaneously access the records or not.

 

About Frank Quinn

Over the past twenty years, Frank Quinn has contributed significantly on standardizing, interconnecting and institutionalizing care delivery through health IT, helping eliminate barriers to accessibility, quality and adoption. EMR, practice management, eRx, patient portal, medical billing, compliance, privacy and security are his areas of expertise. For more information, please contact Frank at frank.quinn@curemd.com
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