Choosing the Right EMR Software

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) systems represent breakthrough technology that promise to make administration faster and less tedious for physicians. Good EMR software enables ease of maintaining records, quick access to information, tracking care administered to patients, improved documentation and decision-making support.

To get the best of your EMR software, it is essential to determine which system ably fulfills the needs of your particular healthcare set-up. To select your ideal EMR solution, follow these steps:

  • Purpose:

    Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish with the implementation of your EMR system. Do you need all the features it promises? Or are you simply looking for an electronic billing system?

  • Research:

    Begin your research by:

    • Asking your colleagues about the EMR software they use and whether they are satisfied with it
    • Checking out prospective software providers’ websites
    • Being realistic about your actual needs

    Once you have your shortlist:

    • Ask for a demo. Also see if the EMR solution provider can give you a more realistic view of actual cases in addition to his prototypes.
    • Check that the EMR software provider offers IT support
    • Ask other existing customers about their satisfaction levels with the company’s product
  • Cost:

    Basic EMR software costs a little below $3,000. For small- to medium-sized set-ups, EMR software costs between $5,000-$35,000, depending on the features and scope for customization it provides.

    Other costs incurred on EMR systems include:

    • Hardware and software installation
    • Licensing fees
    • Re-wiring for multiple access
    • Staff training
    • Maintenance and upgrade fees
  • Customization and Integration:

    Although many EMR solutions may look similar at the outset, carefully select the one that best suits your requirements. Both you and your staff should be able to operate it with ease and it should be customized to match your practice’s specific requirements. The software should also integrate easily with your existing IT infrastructure.

  • Security:

    Ensure that your chosen EMR software satisfies all HIPAA and related confidentiality requirements. As an increasing number of staff members gain access to the centralized database, you should be able to verify user authorization and set up multiple levels of security checks.

  • Staff conviction:

    Finally, to make installing your EMR solution really effective, your staff needs to buy into the idea of paperless record maintenance. They need to believe that the software does not threaten their way of working; instead, it offers them ease of administration so that they can focus on patient care.

    An EMR vendor who makes the transition smooth by providing training and support to staff at low costs would be your ideal choice. Once your staff is accustomed to the system, it will ensure faster working and greater employee productivity.

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