EMR/EHR Development. What You Need to KnowWritten by Nataliia on July 8th, 2016
Planning to introduce an EMR/EHR system at your facility? In this guide, you’ll learn about how to choose, develop and easily adopt the right kind of software.
The medical industry is becoming more and more digitalized these days. Considering the recent federal government initiative offering over $4.4 billion in EHR Incentive Program payments (which you may be eligible for too, along with some 76.000 more providers), there shouldn’t be much else holding you back from adopting an EHR/EMR system at your facility.
Well, exact for the fact that you don’t really know where to start, right?
You’d like to have a powerful tool that reduces the hassle of keeping and organizing patient notes, making all the databases easy-to-search and convenient and offering a seamless billing integration and capable of taking some workload of your doctors.
That’s exactly what a custom EMR/EHR system can do for your facility. Learn all the essential details from this guide.
Advantages of Using an EMR and EHR Systems For Health Care Organization
Before considering to commission EHR development, you need to create a clear outline of tasks the system should be capable of tackling efficiently. Consult with your stuff. Talk over the most time-consuming and daunting tasks they have to perform on a day-to-day basis and what kind of helpful functionality in custom EHR systems should absolutely include.
Our EHR software company has comprised the following list of tangible benefits:
From the viewpoint of health practitioners and medical personnel:
- Seamless data transfers between different departments.
- The physical space saved by digitalizing all medical records.
- More efficient patient workflow with an increased capacity of patients served per day and overall increased productivity.
- Reduced operational expenses such as medical transcription services and overtime labor.
- Significant reduction of medical errors and improved results in patient management.
- Advanced e-Prescribing and medical records capabilities.
In general, most healthcare providers who have already adopted EHR systems have reported the overall enhancement in their healthcare practice and more efficient patient billing processing.
From the patient’s’ viewpoint:
- Enhanced diagnosis and treatment
- Fewer errors discovered in personal healthcare records.
- Faster decision making and treatment assignment from medical professionals.
Bottom line: EHR software creates a more secure, collaborative environment for managing sensitive patient data. The registered reduction of errors in personal healthcare records benefits both patient and doctor, especially when it comes to the common hand transcribed errors and misplaced patient files. Digital solutions allow you to keep all the data neat, well organized and within quick reach.
On top, EHR and EMR systems are now synonymous to advanced personal data security as such software easily allows to place constraints upon different users’ access to particular patient information.
When approaching the key stakeholders and end users with an electronic health records development project, do an outline of the benefits mentioned above to ensure higher adoption rate from day one.
EMR Software Development: Tips To Get It Right From The Start
Implementing an EMR system in your organization is a long and often rocky pass. How can you ensure that your transition goes as smooth as possible and your staff will not spend the following months strangled in new weird routine?
Here are the essential steps you should take at the beginning of an EMR web development process.
Consult With Your Doctors First
Bet on EMR collaborative development if you want to ensure easy adoption by your staff. Before you fully commit to the development, secure a buy-in from your medical personnel.
First of all – solicit their feedback on the kind of features they want in an EMR. Survey them how they plan to use the system and what’s really important to them. This way you can reduce the cost to develop EMR system by narrowing down to an exact list of custom features it should have. Your doctors will gladly get in board once the development is complete, as they’ll receive the exact product they’ve requested for.
Create a Detailed Brief For Development
Once everyone had their say on the software and the key decision-makers vetted the final list of features, put everything into details before approaching an EMR software development company.
We always expect our clients to have a detailed brief outlining different software modules and clear product expectations. From our side, we’ll help you settle on the key details such as:
The Most Appropriate Standard and Protocol:
Our EMR development company has extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with the following standards:
We build modern solutions in compliance with the industry’s latest regulations and seamless integration with various external systems and services, including hardware integrations.
Opt for Highly-Customizable Software
Choose an EMR system that perfectly fits your specialty, or can be easily customized based on your current needs. After all, the more custom your EMR system is – the more time it will help you to save.
Essential Features EMR Software Should Have
- Smooth Interface and Systems Integration:
Robust integration features are the key aspect of any electronic medical records solution. It is accomplished via different interfaces that transfer data between systems – both in real time and on demand.
You should consider the two common point of integration:
- HIS (Hospital Information System) if your practice is part of a larger institutional network.
- Billing records and system.
The latter is essential for offering better patient services and improve the efficiency of your front desk staff. Billing integration also reduces the amount of payment delays, commonly caused by coding errors. Reimbursements are also processed at faster pace, electronically.
This feature will drastically reduce the amount of time required to enter patient information each time when the billing occurs. Once you are done with adding patient files into the system, all the data will be automatically matched and could be sent to a 3rd party billing service or managed in-house. Result – less time spent on operational process and more time devoted to patient care!
I love filling charts…said no doctor ever. As Physician Edwin Leap noted in a recent interview: “Doctors stay after their shifts, or chart from home, or come in on their days off in order to complete their documentation. Needless to say, this is unlikely to create the best possible chart. Not only is this true, I have watched as nurses sat for one to two hours after their busy ED shifts, catching up on the ever increasing documentation requirements in their EMR systems.”
Reduce the stress and hassle involved with creating and managing charts by spicing up your EMR software with the next features:
- Customizable chart templates to suit your practice needs.
- Voice recognition and dictation functionality.
- Optimize charts for portable devices e.g. tablets.
- Consider investing in machine learning, so that the software will learn the standard information, which generally goes into the record and streamline the whole process more effectively with auto-filling and prompts.
- Medication Tracking and E-prescriptions
Your EMR solution should easily track all the prescribed medication to your patients and have the information at disposal at any time. Additionally, you may consider adding extra functionality to determine how the prescribed medication interacts with other drugs being currently taken by the patient, issue incompliance alerts, notify about any potential allergic reactions or possible side effects. In the latter case, it should suggest some alternative treatment options.
Say goodbye to indistinguishable handwriting. Your doctors should be able to create quick prescription printouts using your EMR software or send the order directly to the patient’s pharmacy of choice. Your EMR system should also have a secure portal for e-prescription of controlled substances in compliance with the State or Federal requirements.
- Integration with Lab
Just like with e-prescribing your staff will definitely appreciate the ability to electronically track delivery of samples; review and analyze the results and seamlessly integrate that data with charts.
Consider developing an EMR solution that can easily integrate with the standard labs software; capable of having two-way communication channel with the lads and offers a quick access to all the supporting information and research on the lab results.
- Appointment Reminders
Your patients are busy and so are your doctors. Improve the communication standards by integrating an efficient reminder system into your EMR. It should be able to send quick notifications via email or text to remind of the appointments made. You can choose to integrate your EMR with each doctor’s calendar and send a series of direct messages to the patient based on the amount of advance time you input or general frequency. For instance, you can send out reminders 3 days in advance and 24 hours before the scheduled appointment. Automating this routine will save your operational staff a lot of time and reduce the amount of missed appointments – a huge source of frustration for doctors.
- Evaluation and Management Coding
You can power-up your EMR software with special features to help you comply with the nationwide evaluation and management documentation standards. Your custom EMR record can help you comply with the next requirements and significantly reduce the manual labor needed to keep those in order:
- Complete and legible medical records
- Relevant patient history and reasons for the encounter.
- Prior diagnostic test results
- Physical exam findings
- Medical plan of rate
- Date and identity of the observer
- Health risk factors if any.
- Diagnosis and treatment codes.
- Patient progress and response to and changes in treatment.
- A Dedicated Patient Portal
A patient serving themselves is the ultimate healthcare provider dream. That’s the task you can easily accomplish by integrating a dedicated patient portal to your EMR system. A great patient portal should offer access to the following data:
- Recent visits
- Comprehensive discharge summaries.
- Medication and prescriptions.
- Recent lab tests and results.
Additionally, you may consider adding the following handy features:
- Request or renew prescriptions.
- Internal messaging with health care providers.
- Schedule non-urgent appointments.
- Update contact information and address.
- Conduct payments
- Download and complete requested forms.
- Check benefits and coverage.
- Access educational material.
At attractive, easy-to-use patient portal will be gladly adopted both by your staff and the patients themselves as the recent results have proved.
- Cloud Hosting
Cloud technologies are quickly pushing over the on-premise software, especially as the portable devices become more common at healthcare facilities. Your doctors will appreciate the ability to access healthcare records from any location and device if you opt for the cloud-based EMR software.
Our development company will make sure all the data is safe and sound by protecting it with the latest encryption technologies. Besides, the cost to implement, maintain and update cloud software is often lower compared to on-premises apps.
Tips for better EMR Adoption
Commissioning to develop your EMR software is major part of the deal. Yet, the next important step is to make sure your medical team is ready to start using it. Here are the essential tips for get that process kicking:
Phase In Hardware Ahead of Software
Learning how to use new software can be challenging. Now imagine doing so without knowing how to use the computer. Yes, there are still some old school doctors out there, who are more comfortable with pen and paper. Those peeps might be on your team too.
Schedule some basic training for doctors and other personal a few months in advance to make sure everyone feel comfortable with such basics as opening files, connecting to wireless networks and so on. This will significantly boost the learning curve for the new technology adoption later on.
Create a Dedicated Team To Transfer All The Records
While the adoption process is progressing, you may consider getting one person responsible for entering all the existing patient data and another one to triple-check everything for accuracy. It’s also important to have a permanent team for scanning all the documents when you create the initial records.
Adopt a Systematic Approach to Scanning and Phasing your EMR in Use
Most healthcare providers set the X date when their start using EMR with all the active patient files. It means that after this day, all the new patient files will be entered into the EMR as they come.
Your phase-in process may include settling a routine to identify, which documents have already been scanned, and which are new ones. The simplest method to do so is to simply put a black cross on the back of the scanned sheets before putting them back into a patient record. This will definitely help you to avoid duplicate files.
Get the Patients Involved in the Switch
Obviously, your patients will be delighted to hear that the doctors will now have more free time to dedicated to them. Also, they’ll be happy to hear that an EMR system can help you deliver better care. That’s a great marketing move for sure!
However, you should plan ahead of how EMR will impact doctor-patient relationships. Will they need to turn their back on the patient while inputting data to the EMR or how you will handle the situation? Test various approaches and strategies with a patient consent to map out the best behavioral patterns.
EHR and EMR systems should be optimized for long a life cycle and facilitate longitudinal care delivery. All the clinical documentation stored in these systems should comply with the following essential rule: “write once – reuse many times”.
The process of adopting new medical software may be lengthy and complicated at the beginning. Yet, keep your eyes sharp on the end-goal – increased productivity, efficiency and overall better care – and don’t forget to remind your medical staff about those.