EMR/EHR Development. What You Need to Know
The medical industry is becoming more digitized with each passing day. Considering the recent federal government initiative offering over $4.4 billion in EHR Incentive Program payments (with 76.000 probable eligible providers, including you), there isn’t much holding your facility back from adopting an EHR/EMR system.
Except for the fact that you don’t know where to begin from, right?
But the things you do know are that you want to:
- Minimise the hassle of storing and organizing patient notes
- Make the databases accessible to search through
- Seamlessly integrate a reliable billing service
Basically, a system to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and take some workload off of your doctors. Fortunately, that is exactly what a custom EMR/EHR system can offer your facility.
Get to know all the essential details from our guide.
Advantages of Using an EMR and EHR Systems For Healthсare Organization
Before commissioning any EHR development, you need to compose a clear outline of tasks the system needs to be capable of tackling. Consider consulting with your staff. Talk over the time-consuming and daunting tasks they have to perform on a day-to-day basis and what kind of functionality they would likely be using in a custom EHR system.
Our EHR software company has comprised the following list of tangible benefits:
From the viewpoint of medical personnel:
- Seamless data transfer between departments
- Loads of physical space saved by digitizing the 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 of medicine and medical record-keeping capabilities
Most healthcare providers who have already adopted EHR systems have reported general enhancement in their practices, along with improved efficiency of patient billing processes.
From the patient’s’ viewpoint:
- Overall enhanced diagnosis and treatment
- Reduced number of errors in personal healthcare records
- Faster decision making and treatment assignment from medical professionals
The bottom line is: EHR software creates a secure, collaborative environment for managing sensitive patient data. The registered reduction of errors in personal healthcare records benefits both the patients and the personnel, especially when it comes to hand transcribed errors and misplaced patient files. Digital solutions allow you to keep all data well organized and within quick reach.
In addition, EHR and EMR systems allow for advanced personal data security as such software can easily 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: How To Get It Right
Implementing an EMR system in your organization is a long and strenuous process. How can you ensure that your transition goes smoothly and your staff won’t spend the following months strangled in a new weird routine?
Here are the essential steps you should take at the beginning of an EMR web development process.
Consult With Your Doctors
Partake in 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.
Solicit their feedback on what kind of features they want in an EMR. Survey them on how they plan to use the system and what’s most important to them. This way you can reduce the cost of EMR system development by narrowing down to an exact list of custom features. Your doctors will gladly get on board once the development is complete, as they’ll receive the exact product they’ve requested for.
Create a Detailed Brief
Once everyone has had their say on the software and the key decision-makers vetted the final list of features, put everything down in detail before approaching an EMR software development company.
We expect our clients to have a detailed brief outlining different software modules and clear product expectations. Proceeding from there, we’ll help you settle on such key details as:
Choosing 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 provide 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 save in the long run.
Essential Features EMR Software Should Have
1. 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 these two common points of integration:
- HIS (Hospital Information System), if your practice is a part of a larger institutional network.
- Billing service and records-keeping system.
The latter is essential for improving customer service and efficiency of your front desk staff. Billing service integration reduces payment delays, commonly caused by coding errors. Reimbursements, too, are processed at a faster pace.
This feature will drastically reduce the amount of time required to enter patient information during each billing instance. Once all of the patient files have been added into the system, the data could be automatically managed or sent to a 3rd party billing service. As a result, more time could be devoted to patient care, instead of being spent on bureaucracy.
“I love filling out 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.
3. Medication Tracking and E-prescriptions
Your EMR solution should easily track all the patient prescribed medication and have the information at your disposal any given time. Additionally, you may consider adding extra functionality to determine how the prescribed medication interacts with other drugs being currently taken by the patient, such as: issue incompliance alerts, potential allergic reactions or possible side effects. In the latter case, it could 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.
4. Integration with Lab
Just like e-prescribing, your staff will definitely appreciate the electronic tracking of sample delivery, as well as the ability to review and analyze the results, while seamlessly integrating that data with charts.
Consider developing an EMR solution that can easily integrate with the standard lab software: capable of having a two-way communication channel with the labs, offering quick access to all the supporting information and research.
5. Appointment Reminders
Improve communication standards by integrating an efficient reminder system into your EMR. It should be able to send notifications via email or text to remind of the upcoming appointments. You may choose to integrate your EMR with each doctor’s calendar and send a series of direct messages to the patient based on your customised time settings. For example, you can send out reminders 3 days in advance, and later 24 hours before the scheduled appointments. Automating this routine will not only save your operational staff a lot of time, but also reduce the amount of missed appointments – a huge source of frustration for doctors.
6. Evaluation and Management Coding
You can power-up your EMR software with features that will help comply with the nationwide Evaluation and Management Documentation Standards, significantly reducing manual labor required. Your custom EMR record-keeping system can help you comply with the next requirements:
- 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.
7. 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 refill prescriptions.
- Internal messaging with the healthcare providers.
- Scheduling of non-urgent appointments.
- Update of contact information and address.
- Conduct payments
- Download and complete requested forms.
- Check benefits and coverage.
- Access educational material.
A pleasing, user-friendly patient portal will be gladly adopted both by your staff and the patients themselves, as proven by recent results.
8. 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 a 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 feel more comfortable with pen and paper. Those peeps might be on your team, too.
Schedule some basic training for doctors and other personnel a few months in advance to make sure everyone is familiar 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
When the adoption process would be in process, you may consider making one person responsible for entering the existing patient data with another person responsible for triple-checking the added data for accuracy. Also, it is essential to have a permanent team for scanning the existing documents during the creation of the initial records.
Adopt a Systematic Approach to Scanning and Phasing your EMR in Use
Most healthcare providers set the date when they will start using EMR with the active patient files. It means that after this day, new data will be entered into the EMR as the patients arrive.
Your phase-in process may include settling a routine to identify which documents have already been scanned, and which ones are new. The easiest way to do so is to put a black cross on the back of the scanned sheet before putting it back into a patient record. This will help you avoid duplicate files for sure.
Get the Patients Involved in the Switch
Obviously, your patients will be delighted to hear that the doctors are going to have more free time to dedicate 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 an EMR will impact doctor-patient relationships. Will they need to turn their back on the patient while inputting data to the EMR? How will you handle the situation? Test various approaches and strategies with patient consent to map out the best behavioral patterns.
EHR and EMR systems should be optimized for a long 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 seem lengthy and complicated at the beginning. Yet, keep your focus on the end-goal – increased productivity, efficiency and overall better care, and don’t forget to remind your medical staff about them.
If you are interested in custom EMR or EHR software development, request a custom quote from Romexsoft today!