Photo: Icons of healthcareIn this day and age, manually tracking the hustle and bustle in most pediatric practices is not efficient. In order for healthcare providers to guarantee a modern standard of care, avoid government penalties, and maintain organization, a professional EMR system is needed.

The quality of EMR software depends on the creator. Some systems are clunky, unreliable, and overpriced. Others are affordable but lack the features your practice needs most. Fortunately, the right systems are out there – it’s just a matter of finding them.

Here are the four things you should evaluate before choosing EMR software for your pediatric practice:

The Difference Between EMR and EHR

You’ll often hear EMR and EHR used interchangeably. EMR stands for Electronic Medical Records. EHR stands for Electronic Health Records. The two acronyms represent a technical difference.

An EMR is essentially a digitized paper chart for a single practice, replacing paper charts and streamlining the clinical process.

An EHR replaces paper charts, as well. But it also handles functions like billing, ordering prescriptions and tests, managing your general practice, and communicating with patients. In most practices, an EHR is considered a full-service system, handling the needs of your practice from beginning to end.

Using an EHR system, everything appears in one place. You’ll see an entire medical history for every patient. You’ll have the ability to communicate with other providers throughout care. And you’ll be able to create more comprehensive records.

You can choose either of these systems to improve the function of your practice. Just make sure you’re searching for the right one. And note that, for most members of the industry, the terms are truly interchangeable. Usually, we’re discussing a full-service system.

Implementation and Training

Next, you’ll need to consider the process required to start using your new system. Implementation can take a few weeks or months, depending on the suggestion of the vendor. You’ll also want to ask potential vendors if they offer physician and staff training to ensure the software is fully understood. Why bother investing in a new system if you’re only going to use it halfway?

Integration

How completely does the software fit with your current system? For example, if you’re choosing a full-service EHR system, you’ll want to make prescriptions through it. Are your local pharmacies able to configure with the software? It’s essential to make sure your chosen system is compatible with your company. Otherwise, the consequences could be expensive and frustrating.

Certification

All systems must comply with government-regulated Meaningful Use standards, which determine whether an EMR system is achieving its purpose of being communicative and effective. Make sure to ask whether your software has been updated to meet ICD-10 standards. If not, your system could send invalid codes, resulting in rejections and possible reimbursement penalties.

Because EMR systems are expensive – costing your practice anywhere from $150 to $1000 a month after activation and licensing fees – it’s important to take your time. You’ll know the right system when you see it.

Contact Raintree Systems for Assistance

At Raintree Systems, we take pride in boosting efficiency and productivity for your practice with impressive EMR solutions. There’s nothing more important than a high standard of care. Reach out to our team today to see what we can do for your pediatric practice.