If you’re thinking of implementing an electronic health records (EHR) system for your office, you may be wondering, "what is a good EHR?" First, know that by making this decision, you’ll be in good company, as EHR systems have more than doubled in popularity since 2008, with 89% of doctor offices using them now as of 2019. Before you start looking for a system that can store patient records in digital format, you need to know how to find the best one for your office. Take a look at some of the EHR features and functionalities to look into before you choose a system.
What are Helpful Features in a Good EHR?
The best EHRs are feature-rich, with all the basics for patient charting and interoperability. For instance, just about every EHR system has patient charting functions that also include appointment scheduling and medical billing. But some go beyond those features to include additional functionality, such as the ability to automate repetitive or clinically appropriate tasks—like ordering prescription refills and lab tests. Some EHR systems also allow you to set up alerts so you get reminders to take important actions, such as signing notes, approving medications, and prioritizing abnormal lab test results. Another feature you’ll find in the best EHR systems is data segmentation, which lets you add a layer of protection to sensitive health information so you can stay HIPAA compliant at all times. The best EHR systems also offer a patient portal that makes it easy for patients to schedule their next appointment, check-in, upload medical documents, and send messages to their healthcare team. So, what is a good EHR? One that has all the features you need to improve your physician workflow, communicate with other healthcare providers, and increase patient satisfaction!
EHR Ease of Use
Another detail to look for in an EHR system is a user-friendly experience. After all, you’re going to have several people using it, from doctors and nurses to billing managers and office staff. So make sure the system you choose is intuitive enough for everyone to quickly learn. Otherwise, there could be quite a learning curve that takes some people months to master, slowing down patient flow instead of improving it. So, how can you find out how user-friendly a system is? Many EHR vendors offer live demonstrations that show you how they work, letting you get a close look at the features, layout, and flow of the system while it’s in use. Some vendors also offer free trials so you can try it out yourself or even let your staff try it to ensure they’re comfortable before you choose the right EHR system for your medical practice. It is critical to have the EHR vendor walk through your most important clinical workflows so you can ensure the content you need and the workflow is sufficient for your offices. In order to prevent physician burnout, you'll need a system that improves, and doesn't hinder, their practice of medicine.
EHR Vendor Support
As you look at EHR systems that have the features and ease of use you want and need, don’t forget to look into the vendors themselves. They are who you will need to turn to if you have any questions about the EHR you choose, so choosing the right one is important. To start, make sure the vendor you’re considering offers help with training your staff to use the electronic health records system. Most vendors realize that since they know the system better than their customers, it is faster and easier for them to train others to use it, rather than expecting a doctor or office manager to take on the training job. The vendor you choose should also offer 24/7 support in case the system has a technical glitch or you’re just not sure where to find a function you need at the moment. So if you’re wondering, “what is a good EHR?” the answer is one that’s offered by a dependable vendor you can count on for the technical EHR support you’ll need.
Competitive & Fair Pricing
Finally, the best EHR system for your office is one you can afford. There’s no need to stretch your budget too far to get a good system since most vendors offer a variety of plans with different pricing and functionality. So as you look at your options, make sure to ask about how the pricing plan works. If pricing is a concern, you may be able to save money by starting with a basic EHR system with just a few features for a low price, and then scale up from there if you plan to grow your office and budget in the future. If you’re wondering how much to budget for, know that on average, EHR systems can cost between $26,000 and $33,000 for the upfront price. There may be additional EHR costs if you get any subscriptions or extra features or have a large practice. Just be sure to go through and RFP process and get price quotes from a few vendors before you make your decision. Often times, the EHR vendors that work the best for a practice are not the most affordable.
How TempDev Can Help Answer "What Is a Good EHR?" and Other Questions
If you still have questions about choosing the right EHR system for your healthcare office, we can help. Whether your questions include “what is a good EHR?” or “how will an EHR help my office?” we have the answers you need to make the right choice. Contact TempDev today or call 888.TEMP.DEV to schedule a consultation!