Check out our blog for the latest news and commentary in the EMR/EHR world.

Archive for August, 2012

Physicians Take Note: 2012 Meaningful Use Deadline Nears

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Doctor taking notes for Meaningful UseFor many physicians, the thought of adopting EMR software is overwhelming, as it can require investing money in computer equipment, software fees and licensing. Not to mention the time that goes into setup, training and implementation, as well as the drastic changes to providers’ charting methods and workflows. The fact of the matter is, implementing an EMR doesn’t have to be as scary as some might make it out to be, as there are many resources available to help physicians make the transition – from regional extension centers to EMR vendors themselves.

With the deadline to start reporting for Stage 1 of Meaningful Use this year fast approaching, physicians eager to receive the maximum incentive payments allowed through CMS should take heed – if you choose not to participate in Meaningful Use this year, you could be missing out on $5,000 worth of stimulus money.

If you want to take advantage of the money available to you through federal incentive programs, we suggest taking note of the following date:

  • October 3: In order to earn the full $44,000 in incentive payments, providers must start the Stage 1 reporting period no later than this day.

Of course, the first step to achieving Meaningful Use is implementing fully certified EMR software, and you’ll want to do that a month or so before you need to start attesting to Meaningful Use. This will give you enough time to learn the system, train your staff and start using the EMR with live patients. That way, you can have all the kinks worked out by the time you start reporting.

Fully certified EMR software meets national standards for data exchange (interoperability) and is a requirement for Meaningful Use. If you choose to invest in a cheaper EMR, be careful. Having an uncertified product could cost you more in the long run. Not only will you miss out on Meaningful Use incentive payments, but you run the risk of not being able to exchange health records with other EMR users. This is something that will likely be emphasized more in Stages 2 and 3 of the Meaningful Use program.

Why Choose Fully Certified, Web-Based EMR Software?

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Doctor typing on keyboard using web-based EMRThough healthcare providers might have had their doubts once about web-based software solutions, cloud computing is gaining traction and more and more caregivers are taking advantage of web-based services. If you are medical professional debating the benefits of a certified, web-based EMR versus a client/server model, here are a few reasons why you should consider web-based software:

Lower Initial Investment: EMRs that run solely on client/server systems can be quite expensive. Healthcare professional not only have to worry about costly licensing fees, but about purchasing a server that meets the software’s specifications, as well as computers with adequate hardware specifications in order to achieve optimal performance. Web-based EMR systems, on the other hand, require lower, monthly payments, making them a perfect solution for providers with tighter budgets.

Leave Maintenance to IT Experts: The fees for web-based EMR software typically include hosting and maintenance, as databases are stored remotely on servers owned by the EMR vendor. Experienced IT technicians working for the vendor will generally handle updates and upgrades, as well as network and database security. With IT specialists taking care of the technical side, all you have to worry about is practicing medicine.

Increased Security: Providers are right to worry about the security of their patient’s protected health information, and web-based EMR systems offer the best security against potential breaches. In fact, EMR vendors offering web-based services are HIPAA compliant. You won’t even have to worry about running backups or losing patient data were something to happen to your database server.

Convenient Access to Patient Records: Have you ever needed to work on or access a patient’s record while outside your practice? With fully certified web-based EMR software, you can view and edit your patient database from anywhere as long as you have access to the Internet. This is great news for providers who see patients at different facilities, or for those who simply like to get work done at home.

Learn more about fully certified, web-based EMR software, such as how it can benefit your hospital or independent practice.

Orthopedic Sports Medicine EHR Software Makes Charting a Breeze

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

orthopedic EHR x-ray imageHaving an EHR system that fits the needs of your medical practice is important if you want to improve productivity and provide the best care possible for your patients.

Sports medicine doctors and orthopedic specialists, who are finally looking to make the switch to electronic health records, should consider the benefits of using an orthopedic sports medicine EHR. Not only are these specialty-specific systems designed to meet your unique needs, but they adapt to your workflows and make documenting patient encounters a breeze.

Unlike generic EHRs, sports medicine-specific software doesn’t require extensive customization. Why? Because EHR systems designed with orthopedic doctors in mind already feature the things that specialists need in order to practice medicine. This means you won’t have to spend hours of valuable training time setting the system up the way you need it.

Since you are already familiar with the specialty-specific forms, templates and terminology contained in the EHR, all you have to worry about is learning how to find your way around the different screens. Plus, if you want to add an extra diagram or template, doing so is simple with or without the help of your EHR trainer.

Orthopedic specialists need to be able to access their patient records from different locations. Whether you are performing an operation at a hospital or surgery center or visiting a rehab facility to treat a sports medicine patient, having access to your patients’ medical history is key. By using a web-based orthopedic EHR, you can log in and manage patients’ charts from any computer, tablet or device with Internet access. This allows you to provide patients with the best care possible.

Learn more about how EHR software for orthopedic sports medicine doctors can benefit your practice. Contact us to view a free demo.

Is a Specialty-Specific EMR Right for You?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Though physicians in various medical fields may have starkly different workflows, charting methods and EMR necessities, providers practicing in the same field have many things in common and can benefit from customizable, specialty-specific EMR software. Specialists contemplating making the change from paper charts to EMR (or from a general EMR system to one geared toward specialists) should consider the following benefits of a specialty-specific software solution.

EMRs designed for specialists require less training time.

General EMRs might be capable of meeting specialists’ requirements, but customizing the software takes time – something most doctors don’t have. Rather than embarking on a time-consuming set up process followed by lengthy training sessions, consider settling on a specialty-specific EMR. That way, you can put less effort into the initial set up and spend more time getting comfortable with a system that is ready to use out of the box.

Chart and work the way you know best.

With specialty-specific EMR software, which includes the forms and templates you use most, as well as decision support capabilities to help you make quicker, more accurate diagnoses, charting has never been easier. Global templates, for example, automatically bring in different variables once a diagnosis is selected, so that you don’t have to select each variable manually. Plus, using a system that knows your workflows and charting needs allows you to document your patient encounter in real time, while the patient is in the exam room – meaning you will have less chart notes to finish at the end of the day when all your patients are gone.

Take advantage of opportunities for continuing education.

Many specialty EMR vendors offer opportunities for additional training and continuing EMR education. These vendors also take part in conferences and events hosted by organizations in your specialty. This is because they understand the importance of keeping open lines of communication with specialty-specific medical associations that can help them improve their EMR software.

Interested in converting your existing EMR data to IMS? Click here to find out how.