With so many electronic health records solutions in the market, selecting the right one for your sleep medicine lab can be a complicated process – especially if you have never used an EMR before and don’t know what to expect. After all, EMR software can be a powerful tool that helps sleep medicine facilities streamline operations and improve patient care, but only if it is designed to meet the organization’s requirements and to match its workflows.
Luckily, with the right resources and knowledge, choosing the best Sleep Medicine EMR software for your lab is within grasp. Here’s what you need to know before beginning the selection process:
1. Understand your sleep facility’s needs.
Choosing the right EMR software will depend significantly on what you want the system to do for your facility. Think about your sleep medicine lab’s needs and consider your long-term goals. For example, if you purchase an EMR simply because you need it for Meaningful Use, and you fail to pay attention to the system’s other features (or lack thereof), you may find yourself months down the road lamenting a bad investment.
If you are hoping to reduce expenses, you may want to consider a comprehensive solution that includes modules for scheduling and medical billing and maybe even a patient portal. Integration between multiple systems will automate charge capture and streamline the billing process. The inclusion of a patient portal with online bill pay will also make it easier for patients to pay their bills. Other portal features, such as appointment scheduling and requests for medication refills, will reduce workload for staff by moving processes online.
Advanced appointment scheduling is also important; specifically, Sleep Medicine EMR software that allows you to manage schedules by provider or bed. A feature like this can make your employees’ jobs easier, whether you run a single sleep medicine lab or several facilities.
For the purpose of improving patient care, you may also want a system that can produce detailed reports based on the criteria of your choosing. For example, in order to better follow at-risk patients, you may want to run a report that shows all patients who have sleep apnea and diabetes and who have had irregular labs.
2. Make sure the software can be customized.
After you have defined your sleep facility’s requirements and the feature-set that you are looking for in an EMR, you are going to want to pay attention to two things: compatibility and customization. This means ensuring that the Sleep Medicine EMR software can work seamlessly with your lab’s other systems and third-party sleep testing devices (e.g. continuous positive airway pressure machines) and that it can be customized to adapt to your organization’s needs.
Keep in mind that customization extends beyond the EMR simply having specialty-specific content, like templates and forms. Although important, this is something that many EMR vendors offer. What will really set the top vendors apart is their software’s ability to match your organization’s workflow. The best vendors will already take sleep medicine lab workflows into account and will design their software to be used with minimal customization.
3. Know what level of support you are going to get.
Even with the best EMR systems, problems will arise – whether it’s a technical issue or unfamiliarity with a specific feature that requires more in-depth training. In either situation, good customer service goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to ask about the level of support that the vendor offers or about the availability of their technical support staff. This will prevent surprises down the line in the form of surcharges for staff training or out-of-office-hours support.
Find out why 1st Providers Choice’s Sleep Medicine EMR software can work for you. Contact us online or call 480-782-1116 today.