Posted December 13, 2017 by nextgen in articles
 
 

Electronic Health Records for Specialty Medical Practices – What to Look for When Choosing a Software Platform

NextGen
NextGen

The adoption of electronic health records has wide ranging benefits for both medical providers and patients. EHR ensures that accurate, up-to-date patient information is accessible at all times. It also eases the sharing of information between healthcare providers, ensuring better care for patients, while also cutting down on duplicate testing, reducing errors, and enabling more coordinated care. When integrated with medical practice management software, EHR systems can also streamline business operations and billing.

When it comes to electronic health records, specialty practices often have unique needs that can be challenging when using off-the-shelf EHR software. In a study by Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, a specialty EHR solution was designed by letting providers customize what information they wanted to see, based on providers’ specialties. The study found that these custom views in the EHR system reduced the amount of time physicians spent navigating electronic health records by one-third. By streamlining the process of entering and using patient data, a specialty EHR system can reduce the burden on practitioners, freeing them to focus on patient care and running their practice.

There are also large differences in the needs of an inpatient system versus an ambulatory EHR environment. Unlike inpatient settings, where various departments are set up for communicating and collaborating on patient care, an ambulatory EHR system needs to be capable of easy collaboration with outside practitioners. Thus, interoperability is a key feature for an ambulatory EHR system.

To maximize the productivity of your specialty EHR software, it needs to be customizable in order to fit your individual workflow. Everything from custom history questionnaires and physical exam templates, to matching your typical procedure narrative to CPT codes are some of the ways that an electronic health records system can be adapted to fit the specific needs of a particular healthcare setting. As examples, here are some of the ways that an EHR system can be adapted to fit the needs of a specialty EHR practice.

For pain management practices, there are many ways that a specialty EHR system can be customized to provide streamlined care for patients, and a simpler, more effective interface for practitioners. Customizations could include injection procedures, custom record views to highlight previous treatments and lab results, and compatibility with electronic prescription tools to simplify monitoring of prescribed medications.

Pediatrics is another area where a specialty EHR solution can be customized to fit the needs of a particular practice. “Well child” blueprints and physical exam procedures customized to specific age groups can help physicians provide the best care, and tools like vaccine inventories enable office staff to closely track often-used immunization supplies. A flexible electronic health records solution will also simplify linking between siblings, to provide a more complete family history.

Urgent care settings can be a particularly challenging healthcare environment. The right specialty EHR system can speed up patient care, and help practitioners streamline care in an ever-changing practice. Choosing a platform with flexible templating will allow you to customize your specialty EHR software to your specific needs. In urgent care settings, built-in voice dictation and compatibility with mobile devices allows practitioners to enter care data from anywhere.

These are just some of the ways that specialty EHR software can improve care in a variety of healthcare settings.

 

About the Author:

Bob Murry joined NextGen Healthcare in July, 2012. Before his promotion to Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) in May, 2017, Dr. Murry was the company’s Vice President of Clinical Product Management, responsible for clinical oversight and workflow design.                 Dr. Murry’s added responsibilities as CMIO include “Voice-of-the-Physician” across specialties, product safety, and government/regulatory affairs.Dr. Murry is also the Medical Director of Ambulatory Informatics at Hunterdon Medical Center in New Jersey and practices Family Medicine at Delaware Valley Family Health Center and Hunterdon Medical Center. He is Board Certified in Clinical Informatics by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and Board Certified in Family Medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine.Dr. Murry holds an MD from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Boston College; and an MA in Physical Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.



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