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The healthcare industry is one of the most dynamic and complex systems in the world. In order to provide quality care, practitioners must be able to access and share information quickly and easily. This has traditionally been a challenge, as healthcare institutions handle sensitive information. However, the digital transformation has come of age now and medical practitioners can now use electronic systems with confidence.
But while the EMR market is always full of options, you can only be confident with the very best. This is the only way to ensure that your patient data is safe and your staff are able to use these systems to deliver better service. So it helps to have a good idea of what exactly is a good EMR system and what to look out for when hunting for the best EMR systems in the market.
Let’s find out.
What is an EMR System?
An EMR system is an electronic medical record system that is used by healthcare providers to store and manage patient medical records. They are the digital or electronic version of the patient paper data you will ordinarily find in a clinician’s office. EMR systems can be used to track patients’ medical history, medications, and allergies, as well as to schedule appointments and order lab tests. EMR systems are important tools for improving the quality of patient care and for reducing the cost of healthcare.
What is the difference between EMR systems and EHR systems?
EMR and EHR are often used to mean the same thing. While this is okay, there is a significant difference worth noting. As defined above, EMR systems are electronic medical records that are used by doctors and physicians to store patients’ medical information. Pure EMR systems usually include features such as scheduling, billing, and prescriptions, while EHR systems typically include additional features such as clinical decision support and population health management.
In other words, EHR systems can do everything that EMR systems can do, but also go beyond to cover the total aspect of healthcare. EHRs focus on the total healthcare of the human body, expanding out of the physician’s office. For this reason, most EHR systems have all the features you will need for EMR needs. It’s safe to say that almost all EHR systems have EMR functions within them. In fact this is why you will realize that the results you will get for a simple Google search of the “best EMR systems” will mostly come out as EHR systems. But inside these EHR systems you will find comprehensive EMR features.
And so in this guide, you will come across some systems which are mainly branded as EHR systems, but for such we’ll focus on the EMR functions within them.
Qualities of the best EMR systems
These are some of the most important qualities to look out for when searching for the best EMR system for your practice.
1. Easy to use
An EMR system is only as good as it is easy to use. If your nurses and doctors are constantly fighting with the software, it’s going to be a big headache for everyone involved.
The best EMR systems are simple and straightforward. The layout is easy to navigate, and the buttons and icons are self-explanatory. There’s no need for a user manual (although it’s always a good idea to have one on hand just in case).
The best EMR systems are designed with the user in mind. They’re intuitive and logical, so you don’t need a lot of training to start using them. And they’re flexible enough to accommodate the way you work, so you don’t have to adapt your workflow to the software.
This means that the system should be able to interact seamlessly with other software programs used by your practice. For example, if you’re using an EMR system that’s not interoperable, and you need to refer a patient to a specialist, you’re going to have a hard time exchanging information.
The best EMR should be able to adapt to the way your practice works, not the other way around.
It’s particularly important that the system can grow with your practice. As your needs change, the system should be able to change with you. You should be able to add and subtract features as you see fit. And you should never feel locked into a system that’s not working for you.
You’ll want an EMR company that provides comprehensive support, one that can help you with all aspects of the system and who will be there to answer any questions you may have. And preferably, this support should be available 24/7. Because let’s face it, when you’re running a business as sensitive as healthcare, there’s no such thing as regular business hours.
You want to make sure that your EMR system is secure. After all, this is the backbone of your practice. You need to know that your patients’ data is safe and that only authorized personnel can access it.
The best EMR systems have security features that include password protection, firewalls, and encryption. They also have backup and disaster recovery plans in place in case of an emergency. So when you’re choosing an EMR system, make sure to ask about its security features.
Check out the following articles that feature the best EMR systems across the major practices:
- Best EMR for small practice
- Best EMR for solo practice
- Best EMR for psychiatry
- Best pediatrics EMR
- Best ophthalmology EMR
- Best physical therapy EMR software
- Best EMR for dermatology
- Best EMR for orthopedics
Once again when it comes to choosing the best EMR system for your practice, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure that the system is compatible with your current hardware and software. Second, you’ll want to find a system that is user-friendly and intuitive. Third, you’ll want to make sure that the system is scalable and can grow with your practice. And fourth, you’ll want to find a system that offers robust support and training resources.
Remember to consider your specific needs and compare them against what each system offers before making the final decision.
Angus Roberts is an expert in healthcare IT and HIPAA compliance. He has a strong expertise in AI and Cloud technologies and has been working with these technologies for the past decade. Angus is also a frequent speaker at conferences in the US and Europe on topics related to cloud, AI, healthcare IT, HIPAA compliance, cybersecurity, data privacy and more.