With hundreds of EHR technology vendors to choose from, here are some criteria for narrowing down your selection to find the very best fit for your practice. The government’s HealthIT.gov website provides some detailed advice on this process.
Many practices start with a planning process during which the selection criteria are determined. Others make an initial EHR system selection and then work on supporting it. Most practices start by creating a preliminary plan during which key goals are identified and then the EHR system supporting these goals is chosen.
Once a set of objectives has been defined by your practice and the EHRs’ effect on workflows has been analyzed, the EHR system selection team can begin the selection process.
Test drive vendor products when you believe that they will meet your practice needs. You can do this by providing a vendor with some scenarios for them to include in a demonstration for you.
Determine the start-up cost of a proposed EHR system including software, hardware, maintenance, and connecting to a health information exchange.
- Integration Capability – Consider the EHR system’s abilities to interface with other systems such as public health systems, billing systems and practice management software.
- Vendor’s stability and track record – EHR supports primary business functions. So vendor reliability is of key importance.
3. Federal EHR Certification
The Accreditation authority is the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) certifies that a given EHR product is compliant with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services definition of EHR technology.
4. Apply criteria based on your practice specialty and size
When selecting a system, be certain it has wide acceptance in your practice specialty. When you find a product you are interested in, verify that companies in your size range are using it.
5. Choose the Right Architecture
You have direct control and responsibility for HIPAA enforcement.
You must maintain your software and hardware environment. This includes security and backup.
You can take advantage of Software as a Service (SaaS) to provide cloud based software and data management with limited in house IT function. Just remember using Cloud services does not de-obligate you from HIPAA compliance requirements, so it’s essential to make certain that the services you acquire must be proven to be compliant. An additional consideration is your internet service. It will be a gating factor in performance so choose a provider that meets your bandwidth needs.
SafeGov.org reports that some Cloud providers now guarantee HIPAA compliance, taking some of the burden from practices implementing cloud based EHR.
6. Diverse Functionality is Available – Choose a system that has everything you need
Seamless integration with support organizations can save time and duplication of effort. Clinical and billing systems can exchange information with external facilities such as labs, hospitals, imaging centers and exchanges.
Automatic transcription of medical notes is efficient and accurate. Software based medical transcription is much faster than typing.
Physician EHR template and workflow design can suit specific enterprise processes.
Software that adapts to the billing system you use and which provides comprehensive functions including:
o Patient demographics
o Charge entry
o ICD-9 and ICD10 coding
o Electronic/paper claims submission
o Payment entry for all payers
o Account reconciliation
o Claims question assistance for patients
o Patient collection
7. Intuitive Design
Intuitive design means having seamless integration with your practice workflow while providing EHR/EMR function with minimal disruption.
At M-Scribe we provide seamless integration with other EHR and PM systems. Our team has the technical expertise to work with billing software services such as Kareo, eClinicalWorks, eMD, Lytec, Medisoft, Mysis, Medisys, Office Ally, Centricity, Medical Manager, AdvancedMD, Athena, Imagine, Allscripts, HealthNautica, Practice Expert, NextGen, SequelMD, Practice Partner, OmniMD and many others. We can also interface with your own billing system in addition to other EHR systems. Request a free demo to see how our solution works with your requirements.
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