10 Things to Look for in an EHR Software System

NetgainCloud Computing, Healthcare IT

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are transforming the American healthcare system into a more robust, high-quality, patient-centric, and more affordable system.  The US government has undertaken various initiatives helping physicians and other healthcare providers utilize lifesaving technology with really promising results.  As of 2013, 72 percent of office-based physicians are employing some type of EHR software to improve outcomes.

However, this has led to an over-saturated EHR market in which only a handful of EHR vendors stand out to offer fully integrated, online, user-friendly, and affordable systems.  When you are looking for an EHR software platform for your organization, consider the following key factors:

  1. Company stability.  Factor in the size, stability, and resources of an EHR vendor.  This includes the number of installations, amount of employees devoted to software development and support, years in business, and whether they attend tradeshows.
  2. Functional and flexible software.  Every office operates differently.  You want an EHR system that has a flexible configuration allowing you to customize exam forms, add new data fields, and modify workflows to reflect your clinical needs, preferences, and requirements.
  3. Easy to use system.  Intuitive navigation allows users to quickly and easily go to where they need to be to enter exam information, instead of bumbling through a series of mouse clicks.  Choose an EHR software that focuses on form-based entry.
  4. References and case studies.  Select a vendor that can provide you with positive case studies, testimonials and reference sites.  Network with other doctors to hear their opinions on the EHR software they are using.  Is the patient work flow smooth and easy for the staff to use?
  5. Fully certified EHR.  Find an EHR vendor that has been approved by KLAS (an impartial ranking organization of healthcare technology, the acronym comprising a letter from each of the founders’ names) and certified ONC-ATCB (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology- Authorized Testing and Certification Body).  If your practice plans to attest for meaningful use and other incentives, ONC ATCB certification is a key factor to receiving the most incentive dollars.  Ask your EHR vendor if any of its physician customers have received their Stage 1 incentive dollars.
  6. The Cloud and scalability.  Many organizations and businesses, healthcare other otherwise, are choosing to move their system to a Cloud environment.  Cloud hosting provides automatic back-ups, anywhere availability, enhanced security, and hassle free upgrades.  If you are a small office with plans of expanding to a larger, multi-physician and multi-location operation, you want a software system capable of growing with you.
  7. Compliant EDI.  Choose a vendor that has been approved and certified by a majority of major insurance companies and clearinghouses for electronic data interchange.
  8. Report generation.  Most vendors have some system of reports built into their software, however, they may be ill-suited to your practice’s precise needs.  Know what reports you would like to have, and select an EHR software capable of generating them.
  9. Complete deployment and onsite training.  Your focus is on the patient, not software installation.  Select an EHR vendor that offers a complete software deployment and initial in-depth and onsite training with certified technicians.  This will help you and your staff quickly and easily integrate the new system to your practice.
  10. Reliable customer support.  When issues arise, and they will no matter which vendor you choose, you want a vendor that has reliable, friendly, and ongoing technical support.

Netgain has over a decade of experience in the hosting business, serving thousands of users and offering world-class customer service and unparalleled data security.  To learn more about our EHR software and help with Meaningful Use attestation, visit us online today.

Image courtesy of:  jfcherry/ Flickr.com