Electronic Health Records, or EHR, allow health care providers to combine all of the data needed to manage patients’ medical records. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality states that EHR software can improve quality of care and lower costs. Instead of keeping everything filed away in a manila folder, providers can now collect information in one place and make it accessible to everyone in the practice.
EHR software also lets you analyze trends and monitor changes in the patient’s history and medical needs. EHR software should provide tools to make your practice more productive and efficient; if it makes operations more complicated over the long run, it won’t be valuable. Luckily, EHR software is designed to make life easier. Below are some questions to ask during an EHR software demo to ensure that the software will streamline your operations.
1. What is the physician interface like?
EHR software should make it easier for doctors to do their jobs. The interface should be user-friendly and easy to understand. Complex interfaces can lead to user error. It shouldn’t take convoluted training sessions to teach providers how to use this software. If the tools for Computerized Physician Order Entry, or CPOE, are clear-cut, they’ll make the interaction between physicians and patients more efficient.
2. How is the EHR installed and accessed?
Determine whether the software will be installed directly onto the computers in your office or accessed via a member portal. Some EHR software is cloud based, which means your team can access it from any computer. This can be beneficial if you have multiple offices or if your physicians make house calls.
3. Is the software CCHIT certified?
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, or CCHIT, certifies EHR software to reduce risk, protect the privacy of patient records and improve the health care system as a whole. Even providers that create and implement their own EHR can submit it for CCHIT certification.
4. What kind of training is provided?
If you have to create a team devoted to training employees in the EHR, the software’s benefits might not be immediately realized because you’re draining your own resources to implement it. Find out what kind of training is offered. The proper training will help all your employees get on the same page and reduce the possibility of user error.
5. How does the system communicate with users?
Software that offers scheduling options and automated reminders can make things easier for your company. The EHR should also streamline communication between physicians, removing the need for lengthy in-person meetings and allowing for more time working directly with patients.
6. Does the EHR offer patient access?
One of the benefits of the EHR is that it can help patients and physicians stay on the same page when it comes to care. Member portals allow patients to log in and view information about their diagnoses, lab tests, upcoming appointments, care plans and other information that used to be hidden away in their charts. Some software even allows patients to book their own appointments online.
7. What kinds of reviews have you received from other clients?
The more transparent the software company is about its reputation the more trust you may have in the company. Ask about client reviews and feedback the company has received from other healthcare providers.
8. Does the EHR offer detailed analysis?
A critical feature of EHR software is its ability to analyze factors such as drug interactions or possible allergic reactions. As a physician enters an order, the software can conduct an analysis that checks for potential problems.
9. Can I use the EHR for billing purposes?
To be truly valuable, the EHR should simplify an office’s administrative functions, including finances. Once a patient receives certain services, can you create an itemized invoice that can be sent to both the patient and the insurance company?
Information Week reported that EHR software increases patient engagement and improves outcomes. With so many different types of software available, it’s important to ask the right questions during an EHR software demo to make sure the product is valuable, useful and maximizes efficiency.