Whether you’re considering it for the first time or are ready to upgrade to something different, knowing what to look for in web-based EHR software is an absolute must. Electronic health records software, or EHR software, has been around for some time. New features are debuting all the time, which can make it tricky to zero in on software that will suit the needs of your practice.
Cloud computing in the healthcare industry helps reduce costs, improve application performance and speed up goals to achieve meaningful use. If you’re a health care provider considering a cloud-based EHR solution, read on to learn about the biggest benefits and essential features to ensure you get the best cloud-based EHR software for your practice.
6 Benefits of Web-Based EHR Software
Web-based EHR software systems provide all of the benefits you find from a regular EHR vendor, plus many more. So if you’re wondering why you should choose a web-based EHR software, here are a few reasons why:
Improved Patient Care
EHRs make managing your patients’ data easier to manage. By digitizing health records, storage isn’t an issue and searching through your patients’ histories is quick and easy. Additionally, EHRs make it easier for multiple healthcare providers to collaborate. When a patient starts seeing a new provider or goes to a different facility for specialized treatment, the new provider needs their information. EHR software allows you to easily share their information so the best care can be provided to the patient.
Meeting Meaningful Use guidelines is crucial for healthcare providers. Doing so, as you probably know, isn’t an easy thing. However, it’s made easier with an EHR. EHR software is designed to help you both meet Meaningful Use guidelines and prepare for future mandates.
Similarly to Meaningful Use, healthcare providers need to ensure that they’re always HIPAA-compliant. Security and data governance has been a big issue for the healthcare industry, which means that the industry as a whole needs to look for a solution. EHRs are one part of that solution, as they come with powerful cybersecurity capabilities. Most are IDC9/10 compliant, ensuring your patients’ data is safe and secure.
When it comes to web-based EHR software specifically, accessibility is a key advantage. With these systems, you can log in and work with your EHR wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection. This is especially important if a key physician is away from the facility and they need to look up a patient’s medical history.
For the small but growing family practice or other organization, scalability is key. Web-based EHR software has the ability to accommodate your increased needs as they come up, without adopting new software. On-premise EHR systems aren’t as scalable since you purchase a single version of the software. Switching to a new software to accommodate your needs is both time-consuming and costly, so it’s best to choose a single software that can grow with you.
The truth about cloud-based software in general is that they’re easier to integrate with other systems. Web-based EHR software, then, plays nice with any other systems you may have. This is especially crucial if you use practice management software, a common EHR integration. The seamless flow of data between systems can’t be replaced, so ensuring that your EHR can accommodate it is important.
7 Features to Look for in Web-Based EHR Software
There are a lot of platforms to choose from in the electronic health records market. The best web-based EHR systems includes these features:
1. Automatic Transcription
Voice-to-text technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the last several years. In fact, many healthcare providers have been able to stop relying on medical transcription services for this very reason. Finding web-based systems with this feature is pretty easy.
2. Patient Portal
This feature is a win-win because it provides benefits for patients and medical practices alike. Patients can use the portal to provide basic information, which dramatically reduces the number of forms they need to fill out by hand. They may also receive appointment reminders and reminders for tests they need performed, in addition to checking on their patient records. These portals sometimes also allow patients to view test results and other medical information.
3. Electronic Prescriptions
Electronic prescription functionality is a great feature for improving patient care, as it saves both patients and physicians a lot of time. Doctors can quickly transmit new prescriptions to patients’ pharmacies, reducing redundancy and minimizing the risk of errors. Patients benefit too because their prescriptions are often ready to go by the time they arrive at the pharmacy.
4. Templates and Order Sets
Like most practices, yours probably often treats different patients for the same condition over and over. The right cloud-based EHR software lets you create templates and order sets, saving you time when tracking patient data and their treatments in the system. Much of the information is automatically populated, so less manual entry is required.
5. Custom Reports
Top-notch EHR software lets you generate custom reports on demand. Reports are in real-time, so you can quickly provide patients with reports regarding just about anything with a few clicks of the mouse button. This feature is also advantageous for medical practices, as reports can be generated and analyzed quickly, easily and as often as needed.
6. Intelligent Workflows
Ward off overcrowding in your waiting room with this indispensable feature. Intelligent workflows let you see how patients move through your practice in real time. Everything from clinical charting to scheduling for patients and providers is included, allowing you to assess the big picture. If bottlenecks occur, workflows can be analyzed to determine the cause of the problem.
7. 24/7 Access from All Devices
Finally, only select web-based EHR software. This cannot be stressed enough. Both web-based EMR and web-based EHR systems allow you, your physicians and other personnel to access them anytime, anywhere. All they need is an Internet-capable device and an Internet connection. This is a major perk for all practices, but it’s especially beneficial for facilities with multiple locations and doctors who work at multiple locations.
These seven features are absolutely essential. Use them as your starting point while investigating the available options. Only consider programs that include all of them at the absolute minimum. Remember too that different types of software often include specialized features that are beneficial to specific types of practices. Therefore, it is worth it to carefully consider all of the options. By taking your time and carefully researching the available options, you’ll easily select the perfect EHR vendor the first time. We recommend using a requirements template to manage this process.
Top 5 Web-Based EHR Software Vendors
You didn’t think we’d give you all of this information without providing some recommendations, did you? If you’re ready to start a search for a new web-based EHR software, start with these best-of-the-best vendors:
The Meditech EHR system is built for healthcare providers of all sizes, whether large or small. This solution offers many practice management features as well, including revenue cycle management and health analytics. This makes it a great tool for organizations that want to cut costs by adopting a single software solution (as long as they don’t need full practice management functionality).
Intergy is a web-based solution that focuses on the automation and digitization of your organization. Charting and patient notes reduce manual data entry, saving you time. The system also provides ePrescribing software that not only speeds up the prescription process, but also ensures its accuracy.
Care360 EHR, similarly to Meditech, provides practice management functionality, creating a more inclusive system. Along with ePrescribing tools, this EHR provides revenue cycle management and medical billing software. There are also analytical tools that let you perform Big Data analysis in order to improve your various processes.
Allscripts TouchWorks offers an EHR and an EMR system in one package. Its additional practice management functionality make it the most complete healthcare package, providing features such as medical billing and patient record analysis. Built-in dashboards are also great for organizations that want to perform analytics on not just their patient’s health records, but your administrative processes as well.
The eClinicalWorks system is one of the most flexible, as its offered both on-premise and as a web-based EHR software. Similarly to Allscripts, it provides an all-in-one solution of EHR, EMR and practice management. The eClinicalWorks system one of the best EHRs for reporting, providing registry reporting, eBO view reporting (a more dynamic, drill down type of reporting) and Meaningful Use dashboards, which help you monitor your compliance.