Having an electronic health records suite that covers features that bring more efficiency to your practice is one of the keys to success. Just as important is understanding the EHR features that matter most to most practices. We will discuss the top six EHR features found to be important to efficiency for most doctors and medical practices. These top EHR features are not listed in any specific order.
Quick, Efficient Access to Your Patients’ Records
Efficiency is a must have as an EHR feature. In addition to being able to quickly access patient records, it’s also important that your EHR aid in making scheduling of patients easier, bill for appointments, collecting patient and insurance payments, and ensure that the entire visit from start to finish – and even afterwards – goes as efficiently and smoothly as possible. It is the entire patient workflow that should be put together in an intelligent and workable system for you and your entire medical staff.
Voice Recognition for Easy Dictation Adds to Strong EHR Features
Being able to dictate your notes during a patient encounter makes the visit go much more smoothly for you and the patient. You can compile notes more quickly and efficiently than if writing by hand or entering them via a keyboard. Having a strong dictation system can help with words that you use and have even more capability when it comes to spelling words that your smartphone may not correct on the first, second, or even third try.
Further benefits of a good dictation system include the ability to chart into specific parts of the care plan. Do you need to chart a new medicine you are prescribing your patient? Use the dictation software to ensure that the medication is listed in the right part of the patient’s care plan. Even more exciting is the increase in adaptive learning capability that can complement a strong dictation system. Machine learning and voice recognition together accelerates documentation and is a must have feature to add on to your electronic health records software. Speaking of adaptive learning, it’s our next top feature.
Adaptive Learning Increases EHR Efficiency in Data Entry
Even more exciting than voice recognition is a complementary product that comes from advances in adaptive learning systems. Having a plan-based adaptive learning program can be specific to your patient in that it captures and anticipates likely next steps. It remembers what you use most often. For example, if you diagnose a condition multiple times and prescribe a certain medication, the system will learn this and suggest it as your input for any further patients who require a similar diagnosis.
Interoperability to Connect Patient Data How You Need It Connected
Interoperability is a must-have in a list of top EHR features. Interoperability allows for varying computer and software systems the ability to exchange and share data. This data can come from a variety of places including labs, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical practices.
A great example of interoperability is if you were a family doctor and you send a patient to the cardiologist. You can transmit the records to the cardiologist, regardless of the systems being used there. They can send results from the cardiology exam back to you in the same way. Other examples include integration with HIEs, direct messaging with your patients, or working with network partners that provide services that are made possible by strong integrations with interoperability.
Mobile Friendly and Mobile Apps are Key EHR Features
In today’s world it is important for an EHR to work on more platforms than ever before. Beyond a desktop or laptop computer, your electronic health records software should work via a mobile device (i.e. tablet, iPad, Android, iPhone) and furthermore have a mobile app that can be downloaded to better replicate your software on a mobile device. This not only helps with having more ways to stay connected, but the mobility of a phone or tablet versus a computer allows even more efficiency in moving from room to room to take care of your patients in different settings.
Mobility can also allow for replication. This means that you can practice outside of the office with full access to your EHR functions. This comes without the need for an internet connection. When you reconnect to the internet, replication ensures that all your data is synced and updated.
Strong Template Capabilities for Settings and Specialties
The information accessible and modifiable within an EHR is only as good as the customization options that come with it. Having the capability to customize templates is a feature that creates the best in efficiencies. Templates give you the ability to record notes with even better efficiency. You can easily define templates for a wide variety of specialties with the right electronic health records solution. The time savings gained by using templates can be quite dramatic, so it is a feature you will want to have with your EHR selection.
Having comprehensive clinical content provided right out of the box, with support for over 70 specialties, helps increase the efficiencies of your EHR. Not only is the availability of content important, but also the fact that it can be quickly and easily modified by members of the care team or other individuals with a need to match your unique workflows or documentation.
While mentioned numerous times, efficiency is the key term to any EHR feature. For the feature to be efficient, it must work well and be a valuable part to the workday for you and your staff. There are many other features that are important when it comes to choosing the right EHR for your practice. Is there one that you think should be in the top five list? Should the list be even larger? Let us know what you think is important on our social media comments or by contacting us directly.