A good EHR should make it very simple for patients to schedule appointments. The staff should have no trouble using the system to register patients and document a reason for their visit.
- Cost: Different companies have different pricing models for their services.
- Auto-reminders: In addition to scheduling options, some companies offer the option to send out automated appointment reminders via text or email in order to decrease the amount of no-shows.
- Ease of use: A good EHR should be accessible and easy to use. The overall design and navigation should be easy to learn, not requiring high costs related to training employees and patients.
EHR’s can help a medical staff to free up time by managing daily tasks more efficiently. This can drastically reduce overhead and also increase patient satisfaction, making it more likely to bring in more patients.
- Signing notes: The ability to sign notes in an EHR means that people can easily tell what notes were left by which staff member in order to avoid confusion.
- Reviews: Being able to review lab results in an EHR reduces the time it takes to pull them up in another program.
- Patient messages: Having the ability to view and respond to patient messages within the system reduces the time it takes to respond via phone or a separate email system. This means that patient visits will be shortened and overall efficiency will increase.
Meeting with a patient should always be productive and efficient. One of the main objectives of an EHR is to speed up the patient appointment process, making it simple and quick for patients to arrange for a visit. This saves time and money on the overhead for office staff.
- Patient history: An EHR should make patient history easily accessible – information such as medications, allergies and other important health factors should be accessible. Once all this information exists in a system, it reduces the time needed to question patients on recurring visits.
- Recording ability: The best EHRs allow users to quickly jot down notes about clinical content so it is easier to document health conditions. This reduces the time and cost of transcribing notes after the fact.
Having improved patient workflows means that a medical practice is operating at its highest efficiency level.
- Real-time tracking: Tracking patient workflow in real-time is crucial to finding the most cost-effective and efficient methodology. The best systems allow both patients and physicians to view records and add information.
- Record keeping: An effective EHR offers a method of record keeping that allows an office to determine what is bottlenecking the workflow.
Templates and order sets
In medical offices, it is common for patients to be treated for the same or similar conditions. Specialized practices need to make sure they keep accurate records of their patients histories, taking care to record specific details. Having the ability to track these histories is extremely valuable.
- Order sets: Having order sets in place allows medical practitioners to prescribe the same treatments for patients with the same conditions. This can save drastic amounts of time when when dealing with specialized conditions.
- Templates: Templates save a great amount of time and help physicians make smart decisions about patients who have received a similar diagnosis. The ability to build on previously acquired knowledge is important in a medical practice.
It is important to be able to access an EHR from any device and at all times.
- Mac and PC accessibility: An EHR should offer both PC and Mac accessibility since employees might need to access it from different computers at different times.
- Web-based solutions: Having a web-based EHR means that staff can navigate through the system from anywhere at anytime. Server-based EHR systems require staff to be connected to a particular server in order to access the information, which can be a bottleneck for some physicians.