Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
by Jyotika Chand, RN
All healthcare organizations have medical records, whether paper or electronic. We have to follow all the new health care policies. Our government is constantly changing the rules and regulations for practices and it is very hard to keep up.
Recently, EMR’s have been a topic of discussion. Many offices still have not implemented an EMR nor do they plan on transitioning any time soon. Why? Because it is a headache and it’s costly. Sometimes it can slow the office down because it is so complicated.
Some key things to remember when looking for the right EMR are:
1. Know what your practice needs.
2. Be aware of key features needed for your practice to run smoothly before meeting with a vendor.
3. Ask for a live demo of the EMR to see if it is the right fit for your specialty. (There are many big vendors out there but not all of them provide a customizable system to benefit all specialties.)
4. During the demo ask questions and have a staff member present who could provide input also. (Everyone is part of the team that makes your office function on a daily basis. Including them is beneficial.)
5. Make sure the system follows all the proper guidelines (i.e. HIPAA, HL7, Meaningful Use, etc.) for to prevent reimbursement issues.
6. Find out about system upgrades and maintenance costs. Ask if you will receive 24/7 IT support. With ever changing health care regulations vendors may add fees for system updates.
7. Find out about their contract details. Do you purchase or lease their EMR? Flexibility is key and may be more beneficial to a small budget.
These points are important to discuss with vendors when purchasing or leasing an EMR system. Remember choose the EMR that is right for your office and know that they can make charting faster and more organized than paper charting.
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Jyotika Chand, RN
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