Purchasing an electronic medical record (EMR) system is a daunting task, as there are many software vendors who cater to this niche industry. That’s why it’s essential for you to know what kind of functional requirements your practice or hospital will require to run your daily operational needs.
You also need to forecast that whichever system you choose (whether on-demand or on-premise), the software will allow for future growth and expandability down the road.
You should also be aware of how painstaking it will be to transfer decades of paper patient records into an electronic format, as the traditional (and still current) practice in health care is paper based records. There is a dossier about the patient, and details such as medical history, prescription changes, intravenous scheduling, and the like are transcribed onto forms for the department that contains the patient’s bed. Switching to EMR software allows multiple health care professionals to access a patient’s chart, which ensures that complete and accurate documentation is entered in real time. This is especially vital in emergency situations when multiple doctors are able to review the patient files simultaneously.
The number of patient records will significantly vary between an SMB practice and a mainstream enterprise hospital. If it’s in budget, the easiest way to transition paper documents to electronic format is to outsource transcriptionists to transfer the data (using this route will not decrease staff productivity). You should also factor in a change management aspect, because an average SMB practice could take up to six months to reach its desired goals by eliminating repetitive tasks and allowing doctors to see more patients.
Most EMR software offers health maintenance reminders to keep doctors and staff updated on what treatments or checkups the patient is scheduled for through an automatic alert or report generated by the software.
EMR systems are also capable of determining the best form of treatment by analyzing a patient’s diagnosis chart for prior conditions/prescriptions and cross referencing the drug database to prevent lethal transaction with other drugs. This plan of action will reduce malpractice suits by maintaining an up-to-date and comprehensive patient record.
Another consideration is functionality of the software as a whole: is it user friendly and intuitive enough for medical staff to interact and retrieve vital information about the patient on the fly?
3 Vital Questions You Should Ask Before Purchasing
1. Do you need an on-demand or an on-premise model?
2. Does the software suit requirements for best-of-breed small practices and outpatient services (SMB-level) or larger mainstream hospitals (enterprise-level)?
3. What is the vendor’s service level agreement (SLA) if an incident arises?
There are many adequate EMR systems on the market that will suit needs for small and large practices alike, while providing functionality and security measures to protect patient data. The most important thing is that you be satisfied that the software will meet your needs. If you are unsure, consult with a professional at TEC who will guide you through the software selection process to ensure that an informed decision is made and that the software implementation will meet the needs of your organization now and in the future.
send me infor
What a break though in record management.
One of the short falls of this technology is software security which is not easy to ensure with electronic medical record technology.
I have a fresh example involving my degree transcript which was readily altered at will by some saboteurs at Makerere University Between 2003, and August 2006.
Now am facing problems due to such alteration which can foil patient records to make their validity questionable.
Dr. Akusa Yuam Darlington
I work on an open source EMR and patient management application called elementalClinic that addresses questions of extensibility and security by being open source.
Among the benefits of using open source software is that the application will continue to grow and improve based on emerging needs, and in the case of elementalClinic access to those improvements is free. There’s no licensing fee for updating the application to its latest and best version.
Another unique open source benefit is the freedom to choose the development shop with which you work. Your data and software can never be locked down to a single vendor.
The list of benefits continues, but instead of gobbing up space here I invite people to ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMR has the potential to become yet another $800 toilet seat purchase if (and a big if) there is no thought given to properly defining the underlying data model. We will have hardware venddors and vendor demos built on nothing more than 20 records and pictures masquarading as solutions. But then the Government especially when it comes to Health Care has not as yet shown any ability to think.
I am in the process of writing a RFP for the procurement of an overall Hospital Management information system and need to see what a typical specification and requirements look like, especially for the EMR portion. This is the 1st function/processes that will be embarked.
This is a Teaching hospital that is located in Jamaica.
It is important to analyze many aspects during your emr software search. And it’s also important to have all the facts. For example, did you know that 85% of electronic medical records software systems are slower than handwritten notes? Did you know that with most EMR software, you write down objective findings on a cheat sheet and then enter them in your computer hours later, i.e. you document twice?!?