If you’re a chiropractor or another healthcare professional, you’ll need solid electronic health record (EHR) software to make your life easier – and better serve your patients. With the right EHR software in place, you can improve efficiency, increase patient satisfaction, and even boost employee morale.
The question is, what steps can you take to choose the right EHR software?
One of your biggest priorities will be the core features of the EHR software, which could include:
- Patient record keeping. The most important element of your EHR platform is the ability to help you create, track, and manage patient records. When you get a new patient, you’ll be able to onboard them. When an existing patient has an appointment, you can take notes about it. When you see that patient in the future, you can review all your past interactions to provide them the best possible service. This one is non-negotiable.
- Uploading and file management. A good EHR solution will also allow you to upload and manage various files, including photos and videos, associated with your patients. This can be essential in ensuring you’ve captured the full information associated with the appointment.
- Appointment scheduling. Some EHR platforms allow you to schedule appointments quickly and conveniently. With a website integration, your patients can book their appointments in a matter of seconds online – and get plenty of automatic reminders and notifications to minimize the possibility of them missing their appointment.
- Billing. You could also benefit from built-in billing. If you’re keeping track of appointments, patient records, and other information all in one spot, it makes sense that you should also be able to manage billing there too.
- Marketing. Some EHR providers even offer built-in marketing and/or advertising functionality, allowing you to promote your business seamlessly within the same system.
Do you need some of these or all of these? Which ones are your highest priorities?
Design, Usability, and Learnability
Next, you’ll need to think about the design and usability of your chosen system. Design may seem like a superficial consideration, especially if the app does what it’s supposed to at its core, but it plays a major role in how people adopt and use the app. If your patients have a hard time understanding how to book an appointment, or if it’s difficult to learn how to do so, they’re not going to use this feature. If it’s challenging for doctors to keep track of patient records, or if they keep those records inconsistently because they don’t understand the software, that’s also a problem.
Many practices will want to favor EHR software that offers seamless integrations with other apps and services. For example, if you already have a solid billing system in place, built around an existing app in your organization, you’ll want to ensure that your EHR software can easily exchange data with it.
Privacy and Security
No matter what, you’ll want to choose EHR software that takes privacy and security seriously. If you want to be in line with HIPAA privacy standards and other regulations, you need to ensure the privacy and integrity of your patients’ records. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure that your provider has multiple backups – so you never run the risk of losing valuable patient data.
What kind of updates is this EHR platform set to receive? Most developers are passionate about issuing new features, bug fixes, and other improvements, but some are less active. Is there a roadmap for the future development of this app? Or is it hard to find this information?
You’ll also want to think about the customer support available to you. If the app suddenly stops working, or if you’re running into a common issue, how easy is it for you to get in contact with somebody? Are your concerns going to be addressed proactively? Is communication fast, convenient, and easy to understand?
Finally, you’ll need to think about the price of the software you’re buying. You may find a platform that offers literally everything your business needs, with some extra features beyond your current scope of work – but if it’s going to cost you thousands of dollars per month, it may not be worth it. That said, it’s also not a good idea to go with the cheapest platform you can find – especially if it means compromising on the features that you need most.
Choosing EHR software for your organization is a big decision – and it isn’t always an easy one. Make sure to take advantage of free trials offered by EHR developers, or at least see a live demo, before making your final decision. It pays to get hands-on before you commit to a final choice.