Whether you successfully manage your medical company or you are a newcomer in the healthcare business, it’s worth considering implementing electronic health records (EHR) software. Nowadays, most healthcare providers are familiar with such systems and have already replaced all paper-based processes leading to wasted precious time, effort and money as well. According to a recent report, 75 percent of healthcare providers say that their EHR platforms allow them to provide safer and more effective patient care. Not only does it result in higher overall patient satisfaction, but it also helps medical companies prevent medication errors and patient harm. The global electronic health records market is expected to reach up to 34 billion U.S. dollars by 2025. As you may see, EHRs are becoming widely used software solutions to store health records in our today’s digital world. Sounds impressive, right? Let’s delve into the details below!
What exactly is the Electronic Health Records System?
EHR stands for electronic health records and refers to software solutions that medical staff can use to track all aspects of patient care including diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, allergies, lab and test results, immunization dates, radiology images, nursing assessments, notes, and graphics of vital signs, etc. Not only does it help medical companies cover a broader scope of documentation and analysis of a patient's health and medical history, but it allows them to better manage such functions as billing, scheduling, insurance, etc. As you may see, it is designed to be much better than storing and entering information by the original health organization – it can share information with other health care providers and organizations such as labs, pharmacies, emergency facilities, etc.
What are the main EHR standards?
Only by meeting specific security standards and criteria can you implement an EHR solution for your medical practice. Let’s take a closer look at what standards you need to be aware of:
- HITECH Act: it introduces a new HIPAA breach notification rule that requires to expand data breach notifications and explain the nature of the breach, the types of protected health information that were exposed or compromised, the steps that are being taken to address the breach, and the actions need to be taken to reduce the potential for harm.
- DICOM: it is an international standard used to represent and forward healthcare radiology image-based information and foster better collaboration between radiology professionals.
- HL7: used to provide exchange, integration, sharing and retrieval of e-health information.
- ISO: used to provide international technical specifications for EHRs, define the set of requirements for the architecture of a system that processes, manages and communicates e-health records.
Types of Electronic Health Records systems
Deciding between cloud-based and on-premise EHR software solutions is one of the most important choices you need to make.
- On-premise: EHR solution is installed and run directly on the local computers in your medical organization. However, this can cause difficulties if problems arise or a new version needs to be updated.
- Cloud-based: means that users access the EHR system over the Internet without a need to pay upfront for EHR software licenses in favor of a monthly fee. What’s more, healthcare providers always have access to patient information, even in critical moments.
Why do you need an electronic health records system for your business?
EHR software solutions are important for medical companies that tend to better manage their patients and provide better health care. Let’s discover why implementing the electronic health records system is essential for your business:
- It provides accurate, up-to-date and complete information about the patients;
- It provides quick access to patients’ records to better coordinate and to more effectively diagnose patients;
- It helps healthcare providers improve productivity and work-life balance;
- It allows sharing e-health information with patients and other clinicians in a secure manner;
- It helps to avoid medical errors by reducing costs through decreased paperwork;
- It enables e-prescribing by entering prescription information into the system with a single click;
As you see, a comprehensive list presented above may help you understand why implementing an EHR system will help your medical business reach a higher level.
What’s the idea of an electronic health records system?
The primary DDI Development’s expertise is to build and deliver a variety of digital solutions to logistics, e-commerce, recruiting, e-learning, fintech and healthcare businesses. Currently, many hospitals and health care organizations have a focus on the adoption of the EHRs into their practices and procedures. Not only does it help them improve their medical record-keeping process, but it also enables them to eliminate paper-based tasks and diminish space for the storage. With that in mind, we came up with an idea of developing a concept of the electronic healthcare system (EHR) for the medical company. Only by using a centralized and easily accessible EHR solution can you do the following:
- Provide evidence-based patients’ information to help with decision-making;
- Share information to reduce duplication;
- Avoid illegible handwriting to minimize human errors;
- Provide built-in medical billing and scheduling options.
Here you can discover essential information about user customization within the electronic health records system.
There are four user roles: Patient, Doctor, Front Office Assistant, and Administrator.
- Patient: a user with basic permission within the electronic health records system who can view his/her appointments, medical bills, and records, etc.
- Doctor: a user who can view and edit patient charts, demographic info, lab and test results, medical records, appointments, etc.
- Front Office Assistant: provides backup to all front office operations such as check-in, check-out, collecting patient demographic information, pulling charts, note allergies, etc.
- Administrator: a user who can manage every aspect of the electronic health records system and has visibility to all features, functionality and settings.
Here we are going to describe technologies that may have been applied when you decide to create an electronic health records platform for your medical business:
Only by signing in as a Patient can you see the main hub of navigation around the electronic health records. The main menu includes the following:
- Medical Bills
- Medical records
Action icons such as notifications, settings, e-mail allow you to check different items in the EHR platform with a simple click.
With the Appointments feature, a patient can see all the information about his/her visits. In addition to that, a patient can be notified about the date and time of their appointment two days before the scheduled appointment. Moreover, patients can check their scheduled appointments or make changes through their laptops or smartphones. All the information about the recent or upcoming appointments is presented in the table that includes the next columns:
- Visit type (urgent/new symptom visit/annual medicare wellness visit/follow up visit/chronic care visit)
- Status (pending/unconfirmed)
With the Medical bills feature, a patient can see a detailed list of charges presented in the table. Also, he/she can find out what portion of the charges the insurance company covers. Here you will find all the information in a well-structured table that includes the amount due, status (overdue, due to), clinician, visit type (urgent/new symptom visit/annual medicare wellness visit/follow up visit/chronic care visit), Date, Action (view), Pay bill.
Medical records are kept in the electronic records system and maintained by the healthcare provider. Patients can review their medical records that explain all details about the patient’s clinical findings, diagnostic test and lab results, patient’s progress, medications, etc. Not only can patients review them after every appointment or well-care visit, but it also allows them to participate more actively if and when medical treatment is needed.
With the Medications feature, a patient can see all the information about all the drugs currently administered to him/her and their prescribed dosages. Only by keeping an up-to-date list of medications readily available in the EHR system can you clear up any possible confusion. You can find all the information in a table with the following columns:
- Medication name
- Condition (Asthma, diabetes, hypertension, etc.)
- Prescribed by
- Renewed by
Once you sign in, you are landed on the homepage of the electronic health records system. The search bar at the top of your homepage allows you to search for patients, appointments, tests and lab results, etc. The action icons such as notifications, settings, calendar let you quickly check different items in the EHR platform. Moreover, they are always present in every area of your platform just like the search bar. Your homepage is composed of widgets such as Patients, Appointments, Billing, Labs, Recent Activity that allow you to view or perform specific actions in the EHR system.
With the Patients feature, a Doctor can view all the critical and life-saving information about the patients. Here, a clinician can see the following tabs:
- Chart: with this tab, a doctor will be able to view the patient’s vitals, recent/scheduled appointments, documents, lab results, current medications, active allergies, immunization, etc. Moreover, he/she has access to full progress notes of recent visits in one click.
- Demographic: a doctor can capture a patient’s demographic information such as age, gender, marital status, education, employment status, nationality.
- Eligibility: a doctor can view the patient’s insurance information to be sure he/she will get paid for every appointment scheduled.
- Documents: all the documents such as point and click, free text, and voice recognition are displayed here.
- Lab: accurate and complete test results and pathology reports are presented in a usable format.
- Medication: a doctor can get an overview of when medications are due and when they are administered.
With the Scheduling option, doctors will be able to view appointments and calendars, print schedules and forms, enforce scheduling rules. In addition to these, they can enter information about each appointment including the patient, case, location, physician, start date and time, end date and time, appointment reasons, etc. Not only does it improve patient satisfaction, but they can also better manage the flow of patients and maximize their time.
With the Reports option, doctors can see the details of all that happened during an appointment. Here you can see the following tabs such as patients’ list, immunization, messages, e-prescribing, clinical visits, etc. In the clinical visits tab, you can see a table that includes the following information: Account ID, patient name, date, type (urgent/new symptom visit/annual medicare wellness visit/follow up/chronic care visit), status (cancelled/discharged/pending/paid), actions (view/edit).
With the Messages feature, doctors can easily send messages within the EHR system and share any information including text, audio, images, video, and files. Moreover, you can edit or delete the content of a message that you have already sent. Not only can you get access to everyone in your medical company, but it helps you improve collaboration and communication among colleagues.
Front Office Assistant Dashboard
After signing in as a Front Office Assistant, you will be landed on the homepage with the main menu. Here you will find the following options such as Scheduling, Charts, Tasks and Messages. Also, icon actions such as notifications, chat, setting are presented in the header.
With the scheduling feature, a Front Office Assistant can schedule appointments, view them, make changes, or cancel them. Each appointment includes information about the patients, their visit types, start date and time, end date and time, provider’s name, etc. In addition to that, scheduling timeslots have appropriate colors that help to quickly indicate the status of appointment.
With the Charts feature, a Front Office Assistant has access to the full detailed patient’s records such as recent visits and visits type in a jiffy. On that page, you can also see four tabs such as Summary, Timeline, Profile, and Results report. Not only can you switch between tabs fast and easily, but you can also add some information if there is a necessity.
With that feature, you can see a collection of tasks that need to be done. Not only does it help you avoid forgetting something, but you can also eliminate repetition. Once you are assigned to the task or multiple tasks, you will be notified automatically. Moreover, you can track and prioritize the administrative and clinical tasks within the medical company.
The Messages feature speeds up communication and collaboration among colleagues. Not only can you share some essential or urgent information, but you can also edit or delete the content of a message sent. In addition to that, you can send a message to everyone in the electronic health records system, but it helps you improve collaboration and communication among colleagues.
As an Administrator, you can see the following widgets: your practice, EHR users, e-prescribing, labs. Also, you can see the search bar located at the top of your homepage. Not only does it help you search for patients, appointments, diagnostic laboratory test results, and more, but you can also narrow the information retrieved based on your needs.
With the Users feature, an Administrator can view how many people have been registered in the EHR system and what their roles and responsibilities are. Moreover, he/she can assign permissions through their particular roles. By clicking on any user, an Administrator can get immediate access to information and analyze it. Not only can he/she keep the focus on people, but he/she is also involved in the process of streamlining and identifying workflow processes, getting feedback and changing various clinical scenarios and adjusting workflows in the medical company.
The scheduling feature is one of the most common tasks performed by a medical company. With this option, an Administrator can view all the appointments scheduled, select a scheduled patient and gain access to his/her information, manage schedules for staff, patients, rooms, and groups, etc. All the data is presented in a user-friendly table that includes the following fields: ID, Patient name, Time, Provider, Visit type (urgent/new symptom visit/annual medicare wellness visit/follow up visit/chronic care visit), Actions (view/edit/cancel).
With the Billing feature, you can streamline the payment process and automatically check the patient’s eligibility. Moreover, you can record patient bills in your EHR before, during, or after the visit. not only can you improve the first pass claim rate, but you can also prevent losing bills and reduce the burden of billing data entry.
When you click on the Reports option in your main menu, you will be landed here. With this feature, you can generate various types of reports based on the demographics of the patient, their health vitals, a medical history that includes diagnosis, medications, etc. In addition to that, you can apply various filters and generate reports for a given period.
An Administrator can reach the System Settings page from the corresponding option in the main menu. The System Settings feature allows him/her to set up rules and restrictions within the electronic health records system. However, there is no need to change default settings if they work for you.
Key features of electronic health records systems
- HIPAA Compliant: this means that healthcare providers and healthcare-related staff comply with national privacy and security standards to safeguard patients’ healthcare sensitive information collected and stored in the electronic healthcare records system.
- Appointment Scheduling: with this feature, you can easily manage the time between the booked appointments and identify areas of unused scheduling capacity.
- Patient Portal: with this feature, patients have access to their medical information and can actively participate in the EHR system. Not only can patients schedule appointments, but they can also pay bills directly through the system or update insurance information.
- E-prescribing: with this feature, doctors can easily prescribe medications directly to a pharmacy through the EHR platform.
- Billing Management: with that feature, you can collect charges and create claims automatically.
- Document Management: with this feature, you can convert all your patient paper documentation into comprehensive electronic medical records and access them in two clicks.
- Voice Recognition: with this feature, healthcare providers can dictate directly into the correct sections of the EHR such as forms, text fields and have the machine-transcribed text pop up there.
- Charting: with this feature, you can conveniently and efficiently store patient medical histories, lab and test results, surgical and obstetric history, medication information, etc.
- Insurance and Claims: with this feature, you can store and keep up-to-date all the patient’s insurance and claims information.
Benefits of the EHR system for medical companies
Let’s find out what benefits you can derive from implementing an EHR system for your medical business:
- You can eliminate paper-based tasks and improve efficiency;
- You can integrate patient information from multiple sources to make better clinical decisions;
- You can simultaneously access a patient’s record from any computer to view the patient’s full history, including lab and test results, recommendations, etc;
- You can improve all aspects of patient care that includes safety, effectiveness, timeliness, equity, etc.;
- You can significantly cut administrative costs and reduce the need for transcriptions, physical chart storage, claims management, etc.
Bottom line: Want to migrate paper-based healthcare records to a digitized format?
You need to arrive at a conscious decision whether or not your medical company should implement an EHR software. However, if you want to see a positive change in your business and experience overall growth, taking the necessary steps is a must. Not only does it help you migrate paper-based documents to a digitized format, but you can also make sure that patients’ data is protected against potential cyberattacks and security breaches. We, at DDI Development, have vast experience in delivering a diversity of software solutions that drive business growth and revenue. Book a consultation with our experts on EHR platform development and implementation right now.