Electronic Medical Record Software
Helping you keep records on patients and cases
Electronic Medical Record Software is nearly the same as medical billing software, but we distinguish the two here on the basis that medical record software might be thought of as broader and more versatile.
Electronic medical record software can perform a variety of functions:
- Tracking patient reports, demographics, histories, etc.
- Tracking and transmitting information to other databases.
- Scheduling appointments
- Generate many different reports to create a variety of data beyond medical billing
The transmission of data may be more important as time goes on. There is continued speculation about the building of a health care record database that can be used by health care providers across the nation and internationally. Standard use of medical record software would seem to be a necessary pre-requisite for such an infrastructure.
Currently, there is little incentive for the medical industry to attempt any standardization of record keeping or even of software usage. There is required compliance with security standards set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and ANSI billing formats, and this may be a place for infrastructure standardization to begin.
In any case, as you begin your search for electronic medical record software, be sure that you bear in mind all the same precautions that go into the purchase of similar software.
Of course, most software companies now allow you to take their products for trial. But before you go ahead and do this, bear in mind that the trial will cost you time, and it may even cost you in dollars and cents if you lose data or are otherwise compromised. With that in mind, keep these things in mind as you look around:
- Include all the right decision makers in the process : everyone from the office administrator to the billing manager to the health insurance company rep may want to have input and may need to be able to use the software.
- Know what others are doing . Finding out what software other health care clinics and offices use, as well as their experience with it could be a key to your decision.
- Know your specialty . For example, if you are in chiropractic, there are probably close to 50 vendors tailored to this industry alone still, they are not all created equal and you might be well advised to look outside this category for a guide to features you might want in your chiropractic medical record software.
- Know your practice . What are your quirks, and do you need to keep these in mind for software choices you are going to make? If you have multiple offices, is the software system designed to deal with this?
- Do you need to track inventory, purchases or other assets? Does the software guide you in ways to save money on gross purchases, taxes or other means?