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Top 5 Things to Consider when Purchasing an EHR

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Electronic health record (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR) platforms are essential in present-day health care.

EHRs and EMRs offer a variety of features that take advantage of technological advancements to boost productivity and treatment quality for healthcare varieties.

More recently, behavioral health providers have implemented EHRs or EMRs to take advantage of these technological advancements.

However, these platforms may be complex, making them appear overwhelming. So, choosing the ideal one for your behavioral healthcare organization may be challenging.

Remember: While the right EHR system may boost your clinic’s productivity and engage your clients, the wrong one can cause havoc.

To assist you in making an informed decision, we have compiled all of the facts required to make a confident electronic health record purchase and provide value-based care for your clients.

Good to Know: Value-based behavioral healthcare is becoming the standard in providing and billing for services. With a value-based model, clinicians are compensated based on the quality of care they provide instead of the number of clients they treat.

What are the 5 Key Factors to Consider When Purchasing EMR and EHR Platforms?

Modern tools allow you to deliver excellent client care and work more efficiently. So, here are the top 5 things to consider when purchasing EMR and EHR platforms.

EMR vs. EHR: What is the Difference?

Understanding the difference between electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) is the first step in making the best platform choice. While these terms are often interchangeable, there is a difference between EMRs and EHRs.

Electronic medical records (EMRs) are digitalized paper records. Over the past two decades, they have gradually replaced paper files in clinicians’ offices, allowing them to digitally store medical information about clients in one place.

Good to know: Electronic health record (EHR) systems do far more than merely replace paper records in clinics.

The goal of EHR systems is to improve the quality of care, ease of use, and efficiency by simplifying essential tasks such as:

  • Two-way client communication
  • Electronic communication between behavioral health providers
  • Creating treatment plans
  • Entering clinical documentation
  • Billing
  • Ordering tests and prescriptions
  • The logistics of running your practice

Visual-Based Electronic Health Record for Behavioral Health

The EchoVantage Visual Health Record (VHR) has an easy-to-use and customizable interface, giving you a timeline of your client’s case with all their information in one place. The VHR makes it easy to access each client’s:

►  Healthy history

►  Diagnose

►  Allergies

►  Immunizations

►  Medications

► Tests

►  Treatment plans

Good to know: A graphical representation of your clients’ electronic health records is actionable and simple to understand.

With the EchoVantage Visual Health Record, you can spend more time on your clients and less time on software maintenance, which allows you to provide better service.

EHR also improves client engagement by providing a continuous connection, HIPAA-compliant online sessions, a texting option, and other features.

Things to Keep in Mind when Choosing EHR Platforms

Most clinicians spend a large proportion of their time engaging with EHR platforms. Therefore, purchasing and implementing an EHR platform requires you to consider your priorities and implementation goals.

In addition, your EHR platform serves as a data hub for other providers, allowing you to compare notes, coordinate care, and provide high-quality service.

Choosing a platform that does not entirely match your needs might cost you time, energy, and money.

Switching to a new EHR system can be difficult owing to the expenses, training, and implementation procedures involved. As a result, it is critical to learn about your alternatives and evaluate the services offered to select an EHR that best matches your needs.

Remember: Before you select the right platform for your company:

        ►  Ask

        ►  Explore

        ►  Shop around

Examining your alternatives might help you make a more confident decision. In addition, here are the top 5 things to consider when purchasing an EHR platform.

1.    Security

Security is one of the first things to consider when selecting an EHR platform. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires all practitioners to guarantee that client data in EHR systems are safe and secure.

Still, some people may be concerned about cybercrime and client data breaches. Because of this, it is essential to work with an EHR provider with clear security protocols to protect your business and ensure that only authorized users can access EHR platforms.

2.    Price

Electronic health records costs are highly variable. So, get a price for any additional features you might need. The cost of an EHR system is often based on several factors, including but not limited to the following:

►  The features you require

►  The type of software you purchase

►  The size of your practice

►  The vendor you are buying electronic health records from

The price will also vary depending on the sort of EHR software you use.

Cloud-based solutions are less expensive with a lower initial investment. In addition, a cloud-based system is easier to use. With a cloud-hosted solution, you do not have to maintain servers or hardware, allowing you to pass on the expenses of IT maintenance and technical assistance to the service provider.

Remember a cloud-based system needs an internet connection to access client information and make it available to the appropriate parties without compromising the system’s security.

Remember: When considering costs, consider the initial license or activation fees.

3.    Integration and Interoperability

Interoperability is the ability of one EHR or healthcare system to share data with another EHR or healthcare system. An excellent electronic health record system will have high interoperability.

Translated to everyday practice, this means having the correct information at the right time for better client outcomes.

Before digitized records, it took time for practitioners to communicate and coordinate care. Using an electronic health record system, providers may quickly cross-reference information, coordinate treatment, and offer therapy more effectively.

Another critical feature to consider is EHR interoperability with a revenue cycle management (RCM) system, which allows for simpler billing.

Good to know: RCM is the financial process of tracking client care from the moment of registration and appointment scheduling through final payment using medical billing software.

Most major electronic health record (EHR) providers include revenue cycle management (RCM) components in their products. EHRs include billing because an effective RCM process is important to a behavioral healthcare practice’s ability to stay in business financially and to provide its clients with quality care.

4.    Simplicity of Use

User-friendly electronic health record platforms make it easy for users to do routine tasks, giving them more time to focus on their clients.

The simplicity of use is critical for behavioral health practitioners. A time-consuming EHR system results in less time spent with clients, less family time, and an increased risk of burnout. Therefore, when purchasing an EHR platform, search for those that are simple to understand and easy to use.

Asking about free trials might be a good idea since many vendors offer them. Also, consider your personnel dealing with the platform daily and plan for staff training. Even the more sophisticated platforms may become simple to use with proper training. Proper training will lead to a more efficient practice while reducing stress on your team.

Remember: Before you purchase the platform, ensure that the office employees, billing and coding managers, and anybody else who will use it get an opportunity to try it.

5.    EMR System Implementation

Before purchasing an electronic medical record system, inquire about the installation and training plan your vendor has in place. This process may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Choose a vendor who will be there for you throughout the process. Vendor support is essential, especially when issues arise. Select a vendor with solid customer service and technical support professionals who will provide ongoing assistance when your platform is live.

Good to know: some EHR system suppliers offer clinician and staff training, so inquire about that.

Takeaway

Electronic health record (EHR) platforms are necessary for modern behavioral healthcare.

In practice, electronic medical record benefits translate into:

►  Improved quality of clinical care

►  Improved client engagement and security

►  Decreased professional liability claims

Electronic health record (EHR) platforms can help you save time and money, be more efficient, and ensure your clients are satisfied with the services provided. Efficiency is real whether you are just starting with EHR platforms or want to replace your current software.

Solution

EchoVantage is the solution that meets these five requirements and more. Echo Vantage is cloud-based on Azure. All you need is a laptop or desktop. Data in Azure is encrypted, providing real-time security. EchoVantage supports quality of care from the VHR clinical record to our new treatment planning system that allows you to guide clinical care toward reaching important therapeutic goals. Finally, EchoVantage billing designed to provide ease of use to your billers. From a dashboard, all billing tasks are laid out in logical order and are only one click away. EchoVantage, look no further; your EHR is here.

The perfect solution for you is one call away.

Reference articles

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/9-key-factors-consider-when-selecting-new-ehr-system-luis/

https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/16239-value-based-care.html

https://www.ehrinpractice.com/ehr-core-functions.html

https://www.ehrinpractice.com/ehr-features-guide.html

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2018/08/28/ways-to-improve-electronic-health-record-safety

https://www.ironbridgecorp.com/blog/why-are-electronic-health-records-better-than-paper-records#:~:text=Electronic%20health%20records%20offer%20much,left%20out%20in%20the%20open.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140898/

https://hbr.org/2020/06/its-time-for-a-new-kind-of-electronic-health-record

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