Documenting medical records have always held paramount importance, especially in the present times, when aspects like reimbursement claims are dependent on such records. Diligently maintaining medical records also helps health care providers and specialists with the means to share relevant information that can be pivotal in maintaining the patient’s health. Medical records also help in communicating with different healthcare providers, be it surgeons, physicians, radiologists among others.
At an age and time when physical documents and folders hold medical records, there is a possibility of having multiple files and folders across different practitioners or doctors’ offices. While this has been in practice since time immemorial, its shortcomings are visible in today’s day and age. Misplacing a document, misinterpreting the handwriting, or not carrying all the relevant information, could all lead to uncomfortable situations, wherein the doctor or the medical professional would find it difficult to gauge the problem in its entirety.
Introduction to Cloud-based EHR Software & Server-based EHR Software
Offering a solution to this pertinent problem is the EHR (Electronic Health Records) software. The software offers a digital mechanism to take elaborate medical notes that can be easily accessed at any given point of time. Both Cloud based EHRs & Server based EHRs consolidate a person’s medical history that includes allergies, past treatments, relevant images, lab results among other pertinent information in the digital format. Designed for healthcare professionals, they also provide relevant tools and options to make sound decisions. The use of EHRs also makes it easier to store colossal amounts of patients’ data, without the risk of misplacement, damage, or alteration to sensitive data. Along with offering accurate patient information, these electric records can help in maintaining continuity, rather than putting the patient through a process where he/she must start from scratch.
EHR Software Advantages
Owing to its unparalleled relevance, few advantages of the EHR software solutions are:
- Timely access to the patient’s records
- Suggest relevant treatment options
- Offer patients access to their details
- Improves communication between patient and physicians
- Improve the effectiveness of the treatment
EHR Software Features
While the advantages and relevance of Cloud based & On Premise EHR software solutions have been established, one must also look at the features that these software solutions are providing. Few of the key features that the best (EHR) electronic health records software have are:
- Interoperability: Seamless portability of information for patients
- Productivity tools like texting, speech recognition
- Technical support
- eRx to quickly fill prescriptions that can be sent to the required personnel
- Revenue cycle management to handle statements and claims
- Exclusive patient portal to share relevant information with the patients directly
- Telemedicine to offer care remotely to the patients
Another aspect that one considers while employing an EHR software is whether it is a cloud-based EHR Software or an on-premise model. The decision in this aspect falls on how one would like to be in control of the software they are implementing. If one happens to choose an on-premise EHR software, they are under the burden of managing everything, right from implementation to its support. Owing to its extensive requirements, the on-premise model needs a dedicated IT team that repairs and manages its support. The model also bears the brunt of being the pricier choice among the two as one has to pay for licenses, security firewalls among other things. One must also keep in mind that any updates or extras have to be implemented by the ones owning the software instead of the vendors. While the option brings method to the madness for a well-established practice, the same cannot be said for a practice that wishes to expand its wings in the future.
The Cloud Based EHR Software
On the other hand, cloud based EHR software solutions have become more popular owing to its easy hands-on installation process. With cloud based EHR software technicians offer support at any given time, hence the software can be taken care of through the internet, without requiring a dedicated IT infrastructure. The cloud-based EHR Software solution also offers easy access anywhere at any given point of time. While the cloud-based storage is regarded as less secure in comparison with its compatriot, one must also pay heed to how vendors of today utilize robust mechanisms to ensure there is no discrepancy in security measures. Additionally, without utilizing any dedicated space in one’s premises, cloud-based solutions offer protection even during unforeseen situations. Considering all its offerings, cloud based EHR software solutions are also cost-effective. With customizations across features and systems, one can decide the scale of operation across different locations.
Cloud Based EHR Software Features
Now that we’ve seen how a cloud-based EHR Software solution is advantageous, it is imperative for us to understand the key features too. Along with not having recurring costs of updating the software or hardware every few years, a cloud based EHR software offers:
- Security patches with automatic renewal of encryption certificates
- Ability to add new physicians and patient load at any given time
- Intuitive decision-making tools with extensive drug libraries
- No need for dedicated IT cells to manage the system
Along with offering the aforementioned features, every cloud based EHR system also provides result management, decision support, order management, health information and data, patient support, administrative processes and reporting, electronic communication, and connectivity. With growing demand, top cloud based EHR software solutions are also able to provide mobile access.
Implementing a Cloud Based EHR Software
While deciding to implement an Cloud-based EHR software might not be onerous, the process of implementing one can be overwhelming. With a plethora of options available in the market, the process of finding the right solution for a particular set of requirements is not easy.
Healthcare houses must also look at the process of implementation with the same lens as choosing a cloud based EHR software. Only when the process of implementation is seamless, will the usage of the software be a non-disruptive transition. To do the same, it is important to encourage participation from the entire organization while communicating all the stakeholders involved before, during, and after the implementation process. It is at times like these one can also leverage their vendor’s experience and expertise. With the right cloud based EHR software and effective implementation, one can be assured of having a good competitive advantage among modern, computerized medical practices.