Orthopedic EHR / EMR Selection Criteria
Orthopedic EHR is a specialized medical software used by Orthopaedic or Sports Medicine providers which meets the specific needs of Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine clinics by providing Orthopaedic specific workflows, pre-built SOAP notes templates for common procedures, physical exam templates, diagrams, and decision support which ensure easy documentation and specific content for patient evaluation and medication management, among others.
Adapting a generalized EHR system to your Orthopedics practice as a specialist can be time-consuming. It also usually ends up leaving you without many of the features you need to make EHR worthwhile for your practice. Get the best results from your EHR implementation or replacement efforts by considering these guidelines regarding features, pricing, hardware and software requirements and other considerations.
- Ability to Customize
- High Quality Training
- Top Notch Implementation Support
- Exceptional Customer Service
- Compliant with MACRA (Meaningful Use)
- Provides actionable data at your fingertips
- Includes features sought after by patients
- Seamless sharing of data in highly secure manner
- Integrated with Practice Management Software
- Features and Pricing for Small and Mid-Sized Clinics
1. Fully customizable EHR that puts you in control
Enjoy the flexibility of these essential features with an EHR that can be easily modified to address your clinic’s specific needs, such as:
- Customizable templates that address orthopedic issues and can be used as-is or adjusted on the fly for many procedures including trigger point injections, peripheral or selective nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation, and many others. Procedure and surgery templates are available for both minor surgeries and complicated procedures.
- Voice and handwriting recognition technology are on-hand to support ease and efficiency of documentation, and helps practitioners focus on patient interaction and assessment.
- Easy access anywhere any time - cloud-based technology enables access to patient records using a PC, Mac, or tablet. The only requirement is an internet connection and a standard web browser.
- Convenient and secure e-Prescribing - enables patients to get medication refills without using a single sheet of paper – and with greater clarity and accuracy. This includes Certified ePrescription for controlled substances. Electronic checking of drug-drug and drug-food allergies adds an extra layer of protection for the patient.
2. High quality training that eases the strain of adopting new technology
Providing comprehensive EHR training to providers and clinic staff is vital to success – helping them learn the different aspects of the system and ensuring they’re ready to jump in with both feet starting on day one.
The benefits of appropriately training the users of the system include:
- Ensuring patient safety – by helping you and your staff know where to document and find important data
- Optimizing the system’s functionality – by decreasing the frustration of learning by trial and error
- Achieving Meaningful Use incentives – by giving clinic staff the ability to navigate the different modules and ensure that all Meaningful Use-related data are captured in the documentation
Successful EHR training includes best practices such:
- Providing an in-house trainer
- Ensuring that the training is relevant and customized for your specialty
Because users have different learning styles, effective training incorporates various training modalities in the form of:
- Live in-person training
- At-the-elbow support during the go-live/implementation
- Supplemental online or computer-based training
3. Provides top-notch implementation support
Effective end-to-end implementation includes comprehensive analysis of your needs and current processes to ensure minimal disruption.
Each practice should have its own Implementation Specialist who can act as a guide and resource person throughout the implementation – from analysis to installation, testing, training, and implementation.
Prior to go-live, they ensure that every device is fully connected, tested and configured for maximum efficiency and security.
Ideally, you and your staff should also have access to the following support services:
- An online Resource Center
- Unlimited technical support via phone, email, and online chat
4. Vendor demonstrates a track record of exceptional customer service support
Small and medium-sized specialty practices need to have access to customer support that understands their specific needs.
There is more to implementing or replacing your EHR than just installation. Outstanding customer support means that providers and staff always know who to turn to when they need their answers and concerns addressed any time, day or night.
5. Compliant with Meaningful Use
Certified and compliant EHR software is a requirement for reimbursement under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The best EHR systems for small practices automate compliance with MU regulations, thus saving you and your team time and effort and enabling you to focus more on patient care.
Orthopedic practices can be successful in value-based care reimbursement models by leveraging EHR software that:
- Streamlines the end users’ workflows
- Enables patient care coordination
- Improves patient engagement, and
- Supports health data exchange
6. Provides actionable data at your fingertips
One of the advantages of EHRs over paper is the ability to continuously collect, sort, and organize data, even outside of office hours.
At any given time, you can make a few clicks and access a “dashboard” in your EHR that displays important statistics about your patients or your practice.
These reports can be about productivity, billing, and regulatory compliance. They can be customized based on your practice’s workflows and needs.
Analytics gives providers and staff the real-time ability to:
- Track patients
- Identify trends that reflect the quality of care
- Monitor the practice’s compliance to MACRA and other reimbursement-related criteria
7. Implementation can result in more satisfied patients
EHRs improve waiting and turnaround times through:
- Online booking via a Patient Portal that allows patients to select the most convenient time for them to visit the office
- Appointment reminders that help patients remember when they are supposed to get to the clinic, which increase engagement and decrease the incidence of no-shows
The right EHR solution enables providers to conduct patient consultations through real-time videoconferencing that’s both secure and HIPAA-compliant.
These “virtual” telemedicine visits allows physicians and patients to interact and communicate in the following ways:
- discussion of symptoms
- observation/assessment of many physical signs
- collection of pertinent data
- explanation of test results
- communication of diagnoses
- discussion of treatment options
- provision of prescriptions
Telemedicine consultations are useful for simple medical issues and for providing health education. They allow more flexibility, save travel time, and lessens “downtime” spent in waiting rooms.
More importantly, telemedicine visits lets patients get the care they need while lowering their risk of exposure to contagious diseases during times when social distancing is necessary.
8. Patient Data is both secure and easy to share when needed
The challenge is two-fold:
- Seamless sharing of data with other care providers
- Ensuring that sharing is done in a secure manner
Orthopedic EHR software makes it possible to do the following without worrying about security issues:
- Communicate with other facilities or providers about patient care
- Route specific records or information
- Send letters of recommendation or referral
- Bill insurance companies
The ability to use the EHR for referrals allows you to:
- Ensure that patients receives necessary follow-up care
- Prevent issues and problems from falling through the cracks when patients transitions from one care provider to another
9. Helps increase revenue capture
Orthopedic EHR that is fully integrated with the Practice Management Software increases and streamlines the efficiency of your clinic’s operations, giving you and your staff the freedom to focus on patient care and spend less time on administrative activities and tasks.
Having this integration includes the following benefits:
- The billing process is easier and more efficient because ICD codes are assigned to each complaint within Orthopedic EHR
- Reimbursements become faster, as encounters can be easily converted to billable EDI and paper claims.
- Built-in evaluation and management (E&M) coding improves accuracy, offering providers the assurance that the appropriate level of service has been charged.
This feature provides Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine practices with a tool to confirm ICD-10 and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes associated with the patient diagnosis, and communicate directly with the billing software to provide faster and more complete payment.
- Insurance eligibility verification is streamlined, reducing the incidence of incorrect claims and non-payments.
- End-to-end support from claim submission to payment posting and AR Management results in cost reduction, increased payments, and positive return on investment (ROI).
10. Appropriate and fairly-priced features for the size of your clinic
Solo practices and small clinics with up to 5 providers often have limited budget allocated for EHR software and the associated hardware and infrastructure costs. Because of this, they may opt for the most affordable choices. For these practices, a cloud-based EHR that doesn’t require the purchase of expensive on-site servers and networks is the most reasonable and attractive option.
Medium sized practices with up to 10 or so providers may require EHR that can support multi-clinician access and specialty-specific EHR functionalities and tools. They might also need reporting and analytics tools as well as more comprehensive training needs for the clinicians and their support staff.
Software and Hardware Considerations:
- Cloud-based EHRs require smaller upfront costs and are much less expensive to maintain than systems that need the installation of on-site servers.
- Hardware requirements need to be included in the budget considerations:
- Desktops – often the least expensive option and are easy to use
- Laptops – more portable than desktops
- Tablets – increasingly popular choice, as they provide screen space almost comparable to laptops, and are easier to carry.
- Smartphones – gaining more usage since it’s the most portable option. The much smaller screen space and battery limits pose an ongoing challenge.
- Server-based EHRs often have license, set-up, and upgrade fees that result in total costs which may be too exorbitant for solo, small, and medium-sized practices.
- Cloud-based EHRs usually involve only a monthly fee.
- Not all cloud-based EHRs are created or priced equally. There are other direct and indirect costs to implementing an EHR. It would be helpful to have a checklist and have a comprehensive discussion with vendors regarding these costs.
Looking to the future
Technological advances such as telehealth and telemedicine and voice recognition software are helping propel orthpaedics and sports medicine into the future. These providers have the opportunity to expand their practice beyond their immediate geographic location because they can care for patients remotely to perform numerous types of care.
Also, with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning steadily gaining ground, Orthopaedic EHR software has the potential to be even more intuitive and easier to employ while holding the promise of improving patient outcomes, lowering costs, and reducing provider burnout. Similarly, Big Data has the potential to make a positive impact on the personalization of patient care because it creates a more holistic picture of patient patterns in addition to physician efficiency and effectiveness.
How RevenueXL can help
The right partner with the right expertise and solutions can make a noticeable difference in making your EHR implementation or replacement experience a streamlined transition instead of a painful headache. Our EHR team provides exceptional customized and personalized support right from the start and has the solutions, tools, and training to assist you in getting your EHR software up and running smoothly - no matter the size of your Orthopaedic or Sports Medicine practice.