Affordable, All-in-one and Easy to Use EHR Software for Pediatric Clinics
According to a task force on Medical Informatics constituted by American Academy of Pediatrics, an essential function of a pediatric EMR system is to facilitate care that is accessible, family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective—termed the “medical home". EMR systems for Pediatrics have the capacity to improve the quality of care that children receive from their primary care pediatrician as well as from ancillary health care professionals.
Benefits of Pediatrics EMR
1. EMR creates an efficient medical office.Electronic medical records make practicing medicine more efficient, regardless of your specialty. However, as a Pediatrician, your patients have different needs than adults. In the days of inefficient paper charts, perhaps it was common to see several patients before writing a single note on any of them. When you implement Pediatric specific EMR into your practice, this is no longer a concern.
2. Receive instant alerts.One of the advantages of using Pediatrics specific EMR is receiving alerts for patients immediately. These alerts can take the form of vaccination reminders, updates on medication dosages, or potential allergic reactions.
3. Coordinated care enables easy referral and communication.Physicians who use Pediatrics specific EHR find it easier to refer to and communicate with other doctors. Referring your patients is made easy because you can track medication changes and keep the patient's care consistent.
4. Tools For patient care are readily available as part of Pediatric Software.A great feature of electronic medical records is having access to tools for patient care. For example, many children require ADD or ADHD screening. The forms for this are readily available through the pediatric system.
5. Instant Access to patient charts in emergencies enables correct assessments.
In the past, restricted access to patient charts was a problem; however when you are able to log in and see your patients' medical records electronically, you will have more knowledge to give parents correct assessments over the phone.
6. Decreased paperwork during back to school timesPediatric Software will provide you with the forms you need that you can submit electronically to the school, ensuring that they receive them the first time.
8. Easy Access to Patient Health Information
As physicians and the other practice staff interact with patients during either telephone calls or office visits, all of the necessary information is entered into the EHR on the spot. Patient demographic information is gathered during the registration on all patients before they are able to make an appointment. From front office staff documenting patients’ telephone calls, to medical assistants recording vital signs and patient history, to nurses processing prescription refills and triaging laboratory values that come in from outside, the EHR allows the practice to function more smoothly while meeting the targets set by meaningful use clinical quality measures.
Key Features of a Great Pediatrics EMR
1. Immunization Status, Vaccine Tracking, and Clinical Decision Support
An EMR used by Pediatricians should efficiently record vaccine data; some even include barcode scanning to automatically populate the immunization record. It should also allow easy manual entry of vaccinations given at other facilities.
Once vaccinations have been given, the EMR should make it easy to share immunization records across different formats as necessary to comply with proof of immunization requests for schools and government agencies in the interest of public health, as well any other institutions that require proof of vaccines. The ability to easily generate and print immunizations records is a helpful bonus.
Your Pediatric EMR should also enable you to electronically submit imunization records to any supported state’s immunization registry. If your state supports it, a new patient’s immunization chart can be populated instantly. If your EMR has inventory management capabilities, it should also record lot numbers and doses as they are administered, automatically updating your private and VFC vaccine inventory, while creating an inventory report. It also provides a quick and easy way to find patients if a vaccine recall is issued.
Immunization Forecasting & Clinical Decision Support
Beyond that, a good EMR for pediatrics includes immunization forecasting and clinical decision support to help reduce or eliminate both errors of omission and commission. Error of omission occur when clinicians miss opportunities to provide appropriate vaccines and errors of commission occur when the incorrect vaccines are given. It would also help identify situations in which delaying certain immunizations might achieve a better immune response. Ability to enter the combination vaccine and have the system recognize that the vaccine provides adequate immunization to multiple illnesses is also one of the elements to assure full functionality and to support clinical practice.Benefit:
It has been proven that vaccination reminders appearing in a clinician’s workflow have successfully improved vaccination rates in some populations. One study reported an increase in flu vaccine rates from 7.8 percent to 25.5 percent after implementation of decision support in Pediatric EHR, and another reported an increase not only in immunization rates, but also in the ordering of several other screening tests, suggesting a potential spillover effect.
2. Routine Well Child VisitsWell child visits account for almost half of all pediatric visits and your EMR should simplify the documentation and workflow for these encounters, and provide a longitudinal record that tracks growth and change over time. During infancy, pediatrics involves well visits and preventive care as well as treatment of illness. In addition to standard well visit templates, EHRs often include templates for school, sports, camp and daycare physicals. If this is a major part of your practice, check to make sure you can produce these forms electronic creation and submission of these forms will save valuable pediatrician time by not having to fill out forms manually.
3. Pediatric Specific Norms and Flexible Growth Charts
A major difference between the Pediatric Electronic Heath Record and an adult Health Record is the need to record, display, and compare growth measurement data on a small enough scale to accurately represent changes and fluctuations in a pediatric patient. A full-featured pediatric EMR should also be able to perform calculations such as growth velocity and BMI and present the measurements and calculations in a graphic format that can easily be printed and shared with patients.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have published validated growth charts for boys and girls, with the distinction of the World Health Organization chart being a growth standard and the Centers for Disease Control chart being a growth reference. Unfortunately, validated charts do not exist for many diseases, despite these being highly desired by pediatric providers. Pediatric Software vendors sometimes choose either to including non-validated charts in their software, to rely on customers to decide which charts they will support, or not to include alternates at all.
4. Family Dynamics ManagementFamilies today are dynamic structures that can change many times over a child's transition from infant to adult. A well-designed EMR will identify and automatically populate shared family history, social history, and even billing data across related family structures. This is not just an added convenience, but an essential functionality when it comes to managing complex issues of privacy and confidentiality across blended families and extended families.
5. Flexible Privacy PermissionsAll 50 states have adolescent privacy laws that permit young adults to get certain care without parental consent or notification. Pediatrics Systems should have privacy settings that safeguard protected health information shared only between the adolescent and the provider, while still permitting access to appropriate information by parents, step parents, and guardians.
6. Pediatric Medication ManagementWeight-based dosing complicates prescribing medication for children. Your chosen EMR should provide medication decision support including dose calculations and rounding, range checks, and age adjustments or corrections.
7. Pediatric-Specific Workflows
Your EHR needs to address the high-volume, short notice and rapid turnover nature of a pediatric clinic. It should also offer the ability to capture and protect sensitive childcare information. After well child visits, management of chronic diseases and conditions such as asthma and ADD comprise the bulk of pediatric encounters. Your EHR should allow you to customize templates and workflows to streamline documentation, monitoring, and management of clinical and treatment data.
8.Integrated with Pediatric Practice Management Software
Pediatric EHR must be integrated with a good Practice Management Software to support incorporation of billing and documentation into a clinician’s workflow.
Cloud based Pediatric EMR Software
Low Cost, Scalable and HIPAA Compliance
Software as a Service does not require a major investment in hardware to run your pediatric EMR. Notebooks, netbooks and tablets will work well with these cloud based systems. If you can connect to the Internet you can access the system.
No ongoing costs for computer maintenance or software upgrades.
The monthly subscription costs can be taken as a business expense the year they are incurred. Major hardware and software investments have to be capitalized and amortized over many years.
Redundancy: Should the server in the cloud go down, there is a second and even third host that has your pediatric electronic health records backed up and you will be redirected flawlessly. But, if your office server goes down, you are stuck until it is fixed.
HIPAA compliant: Pediatric EHR SaaS transactions are encrypted and comply with HIPAA requirements.
Instant savings come with pediatric electronic health records as your practice no longer needs to purchase all the paper supplies needed to maintain paper records. In addition, space devoted to record storage can be freed up and put to clinical use.
Scalability: Whether you operate a solo practice or are part of a large group practice, the cloud based pediatric software is scalable to your operations.
Best Practices in Pediatric EHR Implementation
- Efficiency should be a concern prior to software selection. Chosen Pediatric Medical Records software must integrate well with the practice and be user-friendly, or time-saving benefits of EHR are lost.
- EMR Selection, planning and implementation process should be transparent. Consider including staff from all areas of the practice in brainstorming sessions, vendor reviews, planning, and testing.
- Comprehensive EHR training is essential. Training staff and physicians is critical to ensuring EHR implementation success. Create a training plan to ensure that everyone has the necessary knowledge and skills to use the EHR soon after launch
- Optimize workflows before EHR implementation. Problems resulting from inefficient workflows or insufficient support staff will be exacerbated during the implementation of an EHR.
- Develop fallback procedures for EHR down time due to either power outage or internet outage or system issues beyond your control.
- Ensure that you work with your EHR vendor to identify the right set of equipments that bring efficiency and enhance physician and staff productivity.
- Customize your EHR to your needs. Whether it is the specialty-specific templates or encounter notes, ensure that you work with your EHR vendor to implement an EHR that adapts to the way you practice.
- Integration of Pediatric EHR with a good Practice Management Software is highly recommended.
Pediatric EHR Templates
RevenueXL offers numerous pediatric-specific EHR templates, which can be adapted further in order to better suit your needs, or the specialists within your practice. The areas covered by our EMR templates for pediatrics include, but are not limited to:
- Flood Allergies
- School Excuses
- Abdominal Pain
- Chest Pain
- Ears (Drainage, Ear Infections, etc.)
- Well/Sick Child Exam Forms
- and more
Best Practices in Pediatric EHR Replacement
- Before embarking on replacing your Pediatric EHR, work with your existing vendor to optimize your current EHR. EHR optimization is the process of refining an install of EHR software to serve a practice's own needs and which tends to focus on clinical productivity and efficiency.
- Conduct a root cause analysis of the reasons why your current EHR needs replacement and take steps to prevent recurrence of same situation. Healthcare providers will need to consider their past failures and successes. This will assist both medical facility workforces and health IT vendors in seeing a more realistic vision for the future and setting achievable goals during different phases of EHR replacement. Also, this will help providers foresee potential errors and failures that could be on the horizon and address these issues before they occur.
- Ensure that proper security procedures are followed during EHR implementation and that includes data security.
- Work with the new EHR vendor to provide exhaustive training to the providers and the staff with specific focus on the changes in the user interface and practice workflows.
- Be thoughtful and patient when determining practice needs. Take the time to flesh out exactly the kinds of issues the practice has been dealing with, and exploring different options for fixing those issues. Choose a slower EHR replacement process to alleviating biases users may have due to failures of old systems. Identifying each issue will give the practice decision makers a chance to explore their options for fixing these problems and understand which direction they should go in with their new system. When practices take their time with the replacement process, the chances of successful results drastically increase.
- Determine what data you have to convert. If not all your data is being converted, you need to know what is and where it’s going to be so you can get access to it. Some vendors do allow read-only access to historical data at a lower cost. Providers may have better long-term luck if they choose to make a clean break with their old vendor, either by conducting a one-time data conversion or establishing a vendor-neutral archive before retiring their former EHR.
- Providers may sometimes be under pressure to move swiftly with EHR implementations to ensure eligibility for incentives or maintain compliance with federal and state mandates. However, letting those forces drive an EHR replacement can easily lead to mistakes. Hess and Stoltenberg state that the process begins with exercising caution and advocate for an extended EHR replacement process. It allows room for practices to realize several benefits like developing greater objectivity in decision making process.
- Consider emerging Quality Payment Program that changes the way that Medicare rewards clinicians for value over volume by streamlining multiple quality programs under the new Merit Based Incentive Payments System (MIPS) and also gives bonus payments for participation in eligible alternative payment models (APMs). It is particularly important to keep this in mind when adopting a new EHR system.
- Physicians should fully understand and believe in the benefits of their new EHRs or implementation will likely fail. Practice morale can make or break the success of EHR adoption, but only practice leaders can really change the culture, according to the 2015 KLAS publication.
- Provide physicians with plenty of resources to assist them in the transition to a new system and promote a positive experience.