It is computer software that gathers, stores, and shares medical information in a structured manner among authorized parties involved in the patient’s care including providers, pharmacies, labs, nursing homes, emergency facilities, and patients themselves.
Though the prototype appeared almost 50 years ago, EHR systems started gaining traction ten years ago, even before regulations like Meaningful Use and PQRS motivated providers to adopt EHR software.
The EHR software market is flooded with options, and providers are overwhelmed with the range of features and functionalities offered by each one of them. However, there’s a set of standard functions that almost every EHR software is expected to perform, regardless of the size or specialty of healthcare practice.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has documented key capabilities or core functions of that an EHR system must be capable of performing. These core functions help providers achieve paramount goals of delivering quality care, chronic disease management, and efficiency.
These eight core functions are:
Health information and data:
The purpose of an EHR is to gather clinical data about patients’ diagnosis, lab test results, allergies, and medications. It must also be able to store data in a manner that is easy to access, analyze, retrieve, and transfer.
To enable providers to deliver quality care, an EHR system must allow them instant access to the latest and past test results. This function includes the ability to share lab results with other providers as well as the patient in order to engage the patient in his or her care.
To ensure patient safety and further enhance care coordination across multiple settings, an EHR system must allow providers to enter and save orders for tests and prescriptions. This enhances legibility and speeds up the execution.
Decision support is not just a tool to enhance medical decision-making. It also improves patient health by making patients aware of the advantages of preventative care in mitigating the risks of chronic diseases and urging them to comply with the existing treatment plans.
Electronic communication and connectivity:
Under the EHR Incentive Programs to the Promoting Interoperability Programs (formerly the Meaningful Use), efficient and secure communication among patients and providers, including telemedicine, is essential to improving care quality, increasing patient engagement, and reducing the chances of adverse events.
These tools enable patients to access their medical records and assist providers in-home monitoring for patients with chronic conditions. The patient support tools also allow patients to conduct self-testing to monitor chronic conditions and communicate with their providers.
Administrative processes and reporting:
Features like electronic scheduling, claims management, billing, and identifying cases for clinical trials help automate routine administrative tasks, improve efficiency, and provide timely services to patients.
Reporting and population health:
To improve population health, an EHR system must store and transmit data in uniform standards to public health entities regarding disease surveillance and patient safety. This feature enables practices to respond quickly to reporting requirements.
We understand that finding the best EHR for your practice is a big task. Like with all major decisions, don’t rush it.
The core functions disc used above should be treated as a baseline for choosing your new EHR system. However, depending on your eye care practice’s size and unique requirements, you might desire sophisticated versions of these core functions. This is where Eye Care Leaders can help you.
As one of the best EHR companies
around, we would be happy to address your areas of concern and provide product demos for testing. So, take your time, do your research, and make sure you’re installing the right system for your practice with your eyes wide open. Remember, the right EHR software makes all the difference – to your staff’s satisfaction, patients’ experiences, and your bottom line. Contact us