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Chiropractic News

October 2009

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5 factors to look for when investing in EHR software: Part I of II

For DCs looking to invest in electronic health records (EHR) software to make the switch from paper to digital or simply to streamline their practice's efficiency, there are dozens of vendors to choose from. However, not all EHR companies are created equal, so in order to get the best value for your money, you should always research a company's products and services before buying.

Unless you have done your homework on what makes a top-notch EHR system, you're liable to have a hard time choosing which company to go with. Because of this, you'll be more susceptible to a software company's fancy sales pitches on why their software is the greatest ever, even though it's actually quite dismal. 

To aid you in your search for the top EHR companies, there are a few key factors you need to look for before making your investment. Some companies may satisfy one or two of these factors, but the best vendors will satisfy all of them. This is the first in a series of two articles that will cover five important factors to look for in EHR software. 

This time we'll address the first two factors, but make sure to check back next month for the remaining three. After reading both articles, you'll have a solid base of knowledge for making what can be one of the most important investments for your chiropractic practice.

5 Factors that Make for Top-Quality EHR Software

1. True EHR: Because EHR systems are a fairly new technology and one that's rapidly evolving, some companies might claim to offer true EHR services, when they actually offer little more than a document
scanning service. EHR are more than just a way to store your patient's records on a computer, and thus such software should offer much more than simply digitizing your documents to your PC's desktop.
 
True EHR software not only stores all of your patient records securely, but it also allows the records to be easily accessed, searched using a variety of methods, and updated without re-entering redundant data. Finally, all of the records should be highly portable, so you can securely email or fax any information directly from the main database.  

2. Integration: The top EHR vendors offer fully integrated systems that allow all of your practice management tools, such a patient records, billing, scheduling, and clinical notes, to be fully integrated into one system. Rather than trying to purchase several different systems that are compatible with one another, your EHR software should combine all of these features into a single system, so all of your practice management tools can interface with one another, ensuring all of your practice's data flows seamlessly between each component.

Check back next week for factors three through five to ensure you have the knowledge you need to select the best EHR service.
 
Chris Towery is the former associate editor of MASSAGE Magazine and is currently a full-time freelance journalist. He has written hundreds of articles for more than 20 different magazines, newspapers, and custom publishers. Much of his recent writing has been for the complementary and alternative healthcare industry. To contact Chris, email cmreuben@yahoo.com.
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