Your EHR and practice management systems should evolve alongside chiropractic industry changes and new demands.
Healthcare IT changes rapidly with new legislation, patient needs and new ways of offering healthcare services. If you are looking for an EHR system that is responsive and adaptable to these changes, you will need to do your research and ask plenty of questions. Many vendors provide software systems that are readily upgradable and easy to update.¹
Many vendors who frequently release new features are often responsive to new chiropractic industry needs and ready to offer the software you need. Choosing a vendor that communicates with their users and works to discover your needs will likely help you avoid the heartache of trying to make an old, ineffective system more flexible.¹
Responsive to legislative and compliance changes
Considering upcoming legislative change is one way the best vendors help their customers adapt. When new laws are passed impacting the healthcare industry, EHR and PM vendors should be ready to respond with updates that assist clinics with these new compliance issues. Healthcare is highly regulated and older software may not be prepared without new updates. Since reporting health data securely and effectively is also an important aspect of maintaining healthcare quality and safety, software must be able to keep up.¹ ²
For example, many vendors began responding to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) by releasing software that assists with the quality reporting process. If you expect to bill Medicare consistently at your practice, investing in software that is MACRA-ready may help you.
During the early stages of MACRA, significant changes and updates to the legislation may impact your reporting requirements, so you will want to choose a vendor who is prepared for these changes and ready to update your software as needed.²
Scalable to your needs and adaptable to chiropractic care
A system that works well in the early days of your practice when you have few patients but is unable to adapt as you grow is probably not the best investment for your clinic. As your needs change, you will want EHR and PM systems that are prepared to grow with you. You will also need a system that changes as you use new techniques. You need a vendor that understands and appreciates chiropractic care.¹
Asking your vendor about updates, upgrades and changing practice requirements can help you discover how prepared they are for your upcoming needs. Anticipating the future can be difficult, but you should reasonably expect your vendor to offer new features and information as you need it and help you continue to use your software as your practice changes.
Find out how your vendor plans future updates and chooses new features. The more frequently they work with other chiropractic clinics, the more likely they are to understand you and be able to offer you the changes you need later on.¹
Communicate with your vendor
As you shop for a new EHR, pay attention to how frequently each vendor offers updates and what these updates typically include. See if they are regularly adding features that seem useful to you, or if these updates are primarily fixes to problems with the software. If you are already using a particular EHR and PM system, consider how your old vendor’s updates compare.¹
After you purchase your EHR system, ask how you can recommend new features. Consider suggesting an update or a new feature when you encounter a problem with your software, observe a change in the industry, or hear news about legislation that impacts the chiropractic community. Ask your vendor how they plan to manage or respond to the change.¹
By becoming more informed and advocating for new EHR improvements, you can help your vendor become more aware of the needs of chiropractic clinics.
- gov. “Step 3: Select or Upgrade to a Certified EHR.” healthit.gov. https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/ehr-implementation-steps/step-3-select-or-upgrade-certified-ehr. Published: March 2014. Accessed: January 2017.
- Livingston, S. “MACRA may be troublesome for some health IT vendors.” Modern Healthcare. http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20161018/NEWS/161019917. Published: October 2016. Accessed: January 2017.