What is EMR Software? How Does It Help an Orthopedist?
The most popular and professional definition of EMR Software is given by the National Alliance for Health Information Technology a.k.a. NAHIT. According to this definition and EMR application is an information system software that manages the electronic records of health-related information on a patient’s that can be created, collected, consulted and managed by authority medical staffs and clinicians within one organization.
In this definition there are the 2 key points;
- An EMR helps to create, collect, organize, and retrieve the patients’ electronic records.
- EMR applications don’t help you to share records with other organizations (for this another application is required called EHR or electronic health records software, which is out of the scope of this article).
Whether used by a specialty health department or specialist like Orthopedist, Cardiac Surgeon or Gynecologist, or for a whole health organization typically EMR application enables clinicians and physicians to manage these function with ease;
Generate patient’s electronic chart at the point of care, which includes the information like, clinical health histories, demographics, medication, allergy information, progress notes, laboratory results, immunization records and type of the surgical process (orthopedic surgery or CABG and the like)
Create as well as send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies
Generate and send orders electronically for consultations, medical tests and lab work
Capture every E&M (Evaluation and Management) code to ensure billing invoices
Difference between Electronic Medical Record Software and Electronic Health Record Software
The term EMR software and/or electronic medical record software are often used interchangeably with EHR software and/or electronic health record software. It’s essential to understand and differentiate the 2 types based on their essential functions.
According to NAHIT, the significant difference between both software is that EHR application is used to manage and share the information between more than one health care units. Such application enables multiple records from various practices to be gathered and shared amongst practices.
Additionally, there are many functional differences between EHR and EMR software. EHR includes most if not all the functions of EMR, and features which enable patients to safely access their own records and sometimes even edit or add information right there.
Additional Software you may consider are;
There are many other types of medical software which are similar to or can be integrated with EMR software are;
Medical Practice Management Software (MPM)
It manages the essential functions, including billing, scheduling, claims processing, admission, and many other administrative tasks for medical practitioners. Most if not all vendors offer Electronic Medical Record Applications that are by-default integrated with Medical Practice Management Application.
Healthcare Management software (HM)
This software is much more comprehensive as compared to MPM. It integrates the operational, financial, and clinical functions of all medical practices. It manages usual MPM functions and processes such as regulatory compliances and financial audits.
Medical Transcription software
This is a software that enables clinicians/physicians to record clinical notes for patients by making use of voice dictation. Sometimes medical transcription is offered as an inbuilt feature of an advanced EMR software.
Features included in an EMR Software?
You can find different variations of advance and basic EMR software in the market. The keys to finding the best fit with your medical practices are;
- Determine if you like to have integrated solutions i.e., EMR and Medical Practice Management
- Determine if you want to share information or records with some external units (EMR or EHR with external interfaces)
- Determine if you want to acquire a solution designed for your specialties or specific practices. There are several specialty-specific software available in the market. For instance, an EMR solution specifically designed to serve Orthopedic and sports medicine, or for Cardiac department or Maternity home.
As soon as you have decided on the criteria above, you will need to compare and identify 15 to 20 features that are the most important to your medical practices. Irrespective to your specific features, make sure to evaluate solutions that are certified by CCHIT/ONC-ATCB, and compliant with HIPPA. Here is a list of some advanced and basic features that are found in EMR software.
- Chart management
- Amend encounter
- Alerts and reminders
- Invoicing and billing (or interfaces)
- Appointment management
- Drug-to-drug and drug-allergy interaction
- Claims management
- Physician order entry
- Medication and recall tracking
- Investigation questionnaire
- Anatomical designation
- Wireless and mobile access
- Medication tracking
- P4P or pay for performance management
- Patient self-assessment
- Scheduling interface
- Practice standards and patterns
- Voice records and voice recognition
- Tablet/Touch screen
- Additional features included in an EMR software include:
- Clinical flow sheets
- Documents scanning and management
- Clinical pathways integration
- Patient portal for education
- HL7 lab interface
- Template management
- Prescription drug database
- Clinical care and decision support
How EMR software help and Orthopedist?
Sports Medicine and Orthopedic EMR software is a specialty-specific software that helps achieve financial success and patient engagement as well as orthopedist happiness in a highly competitive, high volume and high margin specialties such as sports medicine and Orthopedics. There are many Orthopedic EMR software that is integrated with PMS or Practice Management Software to enable doctors, surgeons, and their staff to record patients’ information, perform billing operations, manage charge capture, create reports as well as schedule appointments and therefore effectively improving the workflow of orthopedic hospitals, clinics and boosting reimbursements.