Selecting an EMR for an Urgent Care
Patients today have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider. They are also more technically savvy and expect convenient high-quality care, friendly staff, and the ability to access their medical information and make appointments online. Meeting these patient demands requires an EMR system that is both efficient and user-friendly. The following are several suggestions to consider when choosing an EMR system for your Urgent Care:
- Integration- It is important to look for an EMR system that offers integration through interfaces that share data between systems. Ask about practice management or billing software integration to understand if you can integrate it with your current system.
- Cloud Hosting- Most EMR vendors offer a cloud-hosting. Cloud-based EMR systems offer significant benefits such as lower start-up costs, simpler implementation, and better security.
- Document Scanning- Document scanning reduces billing delays and increases efficiency because you do not need to obtain any copies or fax documents. It also helps to eliminate issues of missing paperwork.
- Appointment Reminders- While a lot of patients prefer the ability to walk right into an urgent care to be seen, patients also want the ability to schedule an appointment in advance for less urgent issues. Some EMR’s can integrate with schedulers that can schedule appointments and send appointment reminders to patients via email or text. This feature helps to reduce “no-shows” and also reduces the influx of phone calls for the staff to manage.
- Interoperability- Some EMRs offer features such as e-prescribing and ordering of laboratory tests and results. Ask vendors about these features and their interfaces with labs or pharmacies in your area.
- E-Prescriptions and Medication Tracking- e-Prescription allows physicians to electronically send prescriptions directly to the patient’s pharmacy of choice. Medication tracking allows a physician to track a patient’s medication information. For example- how a prescribed medication may interact with other medications and if the patient may have any allergic reactions to it.
- Training and Implementation- It is important to ask about the vendor’s implementation and training plan for your urgent care. Typically, implementation can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. Having this information ahead of time will help with planning operations and scheduling. Most vendors offer some type of training program. Be certain to take into consideration the time it takes to get employees trained and ramped up on a new system and schedule appointments accordingly.
- Support- Be sure to gain an understanding on the level of support you can expect to receive from the vendor. Implementing and learning an EMR system is no simple task, so it is important that someone is available to answer questions from you and your staff when you need assistance.
Selecting a new EMR is no easy task. It is important to take the time to find a system that is user-friendly and offers the features your urgent care center needs to provide the best patient care and service possible.