1. What is Solo Practice?
Solo practice is what the words say- a medical practice without any partners or employment collaborations with other practice institutions.
Solo practices typically include a small working staff and their patient base is generally limited. Having a smaller size of the organization and easy to manage operations benefit you. They give you the ability to design, evolve, and develop the practice the way you’d like.
With a smaller patient base, you have the opportunity to provide your distinct style of medical care and work out close and personal connections with your patients and staff. The responsibility of running the practice, on the other hand, rests entirely on your shoulders.
Moreover, as a solo practitioner, you also need to work with different software for sharing information. Using Health Level 7 standards requires no other special software for exchanging and sending healthcare information. With the HL7 file format, it is easy to transmit health-related data.
2. What are the Different Types of EHR Systems?
Telemedicine software development and EHR software development has increased manifold as a result of the pandemic. The future of the healthcare industry seems directly linked with the role of telemedicine and EHRs as they are an important part of clinical operations.
An Electronic Health Record (EHR) works as an all-inclusive system that physicians can use to record their patient’s medical information. It is usually a computer system that stores files of a patient’s care report.
EHR systems can be helpful, but choosing the best one can be hard. Different types of EHR are distinguished by several criteria that make them suitable for certain needs and practices.
As we explore the following options, you’ll see that certain EHRs are not all-in-one format, so you can pick the one that relates to your practice requirements. These types of EHR come under two broad categories.
Typically, a cloud-based EHR system is supported by an ASP or Application Service Provider. This support is accessed through an Internet connection, and it has a little upfront cost because the practice pays for software licenses based on a subscription. The subscription fee includes the cost of software license and support fees, as well as central hardware in a remote area.
These costs are only paid as long as you use the web services. Cloud-based EHRs appeal to practitioners who want to save on upfront costs and hardware requirements of on-premise servers.
Cloud-based EHRs have dynamic resources which are flexible for extending practices. For this type of EHRs, the practice also pays to get Internet access for all users.
Cloud-based EHRs provide more flexibility in the use of capacity and storage of computers. They even address many HIPAA security issues, otherwise difficult to deal with.
In a comparison of in-house systems, cloud-based EHRs require less effort- right from physically assisting servers to managing backups.
Furthermore, these systems generally need to have more communication capacity because all practice locations must have a web connection for all EHR users to stay connected to them. If the practice shifts to another EHR system, it will have to continue paying the cloud EHR fees to preserve the patient information.
A server-based EHR system requires software and data housed on the server at the location of the practice. When server-based EHR software is in your organization, it is your responsibility to physically secure the hardware and perform the backups on your own accord. Your IT department will have to predict how much storage you are going to need when your practice expands or grows.
It’s not easy to update EHR because it is more static in comparison to a cloud-based server.
When you are financially tight, keep in mind that server-based EHR is costly. Using this EHR costs more than cloud-based EHR because its initial costs- installation and implementation are likely to include several expenditures such as software, updates, maintenance, and licensing fees.
Moreover, maintenance of a patient’s confidential and sensitive data must be your priority; however, running an in-house EHR software puts you at risk.
So, when using a server-based EHR system, you must make sure that patient’s data is protected and your organization complies with laws. To do that, you can take the help of healthcare compliance consultants to assist you to achieve compliance with government regulations.
With this type of EHR system, a practice requires investment in the IT department or service providers for conservation and security updates.
3. How do I Choose the Right EHR?
The benefits of a well-performing EHR system may be clear, however, executing and adjusting it can be challenging for everybody working at your practice. Everyone in your practice must be aware of the implementation objectives and long-term policy. So, it is essential to fully explore all your options before making a decision.
Easy of use
Probably, the most essential facet of an EMR system is how simple it is to use. A system that is not automatic can curtail your workforce, as your staff will struggle to complete the routine tasks.
Since you are going to use it every day, make sure not to pick the one that takes your patients away or increases the workload.
As many vendors offer free trials of software, you must make the most of these options to evaluate if the system will be useful for your practice.
The costs of EHR software vary depending on the vendor you choose, features you prefer to add, and the number of providers you have in your practice.
Before asking for an estimate, find out the activation cost or initial licensing and what each additional element will cost.
The price for smaller practices is generally a monthly fee multiplied by the number of providers operating the system.
Hence, it can vary from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Pricing varies and can be determined by consulting with the vendor.
Implementation and Training
The implementation process can take a variable amount of time- a few weeks or a couple of months. For this, you must know about your vendor’s plan of setting up your system and running it.
In addition, some vendors will offer you training to make sure everyone in your firm is up to speed with the new software. Sometimes, they offer you these support services for a limited time without an additional cost.
Adopting a new EHR system is not as easy as it may sound, hence vendor support is crucial throughout the entire process. If the customer service is not up to par, the service might be ineffective for you later on. Therefore, it is crucial to work only with vendors with excellent customer service that is available to you whenever and wherever you need it.
4. Private Practice Electronic Medical Records:
Electronic medical record (EMR) is software that clinical professionals use to record patient medical care within private or any other practice. EMRs can be defined as digital copies of information collected in hospitals or clinics. Clinicians use those bits of information for diagnosis and treatment.
Many EMR platforms are available for physicians to use in their private practice, however, finding the right EMR can be a challenge. Hence, you need to know what makes an EMR effective.
A useful EMR software offers unique and innovative characteristics to help you automate your processes and improve the patient experience. It also simplifies your practice workflows, administrative tasks, helps to generate revenue, and enhances patient care.
When you’re looking to become compliant with the new regulation, choose an EMR that digitizes your existing patient records.
EMRs are more useful than paper records because they not only facilitate providers to track data periodically but also help to identify patients for screening and preventative visits, monitor patients, improve patient care quality, enter orders and write prescriptions.
Additionally, EMR systems help physicians in multiple ways- from recording patient histories to displaying test results.
5. What are the Top 5 EHR Systems?
An EHR system is a real-time, patient-oriented record. With EHRs, information is instantly and securely available only to authorized users. Different practices have different EHR systems available to them. Listed below are the top 5 EHR systems currently available.
Epic system is popular for being one of the first providers of EHR. Presently, it provides supports to some of the biggest medical care systems in the world. Over time, the enterprise has also started catering to small and middle-size practices.
Its services are not limited to hospitals only; they are used across the health industry including children’s organizations, healthcare communities, and incorporated delivery networks.
Being a cloud-based EHR Epic is a scalable and cost-effective solution for keeping patient care data secure, in compliance with HIPAA regulations.
Praxis EMR is a flexible server or cloud-based EHR system. It is a certified EHR for MACRA and stands out from the list of best EHRs due to its innovative AI operating system known as Concept Processing.
Praxis is a world-renowned EHR system helping thousands of physicians all over the world. It focuses on effective usability and its template-free model reflects a good user experience.
Due to the customizable nature of this system, perhaps it is the best EHR that well serves all different types of specialties.
Athenahealth is one of the best EHR systems for small practices. The company presently works with a network of over 160,000 providers. This EHR has a homepage that lets you review patient information and the daily schedule as well as manage orders and view lab results.
Its practice management tools incorporate custom benchmarking, viewing daily responsibilities, dynamic trends analysis, and much more.
DrChrono offers an EHR compatible with iPhone and iPad and the medical billing portal which assists all kinds of medical practices to manage clinical charting, patient intake, patient care, billing, and their revenue cycle. It might be the best EHR for small practices.
It provides customizable scheduling tools, e-prescribing, medical forms, a patient portal, and patient eligibility checks as well.
CureMD offers a streamlined solution for up-to-date clinical reporting and some software tools to simplify the process of patient care. Their reporting options are flexible and the patient information dashboard is easily customizable.
CureMD’s EHR can easily be integrated with other third-party billing systems for transferring patient’s billing data. This entire collection and billing process is efficiently managed. Moreover,
their EHR is in compliance with HIPAA and strictly follows directives to protect patient health information.
5.1) Best EHR for Mental Health Solo Practice
While choosing the right EHR software for mental health practices, practitioners have a long list of factors to consider- right from the size of the practice and specialty type to relevant health legislation. Listed below are two of the best-suited EHR systems for mental health practices.
NextGen Healthcare as an EHR and practice administration solution supports treatment plans, initial examinations, appointment scheduling, e-prescribing, and requests management which are suitable features for mental health practice. NextGen is a cloud as well as on-premise deployable software.
It has a smart documentation solution, NextPen, that allows clinicians to capture patient information immediately into their EHR. This digital pen digitizes handwritten data with a small camera located at its tip.
Moreover, it can also collect data from various sources such as graphs, drawings, notes, treatment plans, and patient questionnaires.
Kareo is cloud-based medical equipment with EHR integration and practice managing capabilities. Its features are in line with the requirements of mental health solo practices. Some of them are initial examinations, e-prescribing, treatment plans, appointment scheduling, and requests management.
Just like NextGen, Kareo is suitable for all mental health private practices. It offers access to 50 templates for mental health, behavioral health, and psychiatry which are customizable for varying needs.
Kareo’s Electronic Prescribing for Controlled Substances (ECPS) capacity automatically inspects and alerts prescribers about any harm with any prescribed medication.
Users find Kareo easy to use and its customer support team is quickly responsive. The tool can be learned easily as well as logged in from any device including mobile phone, and desktop computer.
5.2) Best EMR for Solo Practice Psychiatry
Like all other specialties, the best EMR for solo practices in Psychiatry also needs specific features to meet the requirements.
PrognoCIS Psychiatry EMR Software
PrognoCIS is an easy-to-use software that is the top-rated EMR for psychiatry practices. It is a fully customizable and tailored system that several psychiatrists and psychiatry practices use.
PrognoCIS is an award-winning and MACRA-certified software. Designed for unique workflows of solo practices, it has templates and features that streamline communication, documentation, care delivery, billing processes, and simplify other executive and financial tasks.
Its implementation tools for successful EHR shifts are time-proven, which help to migrate data from your existing EMR system to PrognoCIS EHR for free. It has integrated practice management and medical billing software that increases efficiency and saves time.
PrognoCIS is cloud-based, Meaningful Use Certified, and HIPAA compliant software with expanded reach and care accessibility for patients across a wide range of distances through telemedicine. Its consultation is available with a built-in app for both in-house and office-based needs.
5.3) Physician Practice EMR
Practice Fusion is the top EMR and the best EHR for small practices. On average, this small practice EMR costs $31,710 per year, which is perhaps more than what practices expect.
It is ranked first for small and individual practices. Its fast e-prescribing system helps patients get prescriptions and instantly send orders electronically to any e-prescribing facilitated pharmacy in the country.
With its practice management tools, you can save time on executive tasks and concentrate on engaging patients, and growing your practice using its online patient portal.
Practice Fusion gives you a way to set automatic reminders for appointments, and get paid quickly with smart billing choices. Its dedicated specialists provide free customized implementation support.
With highly personalized features, practices have no limit on users or patients using the system. Whatever may the needs of your practice be, Practice Fusion allows you to choose to use any specific EMR feature.
5.4) Best EMR for Small Therapy Practice
Being a major EHR and EMR solution for therapists and educators, CentralReach is focused on applied behavioral analysis, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and PK-12 special education.
With CentralReach EMR, organize and optimize all your processes including intake, billing, cash-flow, scheduling, and access to documentation.
It offers a full-fledged set of integrated solutions with robust functionality that is suitable for any stabilized behavioral health practice searching for an inclusive solution. You can simplify back-office practice, minimize inefficiencies, and boost client experience.
CentralReach enables patients to look for a physician using many standards- from zip code, language, distance from the patient, credential, and availability to adjust each patient with the ideal physician. With broad functionality, it offers a protected online way to connect to clients.
Patients can access their planned appointments in ClientReach’s portal but they cannot create or schedule new meetings.
5.5) Free EMR for Small Practices
Understanding the specific client needs, Hippocrate furnishes the technology that offers the best usage to clients. In more than 133 countries, doctors have subscribed to Hippocrate. It provides the best set of medical care solutions- from EHR and telemedicine engagement to massive data and medical marketing.
Hippocrate Free EMR Software offers solo medical practices key features which include:
- Online scheduling
- High security and Encryption
- Medical marketing
- E-Prescription patient portal
It protects your sensitive data with exceptional encryption. This ensures that all your cloud-based users will operate with utmost confidentiality under your control.
Hippocrate EMR software is designed in affiliation with medical professionals to provide all essential functionalities. It is a big and highly scalable health data platform. With their analytics tools, discover beyond patterns and enhance patient treatments.
The small practices aiming to improve patient care and achieve efficient workflow within limited budgets may prefer Hippocrate Free EMR Software.
What are three EHR software systems commonly used by physician offices?
Epic, Meditech, and Cerner are the most commonly used EHR systems by physicians. Epic has been dominating the EHR market for hospitals and other health systems. While around 34% of hospital users are using Epic, 24% of the remaining share is of Cerner, and Meditech, on the other side, holds around 15% of the overall market share.
Which EHR software is best?
According to KLAS research, the best EHR software is Epic; it is currently installed at about 2,353 locations. Most organizations prefer Epic, for it delivers a highly up to scratch experience for medium-size to large ambulatory enterprises in terms of direct contracting.
Is Epic good for small practices?
Although many surveys have revealed Epic to be the best EMR system due to its support system, it can be impractical for small practices to use it due to its high pricing. It requires small practices to buy all their hardware, which makes it costly for them.
Is Epic EMR for solo practice worth buying?
Epic’s self-hosted services cost $1,200, as a starting price while its price for large hospitals and health care organizations is hefty.
Epic is not a small practice EMR system because it is expensive; however, it is worth buying for the features and quality it offers.
Earlier, the top digital health companies were working on mobile health app development for users to effectively manage their fitness goals, medical conditions, or hospital visits. Now, they incorporate EHRs to provide physicians their patients’ comprehensive health data.
This means technology is transforming the world. To evolve with digital growth, you must also incorporate certain ways to digitize the operations of your practice.
We have learned about the support that EHRs and EMRs provide to solo practices. They are the best ways to digitize patient’s medical data.
Choosing the best EHR or EMR solely depends on your practice’s needs. Hence, understand your needs and get the support of the right vendor.
You are just one step away from going digital.