[wpseo_breadcrumb]

What is an EMR system? Examples, costs, and benefits of an EMR

Posted in Electronic Health Records

Last Updated | September 5, 2022

What is the EMR system in healthcare?

Electronic medical records or more commonly known as EMRs is a software applications designed for better health care management of patients.  An EMR is essentially like a digital version of a patient’s medical history, containing all records of a patient’s prior medical care. 

EMRs ensure better interaction with patients, explicit analysis of their prior medical records, and also more thorough access to their overall health records at a particular practice. In a nutshell, EMRs are an integration of several distinct functions which enables the clinics and practices to work more efficiently. From making the clinics more financially apt to facilitating the patients by making their overall healthcare experience more satisfactory, EMR systems are surely leaving their mark in the healthcare world.

Why is EMR important in healthcare?

In today’s fast-paced world, where everyone is racing against time, you need everything readily available to you. Whether you are a physician or a patient, you don’t want to spend any extra time sorting through medical charts. And that’s where EMRs come in. They provide all your health data in digital copy.

In contrast to hard copy medical records, an EMR provides data in a more physician-friendly manner. For example, data in an EMR is presented in the form of graphs and pie charts for different diseases. For many clinics; EMRs save a lot of space by removing the need for paper-based medical records, optimizing workflow, reducing the operational cost, and also making it easier to reach out to other medical facilities and labs.

Patients also reap benefits from EMRs, as EMRs provide them with data that is more accurate and can be tracked over time. Furthermore, patients also have more security and privacy regarding their health records and can make better decisions based on their medical data. Psychiatrists can also look into the best EMR for them.

What is an epic EMR system?

Epic is a software company based in the USA, dealing with information technology and health informatics. 

Through the years, Epic has earned its place as one of the top healthcare IT companies by providing the best healthcare integration solutions. Its user interface design for healthcare applications makes apps easy to use. Epic offers a wide range of functions and products to the healthcare industry, and EpicCare is one of their best products. 

This Epic EMR software is built to address the prerequisites of 25 specialties comprising; dermatology, dental, radiology, nephrology, cardiology, behavioral health, and occupational health. The core of the Epic EMR system, EpicCare, aids large medical facilities, hospitals and individual practices in achieving better medical care. 

Moreover, Epic medical records provide users with more personalized medical charts, enabling physicians and patients to have more precise interactions. Also, this software is made available in the form of mobile applications with the help of medical device app development technology, making information readily available for both physicians and patients.

For physicians to have their Epic accounts, they have to submit a request containing all their basic information; biography, medical education, licenses, and pictures. Then all these credentials are verified by the institutions themselves, and then the physician’s portfolio is made at Epic.

What is the most popular EMR system?

Various types of EMR software are available depending on the users’ needs. 

Here is a list of the best healthcare compliance management software topping the charts:

 

  • CureMD EHR

 

CureMD is a cloud-based EMR, available in the form of an iOS application; providing mobility, interoperability, document imaging, and electronic prescriptions to its users.

 

  • athenaOne

 

Athenahealth offers an athenaOne EMR application available for both android and iOS. Its best features include medication list management, clinical summaries, documentation support, and paper processing.

 

  • Epic Care

 

Epic electronic medical records ensure that the best epic integration services are delivered to the users through its iOS and Android application. Interoperability, artificial intelligence, record sharing, and telehealth are some of their prominent features.

 

  • AdvancedMD

 

Specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses, AdvancedMD equips users with a cloud-based EMR system. It delivers care remotely and is more patient-centered, and is also compliant with HIPAA, MIPS, and MACRA regulatory measures without requiring manual review for each.

 

  • Cerner powerchart

 

Cerner ambulatory is an integrated EMR suitable for health organizations of all sizes. Some of its features entail; patient portals, ambulatory organizers, and documentation. Women’s Health, pediatrics, mental health, oncology, and 40 more specialties are assisted by Cerner ambulatory.

What is an electronic medical record system?

The electronic medical record is exactly what its name implies; a digital version of the hardcopy medical charts. But what makes it more efficient and effective for both patients and physicians is its potential to make healthcare a robust experience for both. 

This software provides some of the best medical imaging software development services. The electronic medical record of the patient consists of online data of; prior medical history, diagnosis, allergies, immunization dates, medications, and lab results. Patients can make better decisions regarding their health, track their appointment dates and screenings, and can also manage their billing competently. 

Also, the chances of error in the medical records are reduced to none, due to the digital presence of all the records.EMR systems provide a wide range of functions to clinical offices. The clinic staff can use EMR systems daily; to process payments and insurance cases, schedule meetings with patients, information sharing with other staff members, and also update the data continuously.

In today’s ever-evolving age of technology, many companies are providing HIPAA compliance packages and building HIPAA-compliant software and EMR applications, available for both iOS and Android users. Apart from recording all medical data, EMR also evaluates and manipulates the data to the best of the user’s benefit; by providing relevant articles, videos, and web pages to them. 

Whenever a new medication is prescribed to the patients, EMR systems evaluate it and inform the patient about any probable harmful impacts. These electronic medical records systems integrate with other healthcare institutions and laboratories to procure the best healthcare services for their users.

What are examples of EMRs?

Different problems need different solutions! And same is true for your health care problems.  Are you a healthcare provider or a patient who needs to better manage their health problems?  

Worry not! EMRs have got you covered with their different software, meeting the numerous needs of their users. In today’s day and age, many healthcare compliance consulting firms are building open source HL7 interface engines and integrating them with electronic medical records. 

There are 5 types of EMR software available, providing several services to physicians and the patients

 

  • Cloud-based EMR software

 

Cloud-based EMR software makes data available online, making it accessible for remote usage. 

 

  • MAC EMR software

 

As the name suggests, this EMR software is specifically designed for Apple device users. There are some exclusive Mac features made available for the users, so they can access their medical data easily on any of their Apple devices with the internet.

 

  • ONC- certified EMR software

 

EMR software that is verified and tested by ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for health information technology) is called ONC- certified EMR software. This testing guarantees that software fulfills the standards of meaningful use of health information set by ONC.

 

  • Behavioral/Mental Health EMR software 

 

This EMR software particularly covers the needs of mental health clinics, therapists, and any other mental health-related groups. The note management feature of this EMR makes it easier for therapists to access their notes more adeptly.

 

  • Medical billing software 

 

This software integrates with EMR to provide better billing management to providers. It covers different billing functions including; confirmation of insurance claims and payments. It also reduces the administrative load of clinics by handling payments through an automated system.

What are common EMR systems?

There are many different EMR software available in the market, but the most commonly used are:

  • Epic 
  • Praxis EMR
  • Cerner
  • GE Healthcare 
  • Nextech
  • eClinicalWorks
  • Athenhealth 
  • Allscripts
  • Nextgen
  • Meditech

What is the difference between EMR and EHR systems?

EHR (electronic health records) and EMRs are often used as one and the same, but no they are not entirely identical. 

An EMR covers the medical records, while electronic health records contain all that and some more. 

An EHR provides not just medical records, but a broader and fuller picture of a patient’s overall health.

 Some of the key differences between electronic health records and electronic medical records are as follows:

 

EMR EHR
A digitalized copy of the medical chart A digital record of the overall health of a patient
Not modeled to be shared outside the single practice  Could be shared with several healthcare organizations 
The patient is not allowed to take their EMR outside of their practice The patient can take their electronic health records with them to share with other specialists 
Mainly focuses on diagnosis and treatment by the single provider Could be accessed by a different specialist, outside of a single provider, ensuring the best treatment and care

Both of this software, are compatible and useful in their own right. However, you must choose the one that best meets your needs, so study both the software meticulously before making a decision.

What is the cost of EMR systems?

When it comes to answering the question; how much does EMR software costs? 

There is no simple answer. 

Many factors need to be taken into consideration before opting for an EMR system. The cost of developing a health app or medical software is very high, many software companies tend to not reveal the cost of their EMR systems, instead, they encourage you to directly contact their sales team. 

So, make sure to do thorough research on your own before deciding on the vendor you chose for your EMR system. There are two major EMR cost systems based on their availability:

 

  • Permanent license

 

As the name implies, this mode of pricing allows you to fully own the EMR software for a lifetime, once you have paid for it fully. 

This method is usually used for the on-site implantation of the software. Software is run and maintained on your own practice’s servers. 

The Upfront cost that you pay for the license ownership ranges from $1,200 to $500,000 and more.

 Apart from this one-time payment, there are monthly maintenance costs and some hidden costs of integration and customization.

You may also have to invest in hiring an IT staff to best maintain your software on-site.

 

  • Monthly subscriptions 

 

This module of payment allows you to pay monthly, and use the EMR system for a fixed amount of time.

 It doesn’t give you ownership of the software. In this method, a cloud-based EMR system is mostly used for remote practices, so they can easily access the data online. 

Apart from the upfront installation fee, the monthly subscription costs range from $200 to $35,000 or more, depending upon the system and features you choose to use. Customization, integration and storage space can result in other hidden costs.

EHR cost-benefit analysis

As society is adopting more and more technology with each rising sun, the probability of your medical practice moving to an EHR system is sky-high.  Many telemedicine software for healthcare providers are available, but the cost of telemedicine software integrated with EHR systems is not cheap. 

So, the question is whether acquiring the EHR system is valuable for your practice or not. A cost-benefit analysis of EHR can help solve this problem.  You can hire an EHR integration specialist to help ease the decision-making, or you can follow these few simple steps to make the best decision.

 

  • EHR system cost

 

Carefully analyze the EHR system cost; including the implementation cost, maintenance, and updating costs.

 

  • Prompted and opportunity cost

 

Prompted or induce cost refers to any cost which you make to prepare your practice for EHR, including training or any productivity losses. Be flexible while counting this, as it varies with time. Any opportunity your practice lost costs you sometimes, it’s a very fuzzy estimation, so be vigilant.

 

  • Cost reduction and additional revenues

 

Any benefits your practice receives from the implementation of EHR are included in cost reduction. It’s hard to evaluate this cost as it’s mostly hypothetical, but should be included in cost-benefit analysis nonetheless. Same as cost reduction, additional revenue evaluation is also based on speculations, but it’s also a must for the analysis

 

  •  Summing it up

 

After carefully calculating the individual costs for each step, you simply sum costs and benefits and see if the benefits surpass the costs. 

If that is the case, then your EHR implementation project is good to go. And if costs weigh more than benefits, then consider making changes to reduce the cost and increase benefits. If still the results remain the same, then abandoning the project would be a safe option.

How to use EMR systems?

Electronic medical record systems are software, that relies heavily on your computer knowledge, so to make the best use of the software you must make yourself competent enough to operate them. If you are using the EMR in your clinic, your staff should also be skilled enough. So how do you do that? Well, the answer is simple – use the internet.

There are several online training sites, that provide enough material to teach you the proper use of EMR. Moreover, training videos and lectures on platforms such as YouTube, Coursera, and other platforms are also great resources to help you and your staff master EMRs. You can use EMR in medical billing as well.

What is the approximate cost of implementing an EMR system?

One can not deny the usefulness of the EMR system in healthcare, with its intelligent and computational analytic abilities, EMR is proving to be a staple in the healthcare industry. But with so many benefits, these systems also present some shortcomings, the biggest one of them being the significant cost of implantation and maintenance challenges. 

Electronic medical records cost usually range from $300 to $700 per month and upfront cost ranges from $2000 to $3000. 

While individual physicians have to pay approximately $163,765 for the implementation of EMR systems. These costs vary with different vendors and with different provider needs.

So before selecting the EMR system for your practice do go through the following points:

  • Does this EMR system meet the need of my clinical requirements and my budget?
  • Shortlisting the vendors; prioritizing the ones which you consider are best for your clinical goals.
  • Choosing HIPAA complainant software.
  • Trying to arrange a demonstration of the selected or shortlisted software, to help make the right decision.

What is the difference between EMR and practice management systems?

In any medical practice, there are two key components; clinical and administrative. EMRs deal with the clinical side of things; recording and providing all information about a patient’s health. While practice management software deals with the administrative side of clinics, enabling the staff personnel to work more efficiently.

EMRs are all about the patient’s health, some of their prominent features are:

  • Digitalizing medical records.
  • Patients are able to track their records through patient portals.
  •  More security and privacy, more storage space capacity. 
  • Assistance in managing bills and appointments.

On the other hand, a practice management system equips your practice with the best features of marketing, managing leads, enhanced interactions, revenue tracking, and many other constructive components. 

Its best features include:  

  • Social media marketing tools help immensely in increasing patients.
  • Managing your leads, and converting them into clients, with its efficient management tools.
  •  Maximizing internal and external communication with your staff and patients.
  • By allowing patients to submit online reviews and surveys, PMS helps you to take the best course of action.

In short, both EMR and PMS are integral for your practice to run efficiently. While EMR digitalizes all your patient’s records, PMS digitalizes all your administrative functions. So, to make your practice one of the best, choose your software very meticulously.  

What is acceptable documentation in EMR for review of systems?

Review of systems (ROS) is a technique designed in healthcare systems and used by providers to prompt medical history from patients. It mostly covers many organ systems, with special emphasis on subjective symptoms.

Acceptable medical record documentation must have the following features:

  • The physician must document the most recent date of visit by the patient, and update the ROS accordingly.
  • The physician must also document the date and location of the prior ROS.
  • As long as there is evidence that the provider examined their documentation, other staff members can also document the ROS.
  • If the ROS stays the same in the most recent encounter with your patient, do reference the date of the last ROS in the documentation.
  • For a problem pertinent to ROS; the documentation must include positive reviews and pertinent negative for system-related problems. 10 systems must be reviewed.
  • For extended ROS; the documentation should include positive responses and pertinent negatives for 2 to 9 systems.
  • For complete ROS; the documentation must contain positive responses, individual pertinent negatives, and reviews of 10 systems. 

Conclusion

All in all, electronic medical record systems provide the best in the healthcare world; empowering both the healthcare providers and patients to best tackle their health issues. In this technology-dominant world, you simply can’t rely on old methods, specifically when you can have the best solutions to your issues. So, the sooner you learn to embrace an EMR, the better it would be for your health and business likewise. 

FAQs:

What is the cheapest EMR system?

PrognoCIS is the most economical EMR system, with a starting price of $250 per month. It is a cloud-based software with EHR integration.

Is EMR software?

Yes, EMR is a healthcare-related software, which facilitates both healthcare providers and patients equally.

University Hospital, adventhealth, Emory, kaiser, and VA?

Hospitals associated with universities are called university hospitals. Adventhealth and Emory are USA-based universities, that deal with medical studies. Kaiser is a USA-based integrated managed care consortium. VA is the United States Department of Veterans Affairs dealing with the provision of lifetime healthcare benefits to veterans.

What’s the clinical cost of a new EMR system?

There is no definite answer to this question, as there are many variables involved. However, found through various studies, a physician would have to invest approximately $163,765 to implement an EMR system.

What is similar to EMR systems?

Electronic health records (EHR) are similar to EMR software, but they are not identical. EHR contains many functions of EMR in addition to its own.

 

Contact Us