As technology becomes a standard tool in more professions, the resources used become more accessible, more protected, and provide the ability to more efficiently track progress and changes over time.This article was co-written with Sarah Lisovich, a Chicago-based health information technology (IT) strategist at CIA Medical with more than 20 years’ association with healthcare IT vendors and the effects of their systems on medical practices.
As technology becomes a standard tool in more professions, the resources used become more accessible, more protected, and allow the ability to more efficiently track progress and changes over time. That is why more health centers, including urgent care centers, are moving away from paper records and adapting to electronic medical records (EMRs).
What is the difference between EMRs and electronic health records (EHRs)?
While EHRs collect data information such as the patient’s medical history and allow other medical professionals to provide patient information, EMRs simply contain standard medical information that is gathered in a provider’s office.
What is the point of EMR?
More and more facilities are switching to EMRs for practicality. For instance, with an implemented EMR system, urgent care clinics are able to track data, progress, and issues over time for a better understanding of patient information. This information may include progress on blood pressure readings, vaccinations, and more. In addition, using an EMR will make scheduling appointments easier, as it includes the ability to identify when patients are due for checkups and screenings. More than anything, the point of bringing in EMR is for better productivity and better customer satisfaction.
Can your urgent care center benefit from implementing an EMR? Before splurging on the first EMR system you come across, it is important to know what to look out for to make the best decision for your urgent care center. Follow the 7 steps below for a smooth transition.
1. Understand where the data can be stored
One of the main assets of using an EMR is to gather and share data. When choosing an urgent care EMR
, check whether or not you would have the ability to share data between systems.
Would the EMR system connect with your billing system or with a nearby hospital? Ensuring that this feature will be included may speed up processing for doctors, patients, as well as front office staff who may have to handle such data. With EMRs, once a patient has entered data into the system, the information can be matched up and does not need to be entered again.
2. Consider an EMR program with Application Service Provider Technology (ASP)
Using ASP can cut costs and time that may otherwise be spent on servers or tech support. Making sure this is an element of an EMR will help to secure data through the vendor, which will not only create an efficient system in your urgent care center, but will put doctors, workers, and most important patients at ease knowing that their files are safe.
In addition, ASP will ensure that your software is updated, so you don’t have to worry about falling behind. While some providers claim they offer ASP, not all actually do. Be sure to double check and understand the implications of what is offered and how to put it in motion before signing up.