Although it is said that the Regenstrief Institute developed the first electronic medical record in 1972,1 we still think of it as a relatively new technology because only 13 years ago, 91% of hospitals still relied on paper records.2 Electronic health records (EHRs) have changed the industry forever and have become a must-have for all healthcare organizations. Because so much of your staff’s workflow depends on the strength of your EHR, you must select the best healthcare software.

There are many EHR vendors available to choose from, making decisions difficult for organizational leaders. Some EHRs cater to a specific specialty, such as radiology, behavioral health, etc., and some work for any large hospital, independent practice, or alternative health center. If your organization is looking for a new vendor, please continue reading below, and we will discuss what we believe are the essential elements of efficient healthcare software.

 

User-Friendly Display

According to a recent study, the average physician spends over 16 minutes on their EHR per patient visit,3 and depending on their schedule that day, could result in over 50% of their time. Therefore, it is crucial that your EHR is easy to navigate and has an attractive display. Technology usually simplifies tasks for the user, but unresponsive EHRs can trigger symptoms of burnout.

Cantata’s EHR solutions users can customize workflows, forms, order types, and displays that correlate to their needs and desires.

 

Patient Portals

Healthcare has become more and more patient-centric over the past few years, and your software needs to keep up with the times and accommodate needs for not only your staff but your patients as well. By including a patient portal into your software, patients can communicate with their provider, receive care alerts; view lab results, medication lists, and other health-related documents; access self-assessment tools; and more!  If there are children or aging seniors involved, other family members can access this information as well through family portals.

Cantata’s Convergence platform includes a consumer portal, providing individual and family access points. The portal empowers the consumer and improves the consumer experience, allowing patients and their families to share information securely and efficiently with providers for better self-care. It will enable the consumer to complete forms before and after a visit and directly message their physicians. It provides details on past visits and future appointments and supports alerts and notifications.

 

Revenue Cycle Management

Insurance companies always say that bundling home and auto can save customers time and money each month—that is true for bundling your EHR and Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) software as well! With the help of RCM tools, healthcare organizations can improve claim denials, lower accounts receivable days, facilitate patient payments, reduce administrative burdens, and keep overall costs down! By tying the two together, employees can view health and financial information in one central location, and the organization can save money by simplifying the billing process.

Cantata’s Black Book award-winning RCM module, powered by Optimum, offers a single yet robust financial suite for health systems to reduce operational expenses while increasing operating revenue.  Optimum enables providers to proactively resolve issues such as information loss or duplication in an efficient and timely manner in the early stages of the billing process to prevent and manage claim denials.

 

Cloud-Based

A cloud-based EHR system stores its data externally and is backed up on the web. Client-servers store data in-house and require hardware installation in the building. There are several benefits of adopting a cloud-based EHR:

  1. Simple implementation: Web-based storage requires no hardware installation, making implementation much faster and cheaper.
  2. Cost-effective: According to CareCloud, client-server systems can cost over $40,000 or more just to set up, plus licensing fees, maintenance costs, and updates. Most cloud-based vendors only charge a monthly fee.
  3. Security: Web-based EHR systems achieve HIPAA compliance through data centers with high security and encryption methods,4 unlike client-server systems, which are only as secure as the room they are stored in.
  4. Backup: In the event of a natural disaster, cloud-based data is safer than client-server records because the information is backed up securely in multiple locations. If your site operates with client-server records and experiences a severe fire or flood, you may have just lost all that information.
  5. Encourages collaboration: Facilities that use network-based systems can more easily share patient data with those operating in the cloud. It can get confusing when patients are taking different medications and seeing multiple doctors. But, when treatments are prescribed online, physicians can view all their information on the EHR, keeping all parties in the loop.

 

Interoperability

Whichever EHR your organization selects, there is a good chance your system will have to cooperate with a different vendor to access your patients’ medical records. When information sharing is complex, care gets delayed, which may cause the patient’s condition to worsen. Interoperability is an effective way of reducing errors and maximizing workflow and staff productivity.

Cantata’s Direct and Secure Data Exchange solution integrates with any EHR or RCM software across all specialties. The solution delivers a seamless way to send and receive data, direct message other providers, partners, and referrals, and quickly access patient and physician portals.

 

Clinical Decision Support

Any healthcare software is incomplete without Clinical Decision Support (CDS). Powered by Artificial Intelligence, CDS provides clinicians and healthcare staff with person-specific information, intelligently filtered and presented at appropriate times, to enhance care. It encompasses various tools to improve decision-making in the clinical workflow, such as computerized alerts and reminders; clinical guidelines; condition-specific order sets; focused patient data reports and summaries; documentation templates; diagnostic support; and more!

Cantata’s Convergence Care platform comes complete with CDS systems. They improve the quality of care, patient outcomes, and staff efficiency and reduce errors, adverse drug events, and excessive spending. Our products not only enable clinicians with intuitive decision support software but do so intelligently to avoid encumbering clinicians with alert fatigue.

 

24/7 Support

In the healthcare setting, a matter of seconds can have enormous consequences on a patient’s well-being. Problems can quickly occur outside of the 9-5 workday, which is why the vendor you select must provide around-the-clock support seven days a week.

Cantata Health Solutions provides support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When a drastic issue occurs, your staff will feel comfortable knowing a live representative will answer their call and not an automated message.

 

If your facility is looking to switch vendors or (finally) adopt your first electronic health record, we recommend beginning your search with us. Contact us by clicking here!

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REFERENCES:

  1. “EMR: The Progress to 100% Electronic Medical Records: Scranton Univ..” The University of Scranton, 29 Apr. 2021, scranton.edu/resources/article/emr-the-progress-to-100-percent-electronic-medical-records/.
  2. “Non-Federal Acute Care Hospital Electronic Health Record Adoption.” HealthIT.gov, 22 July 2021, healthit.gov/data/quickstats/non-federal-acute-care-hospital-electronic-health-record-adoption.
  3. Finnegan, Joanne. “For Each Patient Visit, Physicians Spend about 16 Minutes on Ehrs, Study Finds.” FierceHealthcare, 14 Jan. 2020, fiercehealthcare.com/practices/for-each-patient-visit-physicians-spend-about-16-minutes-ehrs-study-finds.
  4. Casarez, Carlos. “5 Advantages of a Cloud-Based EHR for Small Practices.” Continuum, 17 Aug. 2021, carecloud.com/continuum/5-advantages-of-a-cloud-based-ehr-for-small-practices/.

 

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