Orthopedic and sports medicine practices face the same challenges as other ambulatory care providers, specifically how to increase productivity, reduce expenses, speed up patient encounters and overall provide better care. But with the high volume of patients and rapid pace of patient visits, it’s that much more important for the electronic medical record (EMR)/electronic health record (EHR) to keep up.
Orthopedic EMR software will have ortho-specific templates for SOAP notes, as well as unique features to deal with patient progress and management of attorneys, disability and workers compensation. Some EMRs will also have image management to track X-rays, MRIs and other images imported electronically or scanned in from hard copies. Leading systems will integrate with EMGs and arthroscopic devices, support knee and hip clinical scoring systems and feature tools for analog coding of fractures. Finally, there will also be generic EMR features like the ability to enter history of present illness (HPI), chief complaints (CC), review of systems, E&M coding advice and more.
|Streamlined interface for rapid patient encounters||For a larger and particularly fast-paced practice, the interface should be highly intuitive and allow physicians, nurses and/or physical therapists to have multiple patient charts open all at once.|
|Computerized muscle testing||Import data from EMGs and other electronic muscle tests, immediately associate it with the patient and track it over the near and long term.|
|Orthopedic SOAP notes templates||Example templates include: Neuropathy, PT lumbar spine, fracture, neck and back A/P, ankle and foot injury, knee procedures and post-op, hip disorders and symptoms, shoulder injury, cervical disorders, lumbosacral disorders and interactive range-of-motion and strength assessment.|
|Preventive treatment & long term care||Maintain progress charts post-operatively and during and after physical therapy, use health reminders and alerts for preventive treatments and easily add, change or renew medications with marked “favorites” specific to the patient or diagnosis.|
|Picture archiving and communication system (PACS)||Using a PACS in DICOM format, capture digital imaging from X-rays, MRIs or electromyograms, and integrate them into your orthopedic practice. Electronic images and reports are transmitted digitally and can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.|
|Attorney/disability/ workers comp management||Orthopedists need to support their patients as they deal with accident attorneys and workers compensation claims, so the EMR should make that process as painless as possible, storing and printing reports, photo and billing receipts in a way the insurant and attorneys will accept.|
|Web-based vs on-premise||EMR and practice management software can be deployed on-premise (i.e., installed at your office) or over the web as a Web- or cloud-based system. This latter model is also known as Software as a Service (SaaS) and allows users to pay for the system on a monthly subscription basis.|
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