Obstetricians and gynecologists face a wide variety of challenges: managing the care of patients of all ages from puberty through menopause and beyond; treating both acute and chronic health conditions; and of course, managing risk through the pregnancy and childbirth process.
OB/GYNs need a medical software solution that supports them in addressing these challenges, making the patient’s experience as happy and comfortable as possible. OB/GYN is one of the medical industry’s biggest markets, with high entry costs and a large number of providers. As such, the biggest EHR companies focus a lot of their resources on this specialty. These are some of the features to look for in an OB/GYN-specific electronic medical record (EMR)/electronic health record (EHR) solution:
|Pregnancy and perinatal tracking||The OB/GYN workflow should track every stage of pregnancy, making it easy for the physician to see, at every step, the progress the patient is making. The system should provide a prenatal record that will be accepted by hospitals, clinicians and birthing centers, and integrate into a parental and pediatric record after childbirth.|
|Ultrasound imaging integration||The system should track and record ultrasounds and perinatal testing, link images to the patient’s chart, make annotations and import the raw data and measurements. Some software even calculates the gestational age based on the data imported from the ultrasound and can use that to track the baby’s progress.|
|Patient education||Expecting parents need and want so much information, it can be tough to keep track of what they’ve gotten and what they haven’t. Many OB/GYN EMR solutions have specific guides to print or e-mail to patients, and allow the physician to document what educational material was discussed with or given to the patient each trimester.|
|OB/GYN templates||In addition to the myriad templates addressing sexual and reproductive health, some EMRs have obstetrics templates that automatically open and populate based on gestational age, saving physicians time and energy that can be better spent in interactions with the patient.|
|Risk management system||As the prenatal flowchart is collecting months’ worth of data including fetal heart rate, weight gain, blood pressure and glucose, the EMR can help the physician and family mitigate risk by identifying potential areas for concern before they become a problem.|
|Patient scheduling||Most EMRs manage patient scheduling, but pregnancy requires keeping to a specific schedule, visits with the ultrasound technician, coordinating with the hospital or birthing center and managing flexibility around delivery dates and times. Make sure the scheduling functions take all these elements into account.|
|Patient portal||Many EMRs now offer or integrate with secure, online portals for patients where they can access information about their healthcare. These portals generally allow patients to view their test results, send secure messages to their care team, request appointments and receive appointment reminders.|
|OB/GYN-specific E&M coding & billing||With a comprehensive clinical database of OB/GYN and perinatal ICD-9 and CPT codes, an EMR should make the billing process simpler and easier, supporting the physician in completing ACOG forms and expediting the billing process.|
Not all practices will need all these tools, and different systems support these functions to varying degrees, so it’s important to identify the ones that are most critical to you.
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