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Buyer's Guide

by Gaby Loria,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: March 24, 2017

Urgent care clinics and emergency medical facilities need an electronic medical record (EMR)/electronic health record (EHR) solution that facilitates the fast-paced high-volume workflow of the urgent care facility.

For instance, this means expediting patient check-in and wait times, as well as formulating workflows that can chart simple complaints quickly while still offering the robustness needed for more complex problems.

Additionally, most urgent care centers and emergency rooms require specialized billing and coding that is designed to maximize revenues and profit margins.

We wrote this buyer's guide to help you navigate this complex software market. Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

What is Urgent Care EMR Software?
Common Features of Urgent Care EMR Software
Benefits of Urgent Care EMR Software
Market Trends to Understand

What is Urgent Care EMR Software?

Urgent care EMR software solution enables urgent care doctors and practitioners to efficiently manage the heavy workflow of urgent care centers. On the other hand, urgent care EHR software needs to be streamlined for the unique workflow of an urgent care center. An urgent care EMR software solution that is optimized and customized (with various appropriate templates) will provide more value and lower cost in usage, compared with other specialty-specific software alternatives. In addition, urgent care EMR software can be complemented with various significant templates, such as workers’ compensation forms and work accident forms.

Common Features of Urgent Care EMR Software

Electronic & bubblesheet intake forms Many EMR solutions include patient intake forms designed to expedite the check-in process and reduce wait times. Electronic check-ins can tie directly to physician’s notes, digitally verify insurance and track the amount of time spent in the waiting room for quality assurance.
Custom urgent care SOAP note templates Most patients come to urgent care clinics with simple complaints, so an urgent care EMR should make it easy to chart these visits quickly. However, the EMR also needs a clinical database sufficiently comprehensive to handle even the most complex cases. Ensure the templates fit the workflow needed for your facility.
Medical equipment interface Your EMR program should connect to the full suite of diagnostic tools used in urgent care facilities and emergency rooms, including Holter monitors, EKGs, radiology, X-ray, laboratory results and more.
Urgent care e-prescriptions Electronically send prescriptions directly from the EMR device to the pharmacy on-site or at the patient’s preferred location, reducing paper and administrative costs and reducing the risk of error.
Urgent care E&M billing assistance An EMR designed for an urgent care clinic will have specialized codes—like emergency/after hours services and specialized procedures like fracture treatment and laceration repairs. They will also support the facility in billing to a variety of different payers, including employers (for services like physicals and drug screening), worker’s compensation claims, group health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and self-pay.

Benefits of Urgent Care EMR Software

There are several benefits of using urgent care electronic medical record software. Some of them are:

Profitability to business: A properly integrated urgent care EMR software solution quickly enhances the profitability of lower-margin services by saving up on labor costs.

Quick communication of patient records: Urgent care requires ease in accessing and sharing of accurate and cohesive patient information with other establishments, such as hospitals and emergency clinics. Thus, urgent care EMR software is instrumental in executing urgent care referrals to hospitals in an efficient manner by quickly providing patient records.

Easy installation and upgrading: Urgent care EMR software solutions can be easily installed and set up. Most of them are available with remote backup configuration and ongoing maintenance. In addition, upgrading to the latest urgent care EMR software is not a tough task for urgent care facilities.

Market Trends to Understand

There are plenty of technological advancements being made in the overall health care segment, some of which are in the form of software to improve urgent care. We have interesting cases of gamification being used to improve medicine reminders for kidney transplant patients as well as to cut down smoking. Then there’s 3D printing being used in all kinds of customized prosthetics. The future is exciting and the labs are buzzing with innovative ideas. There’s no other way to go but up.

Keeping these advancements in mind, here are a few market trends that you should be aware of as a potential buyer:

Move to cloud for greater benefits: Across all industries, more and more companies are moving to the cloud because of the flexibility of anytime and anywhere access. It also costs much less and practices can get rid of their chunky hardware (i.e., servers that take up precious space). With a steady internet connection, you can ensure that all your practitioners have access to patient reports, history, lab results and other relevant information on their mobile devices.

Give patients access to their data: A patient portal allows patients to contact receptionists or doctors for appointments, check their medicines, get appointment reminders and other important functions. It gives patients more clarity and responsibility regarding their health. With automatic SMS reminders, they will also never miss an appointment, ensuring that practices avoid overcrowded waiting rooms and overworked doctors.

Telemedicine to grow exponentially: Transparency Market Research expects that the global video telemedicine market will reach $1,624.4 million by 2020. The overall telemedicine market is a boon for senior patients and ensures that quality care is provided to them without causing them any distress regarding difficult journeys and long travel hours. In the end, telemedicine is expected to relieve patient worries about frequent checkups and remove negative impressions regarding hospital services.

Market consolidation in the mid-size segment: The market is flooded with solutions that cater the mid-sized practice segment. As the adoption of urgent care EMR solutions grows, there will be more acquisitions, consolidations and partnerships among different vendors as well as with hospitals, private practices and other medical organizations. This trend will allow vendors to grow their business, expand into new markets and service a larger number of patients and medical staff.

Hence, as an urgent care EMR software buyer, make sure the finalized solution first addresses the considerations mentioned above and then meets all your requirements.

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