Electronic medical records (EMR) software digitizes all the data in a provider’s clinic. It allows medical professionals to track historical data, identify patients who are due for screenings or a consultation, monitor various health-related parameters and improve the quality of service.
This guide can help potential buyers find the best solution for their needs. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Every medical software solution is different. While all incorporate EMR, scheduling and billing capabilities, neurologists and neurosurgeons have a unique distinction among physicians as they deal with the most elusive and sensitive of human organs.
Neurology relies heavily on complicated tests, including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG) and electronystagmography (ENG). A neurology-specific EMR, therefore, should integrate with all the tests the physician will use, as well as provide other key features specifically designed to support neurology patients and their families.
Most neurology EMR solutions will have some or all of the following functionalities:
|Neurological workflow management||Workflows should be designed to meet the needs of your specialty and customized to each individual evaluation and treatment. For example, an Alzheimer’s workflow will walk you through the diagnostic process—assessing the medical history, mood evaluation, dementia tests, physical exam, lab tests, neurological exam and digital imaging procedures—and continue through ongoing treatment of the patient.|
|Comprehensive neurology templates||Comprehensive Neurology Templates Custom SOAP note templates are designed specifically for neurological conditions, including epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, vertigo, headaches and as many as 150 more. These templates integrate into the EMR workflow, making charting quicker and easier.|
|Neurology ICD-9/CPT coding & billing crosswalk||Save time and money by having your workflow do the billing for you. Able to immediately cross-reference ICD-9 to CPT codes, a neurology-specific EMR concentrates on those codes a neurologist needs, providing support for unusual cases and avoiding the confusing clutter that occurs in a one-size-fits-all EMR.|
|Patient & family history||Nowhere is it more critical to track and manage patient and family history than in neurological disorders. The EMR stores these factors and highlights them in follow-up visits, increasing patient familiarity as well as supporting diagnosis and treatment in the long term.|
|Patient education||Educating patients and family members on the nature of the condition they’re dealing with goes a long way toward healing the emotional trauma associated with neurological disorders. Therefore, certain neurology-specific EMRs have documentation tools designed to do precisely that. These resources can be printed, emailed or demonstrated visually.|
|Digital imaging integration||CT, MRI and PET scans are major components of any neurological practice today. A neurology-specific EHR should integrate imaging test results seamlessly into your workflow with electronic delivery, on-image note-taking or sample graphing as desired.|
|Electrographic integration||Your interface should read and interpret EEG, ENG and/or EMG data according to the needs of your practice. Storing the test data electronically supports long-term care.|
|Neurosurgery||For neurosurgeons, ensure the EMR support surgery with pre-op and post-op templates, patient preparation documentation and neurosurgical workflow processes.|
Here are some benefits that practitioners can gain by adopting a neurology EMR solution:
Better decision making: All the relevant medical information can be made available to neurology practitioners in just a few clicks through the EMR system. This feature helps improve their ability to take well-informed decisions about patient treatment and care on time. Also, the seamless flow of information between the patient and doctor ensures that the quality of care is improved. This way, patients are able to build a trusting relationship with their doctors.
Enhanced patient care: Patients are no longer required to decipher the at-times illegible handwriting of doctors to get their medicine. Clinics can safely prescribe and order medicines for their patients online. They can also view if the patient is taking other medicine that’s prescribed by any other physician.
As a new buyer, it is important that you consider some key factors before you make a purchase decision. Keep in mind: more is not always good. The key to finding the ideal solution is to look for the one product that addresses your immediate needs first and foremost. Here’s what you should look for:
Scalability: Some software is better suited for small to midsize medical practices while others are best for large practices. If you are new to the business, you should anticipate that your medical practice will grow as you gain experience. However, EMR solutions are usually designed for a specific number and type of users. Therefore, you should ensure that the solution you choose is scalable and accommodates all the neurologists at your center.
Certifications: While selecting a solution, make sure that it’s certified and tested by an ONC-Authorized (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) Testing and Certification Body. A certified neurology EMR means that all the “Meaningful Use” measures and objectives have been met. The certification is vital in receiving MU Medicaid and Medicare incentives after a practice adopts EMR.
Mobile device support: Healthcare providers are widely adopting mobile devices to manage their clinics and accomplish day-to-day tasks. Accessing EMR solutions on a mobile devices allows them to view patient records, offer consulting services on the go, communicate any changes in a treatment from anywhere and do other related tasks. It can also help them make better clinical decisions and provide training to their employees.
Security: Buyers of neurology EMR software must consider the security parameter before purchasing a solution. Patient medical history is highly confidential information and the right EMR solution should ensure that this data is stored securely in their servers. The solution should be HIPAA-compliant (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) so that it meets the rules and regulations of a state. Also, encryption technology for data at rest and motion should be available for both cloud-based and on-premise solutions.
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