Podiatrists need a software solution that maintains all the functionality of general electronic medical record (EMR)/electronic health record (EHR) solutions while containing specialty-specific clinical information that can support them in managing their podiatric practice. Podiatry software helps in tracking and organizing patient information that is specifically related to the foot, ankle and lower leg.
Podiatry EMR software products are available for both cloud-based and on-premise deployments. On-premise systems help users store and manage their patient data using in-house servers; however, the cloud-based systems are now gaining popularity because non-technical users can use them without requiring extensive technological knowledge.
An EMR software solution is useful for podiatry of all sizes - whether it’s a solo practice or small, medium and large-size practice. For a small-size podiatry practice, an EMR software solution helps in automating essential business functions, such as appointment scheduling, billing and accounting, thereby eliminating the need for employees to manage them constantly.
Large-sized practices especially benefit from the appointment scheduling functionality as it keeps the staff updated about a podiatrist’s available time and helps avoid instances of overbooking.
|Podiatry workflow management||Workflows should be designed to meet the needs of the podiatric specialty and make the physician and patient experience as simple and painless as possible. For example, a patient with a bunion can book the initial appointment and fill out their patient intake information online; the physician can then go through the bunion exam template at the point of care, schedule the patient for surgery and then follow the surgical template and schedule the patient for ongoing follow-ups, all using the same software to capture and transfer the information|
|Podiatry templates||Podiatry-specific EMRs contain workflow templates that are designed specifically for the podiatric practice. Examples include ankle sprain, bunion, ingrown nail, bursitis, foot fracture, Achilles tendonitis, orthotics, neuroma, abscess, gout, verruca plantaris, nerve entrapment and more.|
|Detailed foot diagrams||Dozens of diagrams in the software allow the physician to graphically document problems and demonstrate them to the patient for education purposes. Depending on the software, anywhere from a few to dozens of products dorsal, plantar, lateral, medial and posterior images may be available.|
|Podiatry-specific prescription & coding assistance||By integrating the devices and the results into the podiatry EMR software, it can recommend prescriptions and ICD-9/CPT codes and scrub claims, increasing revenues and profit margins and reducing the chance of error.|
An EMR software allows practices to run all their operations from a single system, starting from appointment scheduling, patient records and all the way up to billing. Some benefits of the software are mentioned below:
1. Process automation: It helps practitioners manage the entire clinical process of podiatry practice such as appointments, patient registration and the billing process. The software acts as an unified database for EHR and practice management.
2. Patient records: Podiatry practitioners need to record the medical history and notes of all their patients. Other than this, they also need a document and image manager that they can use to attach any other related information along with the patient notes.
A podiatry EMR software solution helps in recording all the patient details, notes and any other relevant information in a single place. This functionality helps users easily retrieve information whenever they require it. It also allows practitioners to take their patients through a quick questionnaire before the treatment is started; this questionnaire takes into account all the past injuries and enables practitioners to treat the patients accordingly.
3. Coding and claims support for insurance and billing: In order to bill medical services to an insurance provider, either a private insurer or a Mediclaim provider, practitioners need to mention the correct diagnostic codes. These codes include International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes for diagnoses and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for treatment. With a lot of diseases and diagnoses, it becomes a challenge to identify the correct codes. An EMR solution aids practitioners in this situation by finding the correct codes after they type the disease and treatment names in the search bar, which works similar to a Google search.
Once the codes are found and the patient demographics are added, the software can submit the information to the insurer.
4. E-prescribing: An advantage of EMR software is the e-prescription, which allows medical practitioners to send prescriptions to the medicine stores electronically. Some systems allow practitioners to look up pharmacies near the patient’s residence and send prescriptions to them.
5. SOAP Notes Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan (SOAP) notes help podiatrists capture patient information. EMR software solutions allow podiatrists to record notes during patient interactions. Some EMR software offer text-to-speech functionality which fills up the patient fields during conversations with the patients. These notes are entered into the patient records and made available to podiatrists for future reference.
6. Appointment booking and reminders: Overbooking is a big concern for podiatrist practices as it leads to long waiting times and patient dissatisfaction. The receptionists and booking staff need to be aware of the podiatrists’ free time so as to avoid such instances.
An EMR solution provides the real-time booking schedule of each podiatrist so that the booking staff can easily schedule appointments with the doctors. The appointment booking functionality also comes with automatic reminders; the solution sends text messages and email reminders to the patients to keep them updated about upcoming appointments.
7. Flexible billing options: Some products in the market offer integrated billing functionality which allow users to simplify their billing process. These solutions bill the fee directly to the patient’s account or to a third-party insurance, such as private insurers and Mediclaim. The billing management module allows practices to set up in-house billing or outsource it to the vendor. Outsourced billing has the added benefits of reduction in paperwork and payment tracking.
8. Patient portal: Patient portal is an online page where patients can find their medical records. This functionality allows practitioners to send diagnostics test results directly to their patients.
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