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drchrono EHR

drchrono EHR is a patient care platform that offers customization at the point of care and on the go. In addition to EHR, drchrono also includes scheduling, billing and patient reminders. It is available on iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. Healthcare... Read More
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Bridge Patient Portal

For physicians looking for a way to optimize patient engagement, easily collect information and streamline the patient experience as a whole, we recommend Bridge Patient Portal as a robust patient communication platform. The system... Read More
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Kareo Clinical EHR

Kareo is a Web-based EHR, medical billing, and practice management used by thousands of physicians across the United States. This system suits small practices and billing companies. With Kareo, practices can schedule patients, confirm... Read More
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The Valant Behavioral Health EHR

Valant’s EHR for behavioral health offers tools for providers to streamline documentation, increase efficiency, and enhance the productivity of their practice or agency. The fully integrated suite includes secure patient records,... Read More
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CollaborateMD is a medical billing and practice management solution that helps practices and billing services of all sizes automate and streamline billing and coding processes. The system was designed to be both comprehensive and user-friendly,... Read More
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MedEZ is an electronic health record (EHR) and billing suite suitable for most medical facilities, particularly behavioral health centers and substance abuse rehabilitation programs. On-premise and cloud-based deployments are available. MedEZ... Read More
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athenahealth EHR

athenahealth is providing cloud-based services for electronic health records (EHR), revenue cycle management & medical billing, patient engagement, care coordination, and population health management, as well as Epocrates and other... Read More
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eClinicalWorks is an integrated suite of electronic health records (EHR), practice management, patient engagement, tele-visits, population health, care coordination and analytics. On-premise and cloud based deployments are both available. eClinicalWorks... Read More
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MDConnection is a web-based solution for medical practice management. The system serves the needs of small practices consisting of just one physician or a small group of physicians. The core functions include scheduling, medical billing,... Read More
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Harmony e/Notes

Harmony e/Notes is an integrated software suite spanning electronic medical records, practice management, billing, and revenue cycle management. The EMR application offers a wide range of functionality including: versatile/customizable... Read More
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A fully certified solution specific to the chiropractic industry, ChiroTouch offers electronic health records (EHR) and practice management applications. With the latest release of version 6.0, ChiroTouch has received complete 2014... Read More
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gMed’s gGastro product is specialty-focused electronic health record (EHR) system that is completely scalable and available either through the cloud or using an on-site server. The company concentrates on creating specialty specific... Read More
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Centricity Practice Solution is an integrated system for clinical and financial management in medical organizations. The system offers a comprehensive suite of functionality for practice administration and electronic medical records... Read More
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NueMD offers a comprehensive suite of software and services for practices of all sizes. NueMD is an integrated appointment scheduling, practice management/medical billing, electronic health recording, and medical billing solution. NueMD... Read More
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MedicsRIS is a comprehensive RIS designed for radiology/imaging practices of every size and scope. In use by hundreds of practices, MedicRIS can help manage the needs of any radiology practice with its full array of features and capabilities. The... Read More
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MedicsPremier by Advanced Data Systems

MedicsPremier is a practice management software that helps in processing EDI transactions. MedicsPremier EDI allows for automated reconciliation of EOBs (ERAs) and insurance verification, which can be processed in batch mode by appointment... Read More
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Qualifacts CareLogic Enterprise

CareLogic Enterprise by Qualifacts Systems is an integrated suite of electronic health records (EHR), billing, and scheduling applications designed specifically for behavioral healthcare organizations with 20 or more users. The system... Read More
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Netsmart myAvatar Suite

Netsmart’s myAvatar Suite is an industry leader in enterprise behavioral health software. The comprehensive electronic medical records (EMR) and practice management (PM) suite is used by all types of behavioral health organizations,... Read More
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AgilityOM, Net Health's occupational medicine electronic health record (EHR) system, offers configurable workflows, billing and management tools suitable for practices of all sizes. Online employer portals allow employers to access... Read More
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AntWorks Healthcare

AntWorks’ suite of healthcare solutions offers clinical, financial and administrative tools suitable for healthcare providers in a variety of specialties. It is suitable for physicians and large group practices and can be installed... Read More
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iKnowMed Generation 2 by McKesson Specialty

iKnowMed Generation 2 is a web-based EHR system built for the needs of oncologists and hematologists. iKnowMed Generation 2 was developed by McKesson Specialty Health in collaboration with more than 200 oncologists who used their... Read More
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CareCloud Practice Management

CareCloud is a modern, cloud-based system with the ease-of-use and low cost of ownership buyers have come to expect from cloud solutions. The system offers comprehensive functionality for appointment scheduling, medical billing, reporting... Read More
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InSync Healthcare Solutions EMR/PM enables healthcare professionals to provide healthcare that is in compliance with regulatory requirements. This ONC-ATCB certified and CCHIT certified ambulatory EMR and practice management (PM) product... Read More
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MediTouch EHR Software

NextGen Healthcare offers MediTouch EHR and MediTouch PM, a suite of electronic health records and practice management tools that were designed to be web-based and offer a touchscreen user interface. The EHR offers charting, problem... Read More
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Epitomax EHR/PM by PsyTech Solutions

Epitomax EHR/PM by PsyTech Solutions is an ONC-ATCB certified electronic health records (EHR) and practice management (PM) software suite designed specifically for behavioral and mental healthcare providers. The Software-as-a-Service... Read More
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NextGen Healthcare

Enables real-time, web-based patient and provider communication. The patient portal is accessible on desktop computers and mobile devices.
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iPatientCare helps physician offices, rural health clinics (RHC), and community/federally qualified health centers (CHC/FQHC) with their needs of medical billing and MACRA/MIPS and CPC+ assistance by delivering an integrated cloud-based... Read More
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WebPT is a cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management solution tailored specifically to rehab therapists. This cloud-based system allows therapists, directors and front-office staff to access medical records... Read More
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Unlike many other software solutions that are broken up and sold as independent components, EncounterWorks unifies patient management, practice management and Electronic Health Records into the core of the system. By centralizing all... Read More
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CareCloud Charts

CareCloud Charts is an integrated electronic health recording (EHR) solution offering collective benefits of EMR, practice management and medical billing services. The solution helps physicians to streamline clinical operations and... Read More
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CureMD is a certified cloud-based EHR, practice management, patient portal and revenue cycle management. CureMD helps physicians and office staff manage their practice operations. It also helps practices adopt Meaningful Use - driving... Read More
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Care360 from Quest Diagnostics is a web-based, best-of-breed EHR solution ideal for ambulatory practices. The solution can also be sold with integrated medical billing and patient scheduling modules. While Care360 can be used across... Read More
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Compulink is a provider of highly customizable, ONC Certified EHR and practice management software for specialty practices. Designed to adapt to a practice's specific needs, the integrated solution offers functionality to support patient... Read More
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Modernizing Medicine's EMA™ EHR System

Modernizing Medicine offers a data-driven EHR system, EMA™. EMA is available for dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, urology, plastic surgery, pain medicine and gastroenterology practices. The native iPad application... Read More
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RevolutionEHR is a cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) solution built specifically for optometry practices. RevolutionEHR includes a complete EHR, medical billing, patient scheduling, medical accounting and a picture archiving... Read More
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Azalea Health

Azalea Health offers a collection of medical solutions for a variety of specialties. Providing a cloud-based EHR, practice management software, revenue cycle management, and more, Azalea products bring together a practice's medical... Read More
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myEvolv by Netsmart

myEvolv by Netsmart is an integrated EHR solution that incorporates a robust accounts receivable/accounts payable sub-ledger directly within the system. The software is ideal for community health centers as well as behavioral & mental... Read More
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ChartLogic EHR Suite

ChartLogic offers an ambulatory EHR suite that includes electronic medical record, practice management, revenue cycle management, e-prescribing and patient portal. The solution caters to primary care, surgical care and other complex... Read More
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DOX Podiatry

DOX Podiatry is a comprehensive, web-based system that includes a full suite of modules designed to mimic the unique workflow of podiatry practices of all sizes. Integrating seamlessly with your existing policies and operations, DOX... Read More
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Genesis Chiropractic

Developed for chiropractors, Genesis Chiropractic Software by Billing Precision is a web-based solution that offers EHR, scheduling, billing, and documentation within one integrated system. Genesis is ONC-certified and comes with... Read More
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For over 17 years, Nextech has provided a full-featured EMR and Practice Management solution within a single database. This system is a fit for dermatologists, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, and orthopedic physicians, and is used... Read More
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Perfect for small to medium-sized practices, ChARM EHR is an affordable web-based EHR, Practice Management and Medical Billing solution that can be accessed from anywhere at anytime using an internet ready computer, iPad, or tablet.... Read More
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MedicsDocAssistant by Advanced Data Systems

MedicsDocAssistant is an electronic health recording (EHR) solution certified by ICSA labs for stage 2 Meaningful Use program. The system operates in real time allowing physicians to track their MU progress and attest for Medicare... Read More
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ifa EMR

Originally founded in Cologne, Germany, ifa systems AG, the parent company of ifa united i-tech, inc., has nearly 30 years of experience in developing advanced, Ophthalmic medical technologies. In 2005, ifa united i-tech, inc. began... Read More
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Exscribe EHR & PM

With over 10 years of experience, Exscribe developed EHR and PM solutions specific to the Orthopedic specialty that maintains a strong focus on compliance. The EHR was designed to be easily learned by all users, so that orders and... Read More
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Office Practicum

Office Practicum by Connexin Software was built by physicians to provide an integrated electronic health record (EHR) and practice management solution. The system offers appointment scheduling, clinical documentation management, comprehensive... Read More
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Intelligent Medical Software by Meditab

IMS (Intelligent Medical Software) by Meditab Software is a customizable, integrated, and fully Certified Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Practice Management system. This robust solution also includes applications for e-prescribing,... Read More
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OmniMD is an AI-enabled, cloud-based electronic health records (EHR) and practice management solution that assists providers in their clinical decision-making needs. The OmniMD business intelligence solution tracks, manages and monitors... Read More
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Picasso by

Founded in 2000 by a group of healthcare and information technology professionals, provides full-featured software solutions for the Medical industry. Their web-based system, Picasso, offers a wide range of applications,... Read More
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EHR YOUR WAY is a behavioral health EHR that can be deployed on desktop and mobile cloud-based devices. Their cloud-based devices cover all aspects of behavioral health including inpatient and outpatient SA & MH, autism, case management,... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

Patient portals are secure websites—commonly integrated with electronic health records (EHR) systems—that give patients 24-hour access to services, messages and information from their care team. These portals are like the Swiss army knife of medical software applications: They provide a wide range of tools to help providers carry out patient-related tasks, from scheduling and billing to corresponding and prescribing.

Patient portal vendors recognize the value of incorporating such a versatile application in their product offerings. As a result, there are hundreds of systems on the market today. We put together this buyer’s guide to help you sort through them all, so you can find the solution that’s ideal for your practice.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Why Is Patient Portal Software Important?
Common Functionality of Patient Portal Software
Deployment Strategies and Pricing
Market Trends To Understand

Why Is Patient Portal Software Important?

Your practice should consider buying patient portal software for a number of reasons—but perhaps the most compelling one involves the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. HITECH offers federal stimulus money to practices that invest in health IT to achieve various “meaningful use” requirements.

These requirements have been introduced in stages; the final one, stage three, has a measure calling for the “coordination of care through patient engagement.” This means providers must use technology to give patients access to health information for viewing, downloading and/or transmitting to a third party. As we’ll explain later in this guide, patient portal software can handle all these tasks, and more.

Another reason to implement patient portal software: It’s in demand among providers, so patients will come to expect it at your practice. In fact, a recent survey presented by the Digital Health Coalition found that 52 percent of prescribers (M.D.s, N.P.s and P.A.s) offer a patient portal, while another 17 percent plan to offer one in the next 12 months.

As other studies show, patients are enthusiastic about this technology, too. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons finds that a patient portal is a preferred follow-up channel for surgery patients: In fact, 76 percent say online-only follow-up care would be sufficient, rather than in-person visits.

A different study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research concludes that patients with portal access to notes from their primary care doctor are more likely to stick to their prescribed medication regime. Clearly, patient portals should be a top priority in any health IT investment plan.

Common Functionality of Patient Portal Software

Medical records access The ability for patients to access personal medical records is key. These records include lab results, diagnoses, medications, allergies, clinical summaries and more. To encourage patients to use the software, some practices are instituting online-only lab results delivery.
Digital paperwork Instead of filling out new patient registration forms at the office, users can fill out that paperwork online. Since the data is already digitized, office staff save time scanning documents. In addition to intake forms, portals can provide satisfaction surveys and general health assessments for patients to complete before or after a visit.
Appointment setting Typically, provider schedules are shown on a calendar in the portal, and patients can select the best time slot. Depending on your system, you can enable either appointment requests or live appointment scheduling. With the former, patients request a particular slot, an office staff member confirms the appointment and the patient is notified afterward. A system with live appointment scheduling automatically updates your practice management schedule as patients pick time slots, requiring no further staff involvement.
Prescription refills Automate prescription renewal requests by letting patients ask for refills through the portal. Most systems have a dedicated module where patients can enter their information (e.g., medication, pharmacy of choice) and then submit the prescription request. The provider’s staff is notified, and can verify, approve and/or respond to the request through the portal.
Online bill pay Electronic billing statements take the collections process online. Patients can make secure payments through the patient portal using a credit card number. The system will automatically process those payments once they’re submitted.
Secure messaging Exchange messages with patients through the portal instead of over the phone. Most systems provide a secure electronic messaging platform that emails patients when their care team sends a new message. Providers can respond to messages that patients send through the portal, too.

Deployment Strategies and Pricing

Patient portal vendors often package the software as part of an integrated EHR suite that includes other applications; however, the patient portal functionality can also be purchased as a stand-alone or “best-of-breed” program. If you go with a stand-alone system, it’s important for you to make sure it can integrate with the EHR you’re already using.

Some stand-alone patient portal vendors already have partnerships with EHR vendors, and offer complementary integration between the two—but that’s not always the case. Experts warn integrating a third-party patient portal with your EHR may cost you more time and money than you budgeted. If you plan to do this, be sure to get an interface cost estimate from any vendors you evaluate.

With an EHR suite, users typically don’t pay extra for patient portal functionality. However, stand-alone systems have different pricing models in place, depending on whether a practice wants to pay per patient or per provider.

For example, buyers might pay a low monthly fee depending on how many patients actually use the portal during a set time period. In this model, the fee would be paid for each patient user.

Alternatively, a higher monthly pricing fee could be applied if the practice would rather pay based on the number of registered providers managing the patient portal. A “provider” is anyone providing care to patients (not counting administrative staff). Here, the fee would be paid for each provider user.

The two examples above are for a cloud-based deployment model, in which the system is hosted on external servers and accessed remotely through the Web. On-premise deployments, in which the software is hosted on the provider’s own server, are also available from some patient portal vendors, coming with a one-time perpetual license fee that is significantly higher than cloud-based fees.

Market Trends to Understand

The following trends are common in the patient portal software market:

  • Customizations: While fees may apply for customizing your portal, you may find this is worth the extra expense, depending on your practice’s needs. Some examples of customizations include changes to registration form templates and custom home page designs.
  • HIPAA compliance: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) includes a series of mandates to protect the privacy and security of electronic patient records. Most patient portal vendors will advertise that their products are HIPAA-compliant and have security standards, such as data encryption technology, for their systems.