Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of doctors choose the right primary care ehr to help them maintain patient records and efficiently manage their practices.

Showing 1-20 of 211 products

AdvancedMD

AdvancedMD is a unified suite of software solutions designed for mental health, physical therapy and medical healthcare organizations and independent physician practices. Features include practice management, electronic health records,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 407 recommendations

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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athenahealth

athenahealth, recently named 2020 Best in KLAS: Small Practice Ambulatory EMR/PM, athenaClinicals, for 10 or fewer physicians, and Ambulatory RCM Services, athenaCollector, is providing cloud-based services for electronic health records... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 306 recommendations

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PrognoCIS by Bizmatics

PrognoCIS EHR and PrognoCIS Telemedicine have earned a reputation for fast, flexible individual provider workflow. The software package offers a full suite of highly desirable features and functions. PrognoCIS provides a cloud-based... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 218 recommendations

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DrChrono EHR

DrChrono’s iPad and iPhone compatible EHR and medical billing platform allows medical practices and healthcare providers to manage patient intake, patient care, clinical charting, billing and revenue cycle management. It includes... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 208 recommendations

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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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Recent recommendations: 167 recommendations

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AllegianceMD

AllegianceMD is a cloud-based medical software system that is designed to serve the needs of small and midsize practices, as well as ambulatory surgery centers. The solution includes practice management functionality for billing and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 94 recommendations

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ChartLogic

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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Recent recommendations: 67 recommendations

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NextGen Office (Formerly Known as MediTouch)

NextGen Healthcare offers NextGen Office—a cloud-based EHR – specifically designed for private practices. NextGen Office is a fully integrated practice management solution that includes specialty-specific content, a claims clearinghouse,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 56 recommendations

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Elation Health

Elation is a cloud-based platform delivered on a SaaS basis. Some key features within Elation include: 24/7 premium support, intake forms (delivering structured data the practice can act on), online self-scheduling, e-fax, e-rx and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 48 recommendations

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MDConnection

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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Recent recommendations: 30 recommendations

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Nexus EHR

Nexus EHR is an ONC 2015 Edition certified cloud-based ambulatory EHR. It is designed for small to midsize practices and a variety of specialties including orthopedics, neurology, podiatry, cardiology, general surgery, pain management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 27 recommendations

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RXNT

RXNT is an integrated, cloud-based healthcare software provider, offering a Practice Management (PM) solution with Medical Billing and Scheduling tools for practices of all specialties and sizes. RXNT’s PM system enhances practice-related... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 24 recommendations

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eClinicalWorks

eClinicalWorks is an integrated electronic health record (EHR) and practice management solution providing technology through every step of the patient care delivery process. Physician practices can access features include patient engagement,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 22 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Euclid

Euclid is a medical management solution that helps hospitals and healthcare providers streamline various clinical operations such as claims processing, scheduling, billing and more. With its administrative dashboard, professionals... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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Lightning MD

Lightning MD is a secure, cloud-based medical billing software. The software is easy to learn and requires minimal training.  In most cases, the user can set up a practice and be using the software within one hour.  Lightning MD... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 18 recommendations

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iPatientCare

iPatientCare offers a cloud-based EHR system with integrated medical billing and practice management services. It helps physician offices, rural health clinics (RHC) and community/federally qualified health centers (CHC/FQHC) with... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations

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Harmony e/Notes

Harmony e/Notes is a hybrid integrated solution that offers functionalities for electronic medical records, practice management, billing and revenue cycle management. Specialities that the solution caters to include cardiology, general... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

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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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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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WRS Health

Voted #1 by PCMag in 2019, WRS Health is a cloud-based integrated electronic health records (EHR) solution that offers practice management, revenue cycle management and billing services. The solution includes modules for charting,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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ChARM EHR

ChARM Health is a MU certified, cloud-based EHR, Practice Management and Medical Billing solution that helps healthcare organizations ranging from large multi-specialty groups to small independent medical offices function efficiently.... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

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2020 Primary Care EHR Pricing Guide

Learn about the key aspects of accurate software pricing before you make your purchase decision.

Includes:

  • Pricing models & ranges

  • Unexpected costs

  • Pricing of popular systems

Buyers guide


Last Updated: May 29, 2020

Doctors' offices may have a different end goal than most businesses, but one thing they share in common is the need for software to help make their day-to-day management easier and smoother. A wide variety of medical software exists for just this purpose, from electronic medical records (EMR) to medical accounting tools.

However, primary care physicians face unique challenges that require the implementation of software that differs from the types used by specialists or hospitals. Whether they are clinics or family practices, these primary care physicians need versatile, adaptable software that can both maintain records and help run the office, assisting with both the medical and business sides of their practice.

This buyer's guide will describe the two sides of primary care EHRs, explore the most popular features and help you figure out what key questions to ask of software vendors—and of yourself—before making a purchase.

Here are the key issues that we'll cover:

What Is Primary Care EHR Software?
Common Features of Primary Care EHRs
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Key Considerations

What Is Primary Care EHR Software?

Primary care software is a subset of medical software, which contains features that are useful both for doctors' medical work and for the daily management of their office as a business.

Though both parts should work together in integrated harmony, here's a look at these two sides of primary care software:

Electronic Health Records

Electronic health records, or EHR, is the primary type of software used by doctors to help them take care of their patients. EHRs serve as digital databases that store patient charts, while also allowing practices to track patient demographics, histories, SOAP notes, test results, medications, prescriptions and more.

The goal of an EHR is to increase doctors' efficiency so they can spend more time with patients, provide post-visit care via prescription management and check-ins on a patient portal, better support claims sent to insurance companies and generally improve the quality of patient care.

You may also see them referred to as electronic medical records (EMRs), computerized medical records or digital medical records.

Practice Management

Practice management software, on the other hand, is more focused on helping doctors and their administrative staff run the business side of a practice. It helps those practices record patient information and demographics, manage patient charts, perform billing procedures, generate reports and schedule appointments through patient scheduling applications.

The goal of practice management software is to improve physicians' workflow efficiency, allowing them to spend more time tending to patients, and often to boost the amount of reimbursements obtained from insurance providers.

You may also see them referred to as physician's office management software and medical information systems (POMIS).

Common Features of Primary Care EHRs

Patient history Houses patient charts as part of the EMR database. It's crucial that primary care physicians are able to maintain a detailed, accurate history of their interactions with patients in order to provide the best, most personalized level of medical care.
Patient correspondence Provides a primary care practice with quick access to common forms of correspondence, including work/school excuse letters and automated health maintenance/checkup reminders that can be sent out based on the patient's record.
General practice SOAP notes templates Because primary care physicians see such a wide variety of medical conditions and problems, they need an EMR that has hundreds of specialized note templates to accommodate those various conditions.
Laboratory, medical device and pharmacy integration Many EMRs provide automatic importing of lab results and/or medical device data, eliminating time-consuming and error-prone transcription. Similarly, direct integration with pharmacies allows for e-prescriptions and direct communication between doctors and pharmacists in order to avoid potentially dangerous drug interactions.
Referral integration EMR software for primary care practices will include tools to make referrals to specialists as quick and easy as possible. Common features include an online referral network, automated printing of referral letters and even the ability to send the entire electronic patient record to the doctor of referral.
General practice billing and treatment protocols Because primary care physicians deal with such a broad swath of potential conditions, primary care EMRs often provide assistance on ICD-10 and CPT coding and billing for common and unusual patient visits. The integration between administrative and clinical workflows can make the claims process faster and more accurate.
Automatic billing One of the core functionalities of practice management software is automated medical billing, along with real-time verification of insurance coverage and eligibility.
Claim tracking Streamline the tracking of various claims across the overall revenue cycle.
Customized patient scheduling Scheduling/calendar features which enable appointments to be color coded to indicate information such as provider, duration, time and type of complaint.
Automatic reminders Send automated electronic reminders to patients via email or text message. In addition to providing a service for patients, this helps reduce the number of no-shows and can maintain an optimum volume of appointments.

An example of a patient chart in primary care EHR platform Kareo

An example of a patient chart in Kareo

What Type of Buyer Are You?

Medical practices can vary widely in size, shape and form, which leads them to require different functions and features in their primary care software. Your practice is likely to fall into one of the following categories:

  • Single doctor. A practice with a single doctor, and consequently a small staff, will have fewer patients to keep track of, but they may have a greater need for automation due to a lack of resources. As such, these practices may want primary care software that is heavy on practice management features, such as automatic billing, patient scheduling and laboratory/pharmacy/referral integration, in addition to a base level of EMR features such as patient history and correspondence.
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  • Small practice (two to five doctors). Practices with a handful of doctors and a moderate-sized staff will want all the features of a practice with just one doctor, plus a more robust array of features for both EMR (such as SOAP note templates) and practice management (such as claim tracking and automatic reminders).
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  • Large practice (more than five doctors). Practices with a large number of doctors and a large staff will need the most robust primary care software available, featuring all of the useful features provided by both EMR and practice management functionality.

Key Considerations

Other factors to take into consideration when picking the best primary care software for your practice may include:

  • Integration with other systems. One of the key components of primary care software is integration, specifically between the EMR and the practice management sides of the software. However, it's possible that you may choose two different software systems or vendors for each aspect of your practice. In that case, you'll want to be extremely sure that those two systems can integrate with one another, so that you don't accidentally build a wall between the medical and business sides of your practice. You will also want to ensure that you can integrate with any other relevant software systems, such as those used for medical tests and results.
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  • Cloud-based software vs. on-premise software. Increasingly, software of all kinds is cloud-based and available online. Previously, the most popular method of housing software was on-premise, meaning that a business or practice would actually own the hardware necessary to run the software. This required a large amount of storage space and access to IT resources for setup and troubleshooting. Today, you're most likely to get a cloud-based primary care software solution, which is housed off-premise and requires much lower upfront costs. It also reduces your need for IT help once you have the software running.
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  • Patient portals. The easiest, most popular way for doctors to keep in touch with their patients, and for those patients to manage their prescriptions and referrals, is through dedicated patient portals that can be accessed online. These portals should integrate with your EMR so that a patient can see their records and test results, send and receive messages, manage prescriptions and make appointments. A well-maintained patient portal can save physicians and their staff hundreds of hours of administrative work, and make patients feel that they have quicker and more complete access to their doctor.
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  • Mobile support. Our world is increasingly mobile, with apps for everything from social media to banking. Medical needs are no different, and patients want to be able to send and receive messages from their doctor, manage their prescriptions and access their records and results while on the go. Similarly, physicians live busy lives, and may need to respond to urgent business when working on their phones or tablets. You will want to check the mobile support of the software that you select, so you can ensure that both doctors and patients have the high level of access that they desire.