Electronic health records (EHRs) can ensure your patients’ medical information is accessible, accurate, and secure. The ability to input data into a patient’s EHR can save your practice from potential duplication and errors, as well as the delay created in using paper records and referrals. The question for many primary care physicians, though, is which EHR solution is best for the practice based on your specific needs.
All EHRs must offer conform to security requirements as mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Patient data must be protected and accessible only by those providers who have the patient’s express permission. In addition to HIPAA regulations, electronic data is protected under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. HITECH was signed into law in 2009, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.
Beyond the legal requirements, EHR solutions differ in terms of features, training, and customer support. One consideration for your primary care practice is whether you prefer to have EHRs housed on an internal service or on the cloud. Cloud-based EHR systems solve many of the issues that practices may be worried about when choosing to adopt an EHR system. In server-based EHR systems, thousands of dollars are often spent in order to install and implement a server, hardware, and software. Additionally, regular maintenance and management from a local IT department is needed. Cloud-based EHR systems are already established by the EHR provider, meaning the expense of money and time diminishes dramatically.
To comply with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements, you may need a certified EHR. As CMS states, “CEHRT gives assurance … that an EHR system or module offers the necessary technological capability, functionality, and security to help them meet the meaningful use criteria. Certification also helps health care providers and patients be confident that the electronic health IT products and systems they use are secure, can maintain data confidentially, and can work with other systems to share information.”
A vendor’s ability and willingness to assist with implementation and training and then provide customer support when you need it are also key factors to review when searching for the best EHR for your primary care practice. At Elation Health, we know that your time is valuable. That’s why we designed our clinical first, cloud-based EHR to take less than an hour to learn. We’ll even migrate your previous patient data across for free. In addition, with Elation’s extraordinary 24/7 support, you’ll get help from our team of dedicated user success specialists within 30 minutes or less – 365 days a year.