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Most important EHR features for DPC doctors


Not all electronic health record (EHR) systems fit all providers’ needs. Sometimes the EHR needs to be customized for the specific type of independent practice. That is certainly the case with the direct primary care (DPC) doctor, who needs a different set of data and a different approach to managing patient records. Some of the most important EHR features for DPC doctors focus on membership, rather than on coding and billing.

So which EHR features do DPC doctors use most? Dr. Jonathan Bushman, profiled in a recent issue of Healthcare IT News, knew for a fact that he needed a different type of EHR solution when he transitioned to a DPC practice. One of the main attractions of the DPC model is the ability to spend more time with patients, and he needed an EHR system that would support that.

Dr. Bushman turned to Elation Health for an EHR that provided the features he needed that were specific to his work as a direct primary doctor. As the article reports, he “knew he wanted an EHR that was built to support the clinical care he provides to patients, not coding and billing. He also wanted an EHR that was easy to use and felt natural with his primary care workflow.”

The EHR features that DPC providers use most involve managing membership, instead of inputting codes and billing insurance companies. Rather than collecting reimbursements from third party payers, DPC providers need an EHR that will enable them to collect membership fees and set up recurring patient memberships.

Elation Health has the all-in-one EHR and membership management solution your DPC practice needs. Learn more here.

Communication is also a major feature that the direct primary care doctor needs, so patients have easy, secure access to messaging capabilities. Another important aspect of the DPC practice model is the patient’s ability to contact the provider in between visits and after hours. Patients need to connect with your practice to schedule appointments, participate in telehealth sessions, and pay their membership fees.

Seamless access and interoperability with other systems are also key for a DPC provider. As Dr. Bushman related in the article, the EHR for a DPC practice “should support the needs of other members of your primary care team and allow for delegation of tasks and responsibilities across the care team. Information should be easy to file and retrieve, and health information sharing should be a key feature.”Being able to extrapolate important data is also an important EHR feature for a DPC provider. Even though the DPC practice will not be submitting data for programs such as MIPS, the data helps the provider manage the patient population with alerts at appropriate times. As he explains, “when I’m seeing many patients within an organization, I can export specific data about patients tagged by organization in a new task list and know within seconds who from this group was ‘last seen’ in the past six months, which is of huge value for direct pay and direct consulting.