Why You Need A Custom Cloud EMR Or EHR Software

Regardless of the type of business you run, picking the perfect EMR or EHR software can be an overwhelming task. The unenviable task of selecting software for a specialty medical practice can be even more daunting.

Do you build a custom EHR with the help of a custom healthcare software development company or settle for off-the-shelf one-size-fits-all health care software?

Your practice will likely invest a great deal of money and time in learning to use the software and integrating it into all aspects of your daily patient dealings. If, after all of this, your EMR systems doesn’t meet the needs of your specialty practice, you’ll ultimately find yourself back at square one.

The obvious solution is to make certain the software you choose for your practice is cloud-based and customized to fit the needs of your specific practice.

Specialty Practices Have Special Needs

Specialty practices have special needs and meeting these requirements is often difficult with an off-the-shelf product. When a specialty practice utilizes a cloud-based, customized EHR systems, physician time spent navigating medical and health records may decrease by as much as one-third.

Customizing your cloud-based EMR or EHR system can include anything from custom history questionnaires to specialty-based physical exam templates. When choosing the EMR or EHR system for your practice, you’ll need to be certain the software can handle the size of your practice, that the cloud-based architecture of the system is compatible with your internet service and that it meets the certification standards of your practice specialty.

Unique Features for Specific Practices

Once you’ve determined a system is adequate for the basic needs of your practice, it’s time to look at unique features that differ between specific practice areas.

Oncology

Commonly required EMR or EHR features for an oncology practice include

  • Management and automation of chemotherapy and radiation treatments
  • ICD/CPT codes specifically utilized by oncology
  • Compatibility with myriad diagnostic image formats, such as ultrasound, CT, MRI and PET scans
  • Cancer registry

The software should include specific pre-designed templates tailored to oncology-specific diagnoses, such as melanoma, leukemia, lymphoma, sarcoma and skin cancer.

Cardiology

The features commonly needed in an EMR/EHR for a cardiology practice include

  • Cardiology-specific ICD/CPT codes
  • Must integrate seamlessly with ECG/EKG, Holter, ECHO and X-ray/MRI equipment
  • Integration with cardiac catheterization equipment
  • Maintain high quality video procedure documentation
  • Capable of analyzing pacemaker data
  • Maintain patient anticoagulant therapy flowsheets
  • Capable of interfacing with in-house and independent labs

The software should include specific pre-designed templates tailored to specific procedures and documentation requirements for a cardiology practice, such as pacemaker visits, cardiology SOAP notes, exercise stress tests, and cardiac ultrasound and cardiac cath procedure.

Nephrology

Any EHR software utilized by a nephrology practice needs to include

  • Nephrology-specific ICD/CPT codes
  • Must include ability to monitor dialysis by interfacing with dialysis equipment
  • Interface with in-house and independent labs
  • Maintain referral tracking

Nephrology-specific EMR or EHR software should include pre-designed templates tailored to common nephrology diagnoses, such as kidney stones, nephroptosis, chronic renal failure, uremia, glycinuria and renal disease.

Internal Medicine

Physicians and other practitioners in internal medicine specialty practices often must deal with patients suffering under multiple, disparate conditions. The EMR/EHR software for this type of practice must be able to chart these multiple conditions simultaneously. Specific features should include

  • Integration with diagnostic equipment such as EKG and X-ray.
  • Have ability to evaluate multiple complaints and conditions
  • Automation of patient correspondence, such as access to a patient portal
  • ICD/CPT codes for internal medicine

Pre-designed templates for internal medicine practices should include annual wellness, physical or gynaecological exams. It should also provide templates for diabetes, migraines, chest pain and other cardiovascular diagnoses.

Family Practice

EMR/EHR features specific to family practice should include

  • ICD/CPT codes specifically for family practice
  • Vaccination tracking
  • Automation of patient correspondence, such as access to a patient portal
  • Compatibility with X-ray, EKG and other diagnostic equipment
  • Evaluation of multiple complaints and conditions

The cloud-based EHR software for a family practice should include pre-designed templates for annual physical exams, growth charts, state-mandated forms, patient education and a variety of medical complaints across body systems.

Those Pesky Details

The general attitude toward software in the business world of the 1970s, regardless of the type of business, was “why build your own when you can buy it pre-made?” That was good advice for taking care of cars but not so great when considering health care applications at use in physician offices and hospitals.

Software used in a medical setting must meet the unique needs of the clientele it serves. Scheduling open-heart surgery entails a bit more logistical coordination than scheduling an oil change for the car.

Most off-the-shelf software options will fit many of the needs of physician offices, medical labs, assisted living and long-term care facilities, hospices and hospitals. But few will meet all the needs, and when it comes to practicing comprehensive health care in the 21st century, the continuity and competency of care lies in dotting all the “i’s” and crossing all the “t’s” of the details.

Medical Records Are Not Created Equally

We’ve all lived the changes to the U.S. health care system over the past 10 years. The need for electronically-based medical health records that are ambulatory – meaning the records can be easily shared from one health care provider or facility to another – is near universal in 2018.

It is almost impossible to find an off-the-shelf EHR or EMR software system that meets all the needs of a specialty practice and doesn’t have a plethora of features your office doesn’t need. A customized cloud-based system ensures your employees aren’t being forced to wade through a swamp of unnecessary program features.

Rahul Varshneya
 

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development consulting firm for fast-growing businesses, providing on-demand engineering talent and MVP development services.

Do you want to build an

impactful app?

Show me how!

I'm good for now!