If your office is like most others, you already have an EHR. According to The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 86.9% of office-based physicians had an EHR in 2015.
According to Medical Economics, 43% of respondents have used 3 or more EHRs. Why?
The reasons for switching are many. Maybe the support is non-existent, maybe the software doesn’t have the features you need, or maybe your vendor was bought out. In today’s busy pediatric practice however, your time and how you spend it might be the biggest reason. In other words, you need an EHR that saves your time, not one that takes more of it.
If you’re a pediatrician and want to switch to a different EHR vendor, here are some pediatric-specific features that can help you be more efficient and get your time back:
Choose a Vendor Who Includes Pediatric Visit Templates and Guidelines
A vendor who offers hundreds or thousands of generic templates means little if they haven’t been created specifically for pediatrics. Using templates that don’t meet your needs wastes your time. Look for a vendor who has added the AAP Bright Futures™ guidelines to their EHR.
Can You Add or Edit Sibling Family Medication or History Simultaneously?
Pediatricians have unique needs that aren’t met by a non-pediatric EHR. The above question is a perfect example. Being able to update the history for all siblings in a family with a just a click or two can reduce errors and save you and your staff valuable time.
Chart in Multiple Sibling Charts at the Same Time
This may not sound important, until you consider the family with three children and only one appointment. The ability to create a visit and open two additional charts while still charting in the first can be a huge benefit. Being able to record those visits and then charge for them can make a dramatic difference in your bottom line.
Does the Vendor Include Specialty Growth Charts for Down Syndrome or the Latest Fenton Preterm Growth Charts?
Simply put, pediatricians using an EHR shouldn’t be required to do calculations on the fly to determine if their patient is at a healthy weight and height.
Determine If the Vendor’s Patient Portal Has Tools to Protect Adolescent Privacy
One of the biggest changes in healthcare has been for patients to review their medical information online. In pediatric practices this can be challenging as your older patients require more privacy. A vendor who is tuned in to the needs of pediatrics will make it easy to turn on privacy settings in order to hide chart information when these patients reach the age of consent, which varies from state to state.
Vaccine Inventory Management and Data Transmission to State-Based Immunization Registries
Pediatricians can spend $500,000 or more every year on vaccines and have $100,000 in vaccine inventory on any given day. You should have a robust inventory management with the ability to track private and VFC stock. Another essential feature is the ability to scan bar codes in order to facilitate tracking. Also important is the ability to submit vaccine information to state immunization registries, especially when required by law.
Using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ EHR will slow you down. When your efficiency suffers even a small amount, the negative impacts add up quickly, equating to fewer patient visits, and less revenue for your practice.