Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software has been rapidly gaining popularity in recent years. These systems are finding application among clinics of various scales as well as individual practices. EMR systems can be of great help in appointment management, invoicing, and other tasks.
The right software can increase productivity and streamline the functioning of the clinic. You can choose from various types of EMR systems while looking for a suitable one. It is necessary to understand the differences between various EMR systems so that you can make the right choice.
Types of EMR systems based on software models
Various software vendors build EMR systems based on different software models. This directly affects how exactly the system would work and how the users would access it. The most popular EMR models are:
1. Cloud-based EMR
One of the most sophisticated EMR models, a cloud-based service integrates the key IT features and offers comprehensive solutions. These systems combine network, knowledge, and work to create robust cloud software to cater to the needs of healthcare organizations. Everyone using the system would be able to be more productive.
Cloud EMR is likely the best option as the vendor would take up behind-the-scenes tasks to improve the experience for the clients constantly. You could try CalystaPro today to get an idea of how these systems work.
This is the oldest form of EMR systems, where the clinics using it had to install the software on their servers or computers. Unlike cloud EMR systems, the companies are almost completely in control of the software once they purchase it. This means that there would not be any reason to continue a relationship with the vendor.
However, these systems come with expensive upfront costs. Besides purchasing the software, a clinic would also have to set up the infrastructure necessary to run it.
3. Application Service Provider
These EMR systems are a rather sophisticated version of the traditional software. In this case, the app remains stored in the vendor’s server rather than the clients’. ASPs are a viable option for smaller practices that cannot afford to set up the infrastructure necessary to run the EMR on their server.
While it may seem similar to cloud EMR, the key difference lies in the fact that an ASP works more like a private cloud while a true cloud-based EMR would have the support of a much larger network. This EMR model helps to lower the upfront costs, but the operating costs may be expensive.
4. Software as a Service (SaaS)
These systems remain stored in the cloud and the vendor constantly updates the software. The clients would be able to access and use a single instance of the software, which would be the latest version. As the vendor is responsible for all the maintenance and updates, the clients need not engage in any technical work.
SaaS systems are highly scalable and would even support a nationwide database. Contrary to one-time downloadable software, clients have to pay for SaaS in the form of monthly charges rather than a significant upfront cost. However, the vendor does not carry out any behind-the-scenes work for the clients or participate in any administrative work.
Functions of EMR systems
Different EMR systems may perform different functions at a clinic. While some practices deploy multiple EMR systems for different departments, others use comprehensive systems that integrate various functions together. Some of the key functions of EMR systems based are:
● Appointment management
The EMR system would keep track of all the appointments and help doctors build their schedules accordingly. Some of the sophisticated EMR software solutions also allow patients to book their appointments online.
● Billing and invoicing
EMR systems that offer billing and invoicing features can greatly reduce the workload. These systems generate the invoices automatically, which also means that the chance of error is almost none.
● Online payments
Alongside billing, EMR systems may also allow online transactions. Thus, the patients would be able to make touchless payments directly through an app.
The most sophisticated EMR solutions integrate clinic management with telemedicine infrastructure. These systems provide for audio-visual interactions through video calls.
● Quick reporting and documentation
In certain medical practices such as psychiatry, constant reporting and documentation of various information are crucial. EMR systems allow professionals to quickly fill up custom templates with the necessary information.
● Backup and storage
Data storage is one of the key purposes of an EMR system. However, the best EMR solutions also come with secure backup features. This implies that even if something goes wrong, the users can retrieve important information from the backups.
● Digital consents
Collecting medical consents is no hassle for doctors or clinics that use EMR systems. One can quickly make custom consent forms, have them signed and store them digitally. This helps to hasten up the whole process.
The most productive EMR systems in the market combine and integrate all these functions to provide a holistic solution. The right one can significantly help in paving a clinic’s path to success.