According to figures released by the National Center for Health Statistics — a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — earlier this year, approximately 72 percent of physicians implemented "some form" of EHR system in 2012. As more chiropractors transition to EHRs to streamline their workflow and benefit from government incentive programs, all too many are entering the marketplace with relatively little knowledge of the variance in chiropractic EHR software. Not all EHR systems are created equal, after all, as one physician recently shared in a piece for EHR Intelligence.
"I can attest to the cost of selecting the wrong EHR," wrote Dr. Jay Alexander. "When my practice selected our first EHR in 2004, our intent was to be an early adopter — to be the first on our particular block to reap the benefits of electronic health records."
However, the shift toward adoption proved cumbersome and ineffective for Dr. Alexander and his practice. He explained that two years on, only three of the medical practitioners on his team could navigate the EHR system they had in place.
Learning from past mistakes
Based on this initial experience, Dr. Alexander compiled the following essential traits that physicians should seek out when determining the best chiropractic EHR software:
- Open communication: Does your chiropractic EHR system provider encourage client feedback? Though the basic needs of most chiropractic practices may be similar, there must be room for you to negotiate with your provider to better tailor your software to the unique specifications you require.
- Provider responsiveness: Even the most intuitive systems will require an adjustment period. You need to know that any difficulties you have during the implementation process will be dealt with quickly and comprehensively.
- Technical adaptability: Is the chiropractic EHR software designed to evolve? If not, you may find yourself falling behind when the next wave of meaningful use requirements take effect. Technology is constantly changing, so don't invest in software that is only equipped for the short term.
Finding the right chiropractic EHR software provider
Whether you are looking to replace your current EHR system, or are venturing into the world of electronic record-keeping for the first time, your chiropractic practice can benefit substantially by focusing in on these key characteristics. Note that the system provider itself plays as crucial a role in a successful implementation as the chiropractic software. Transitioning to EHR can be an arduous process, even for the most tech-savvy physicians, so it is in your best interest to seek out a supplier that provides training and ongoing support — and is ultimately invested in your success.