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Gastroenterology is a medical specialization focused on the digestive system and its accompanying functions, which include the organs from the mouth to the anus. Due to the multiple organs and functions on review, a gastroenterologist needs tools specific to their specialization to make every day functioning smooth, as well as efficient.
There are countless electronic medical record software in the market but only a few that offer specialization specific software. Each vendor seems to offer a lot but doctors are never sure whether it’s a marketing gimmick or are they actually that good. We have a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a vendor for gastroenterology.
Everything else being the same, there are some features that are unique to EHR software targeted especially for gastroenterology specialties.
Specific Templates – Customized templates are always an advantage because it makes charting, as well as patient visits run smoother and more organized. Software made especially for gastroenterology will have the following in-built templates:
ICD/CPT Codes - As the CDC updates their codes and lists for new diseases and their classifications, it only makes sense that the EMR system is familiar with and constantly updates with codes specific to gastroenterology. This also makes billing easier and quicker, because selecting the code from a list and transferring it immediately to the billing office takes only a few seconds.
Imaging Integration – Gastroenterology relies heavily on imaging tests such as endoscopy and colonoscopy images. Any EMR specific to gastroenterology must be integrated with these machines so test results can immediately be downloaded on hand held devices and automatically stored in patient files.
Disease Registers – The EMR software should have in-built to alert doctors in case there are certain symptoms that warm of worsening conditions, or drugs and allergies that shouldn’t be missed.
Now that you’ve narrowed down all the vendors that provide gastroenterology specific electronic health record software you need to narrow the selection down to those that fill your requirements as a specialty as well as a medical practice.
Size – Some vendors cater better to large practices while some are best suited to smaller ones. EMR systems are designed keeping a certain number of users, scalability and support required in mind. When selecting a vendor keep in mind the size of your practice.
System Design – The choice, essentially, is between installation of the software in your on-site computer server, or cloud-based software that is available anywhere via Internet. Which system a practice goes for depends on their personal choice and comfort level. Some doctors feel more comfortable having the system on their computer server because they feel this is more compliant with HIPAA requirements, while others need to have access to their database wherever they are. You’ll need to shortlist vendors who fulfill your needs in this department.
Certification – It makes sense to make sure the software you’re going to purchase is certified. For gastroenterology the certification you should be looking out for is by the ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (“ONC-ATCB”). They are responsible for making sure your vendor meets Meaningful Use objectives and is HIPAA compliant.
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