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Running a medical practice is complicated. There are patients to see, medical journals to keep up with and the administrative side of the practice to care of. Add to that the installation and running of an EMR system across the board and you have a recipe for stress.
Neurology is a stressful specialty as it is without having the added stress of finding the right EMR system. In the early days of Meaningful Use only a basic EMR system was available in the market which wasn’t suitable for all medical practices. Neurology is heavily dependent on various imaging tests and an electronic medical reord system geared towards neurology should be able to integrate and sync all the test results to be effective as a time saving tool.
Everything else being the same, there are some features that are unique to EHR software targeted especially for neurology specialties.
Specific Templates – EMR software made especially for neurology will have inbuilt templates for symptoms and diagnosis that specialists come across on a daily basis. This takes away from the monotony of the task and makes things simpler. Neurology specific templates are:
ICD/CPT Specific 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 neurology. 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.
Integrated With Electronic Equipment – EEG, EMG and ENG data is essential for any neurology practice, it is imperative that the EMR system be synced with the electronic system to get data immediately.
Imaging Integration – CT, MRI and PET scans are used in neurology practices daily. They form the bulk of patient reports and need to be constantly on hand. EMR software for neurology is integrated with imaging machines so the scans are received almost immediately and stored with patient history.
Drug Dosage Calculator – Too much or too little of any pharmaceutical drug can be the reason for a patient’s poor or deteriorating health. To keep track of dosage and its effects the EMR software comes with a drug dosage calculator, the results of which go straight to the pharmacy for the patient to pick up.
Surgery – Because surgery is part of the neurology specialty the EMR software should have a pre and post-op feature to mark changes as well as development for a seamless procedure.
Now that you’ve narrowed down all the vendors that provide neurology EMR 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 neurology 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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