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Primarily concerned with the disorder and diseases of the eye, ophthalmologists have many things they need to keep track of. There’s individual patient cases, surgeries to be scheduled, there’s prescription slips to fill out and billing to be on top of not to mention the many test results to sort and organize in patient files and the administrative tasks as well.
EMR software is created to streamline all these task on one system making it less stressful for doctors to run their practices. There are even vendors who provide ophthalmology specific electronic medical record software with special features that aren’t available in basic software.
Our buyers guide aims to help you choose a vendor.
Everything else being the same, there are some features that are unique to EHR software targeted especially for ophthalmology specialties.
Specific Templates – Specialty EMR software has SOAP notes designed for their specific specialty. These templates make it easier to take down notes with a click of a button and since these are terms that ophthalmologists deal with every day they are a handy tool for efficient patient consultations:
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 ophthalmology. 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.
Integration With Machinery – Ophthalmology relies heavily on vision testing devices such as keratometers, autorefractors, and visual field machines to name a few. EMR software are not only integrated with these machines for a smoother workflow but also help manage the results.
Diagrams and Graphs – Templates are good but for extra notes EMR software provide graphs for charting and are compatible with digital pen technology to make notes on handheld devices. These notes are stored within patient files for faster recovery.
Faster Prescriptions – Because all functions of the practice are streamlined the prescriptions are automatically sent to the pharmacy for pick up. These help track prescriptions, as well as sale of contact lenses and eyeglasses for emergency prescription in case of loss.
Now that you’ve narrowed down all the vendors that provide ophthalmology specific EHR 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 ophthalmology 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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