Making the switch from paper records to an electronic health record is no small investment, time-wise or financially. When implemented properly, electronic records are supposed to bring convenience, ease and overall improvement to the quality of patient care. In choosing an EHR, you want to ensure you are making an investment that will benefit your practice, not one that will potentially hinder productivity.
There is no question that the convenience of a specialty-specific EHR is going to mean a lot less headache. While general EHRs are certainly capable of meeting the needs of a specialist in a specific field, they also contain an abundance of unnecessary information unrelated to that given field, according to EHR Intelligence. Being forced to complete screens not pertaining to your field and sifting through irrelevant content only results in precious lost time. It has often been scrutinized that too much of the data within the general systems is rigorously structured. In most cases, specialists do not require the majority of clinical documentation in general EHRs.
Even multi specialty EHRs often require customization and specific content and template development. With the evolution of specialty EHRs, specialty-specific practices no longer need to alter the software to meet their needs – it is already done for them. Instead of wasting time working on setup, those valuable minutes and hours can go toward getting comfortable with a system that is already specified to your field.
Workflow and charting methods used by practices in the same field are generally quite similar. Specialty-specific EHRs are equipped with the forms and templates used most in the field, as well as the capability to make faster, more accurate diagnoses, according to Electronic Medical Records & Electronic Health Records Software, Inc. They are also designed to automatically open factors based on the field-specific diagnosis selected. By eliminating the process of having to select these categories manually, valuable time is saved. This leaves room to document notes during the actual visit time with patients as opposed to finishing them up at the end of the day.
Another incentive for investing in a specialty-specific EHR is for the training opportunities that come along with it. The advantage of working with providers of specialty EHRs, according to EMR-EHRs, is that they value the importance of enhancing and improving their software. These vendors are more likely to participate in conferences and events held by the various field-specific organizations. In turn, this gives practices, no matter how large or small, a chance for continued training and education.
According to EHR Intelligence, when all is said and done, the end goal is for the patient's most vital information to flow easily from provider to provider without a hitch. And that is what specialty-specific EHRs are designed to do.