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What to consider when selecting your EMR

Doctors looking at a tablet

Should medical practices adopt an electronic medical record (EMR) system? That’s no longer a question. The question is how to select an EMR system.

An EMR solution can be a powerful tool for healthcare professionals. Improved efficacy, privacy, and security are just a few of the benefits. As you assess your options and understand your organization’s specific needs, here are five considerations to help inform your decision.

1. A trusted vendor that has staying power

You’ll want to partner with a reputable, well-established vendor who has a vested interest and extensive experience in the industry — one that takes healthcare regulations and compliance seriously. Collaborating with a vendor like this is a great way to reduce your risk and ensure continuity during times of economic instability.

Customer service is another critical factor. You’ll want a vendor that’s invested in your organization and willing to offer the tools, training, and troubleshooting your team needs.

2. Ease of use and a tool that meets you where you are

When introducing new technology at your practice, time is of the essence. Consider how your EMR will integrate within your current workflows. Can it connect to the tools and platforms you already have in place?

Ensuring a smooth onboarding or migration experience is important to keep in mind. Here are some worthwhile considerations when deciding on an EMR system:

  • Take your EMR on-the-go: As a healthcare professional, you’re not necessarily sitting at a computer while helping your patients. A cloud EMR system should make it easy for team members to access what they need, when they need it, where they need it.
  • Explore available demos before purchasing: Most vendors will offer demos or trials to prospective customers, as well as online learning resources and webinars. This can give you a good idea of each platform’s ease of use.

3. Security and compliance that protects patient confidentiality

Keeping patient data safe is a critical component to consider when selecting an EMR system. Some healthcare organizations may hesitate to store their sensitive data with a third-party cloud service provider. However, on-premises environments can increase your business risk.

When selecting an EMR solution, be sure to prioritize data security – cloud-based software is a good option for protection against emerging security threats because it stays current on ever-changing regulatory and EMR compliance requirements.

4. Customization and integrations that can scale

As your practice grows, you’ll need an EMR solution that can evolve with your practice to ensure you’re delivering consistent and high-quality patient care. Here are two questions worth asking about the sophistication of the EMR system you’re considering:

Will an EMR solution offer consistent patient care? An EMR system will need to deliver a consistent portal experience to patients. When searching for the right solution, be sure to consider the scalability of areas like eBooking, automated reminders, secure messaging, video visits, and tools like patient intake assessments. Are these options included? Or, are they available for an extra cost?

Is the EMR system actively helping improve processes and productivity? With intelligent analytics and high-quality data, the best systems provide real-time reporting, on everything from no-show reports to diabetic panels. This helps you to streamline and optimize your workflows.

5. Patient-facing capabilities that provide more convenient care

The purpose of an EMR solution is to provide better quality and continuity of care, so it’s worth finding a solution that tangibly makes life easier for patients themselves.

Some best-in-class solutions can integrate with patient portals to make eBooking, intake assessments, secure messaging, virtual visits, and appointment follow-up more intuitive for users. The EMR system should also be able to automate these workflows so you and your staff can cut down on tedious administrative tasks, along with auto-populating information into the patient record.

The right EMR can empower modern medical practice

There are many factors to consider when choosing an EMR solution, from the cost of EMR implementation to the quality of customer service. Focus on pinpointing what matters most to your organization, the satisfaction of your team members, and the health outcomes of the communities you serve.

At TELUS Health, our Collaborative Health Record (CHR) is redefining the possibilities for an EMR platform by combining leading-edge technology with human-centred experience design to create a solution that makes care more accessible for everyone.