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Compare the Top Rated EMR Software Companies - 2021 Best & Most Popular EMR Software Solutions

Commonly referred to as EMR, electronic medical records software helps medical facilities manage and organize patient information. Capabilities vary according to software company and features chosen, but at a minimum typically include the ability to create, organize, and store patient records. Additional features may include a patient portal, charting, and electronic prescriptions.

Sometimes, the terms EMR and EHR (electronic health records) are used interchangeably. This isn't strictly correct. EHR software works across multiple organizations whereas EMR software is designed to work with a single organization.

What Is EMR Software?

EMR software helps streamline your practice and improve patient care. In essence, it replaces paper charts to track each patient's medical history. EMR makes it easy to manage a patient's care, such as scheduling yearly visits and preventive screenings as they come due, tracking vitals and other patient data over time, and streamlining practice management. Your software may also include reporting functions.

The information contained in electronic medical records remains secure within your practice but cannot be shared with pharmacies, labs, or other practices. If one of your goals is the secure electronic transfer of patient data and medical history, you want to look at EHR software instead.

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What Features Does EMR Software Offer?

Features vary according to the provider you choose. In addition, you choose how robust you want your software to be. The best systems make it easy to increase patient involvement via online portals and help manage workflow with scheduling and back office features.

  • Back office: Look for a system with customizable back office features, such as charting and workflow templates for improved efficiency. If your team uses mobile hardware, such as tablets or iPads, you want a system that includes a mobile app that allows staff to update charts on their mobile devices.
  • Charting: At its core, EMR software is an electronic patient chart and includes all relevant health information and medical history. The system should include anything normally found in a paper chart, including codes, medications, diagnoses, treatments, and lab results.
  • Patient engagement: One of the keys to improved patient care is encouraging patients to take a more proactive role in their healthcare. A patient portal allows them to check test results, schedule appointments, and access any other features you include in the portal.
  • Reporting: When you want to quickly determine how many patients you treated for the flu last year, you want EMR software that includes a searchable database and reporting functions.
  • Software integration: The ideal system integrates with other softwares used by the practice and meets all regulatory guidelines. If it is an EHR system, it must integrate with the systems commonly used by other providers, pharmacies, labs, etc. Some solutions even coordinate billing.

The Top-Rated EMR Software Brands

Following are the 14 top-rated EMR brands:

  • AdvancedMD: Designed for independent practices, this integrated system's features help automate workflow and include business intelligence reports, electronic health records, financial analyses, patient engagement, practice management, and rooming.
  • Allscripts: This is an EHR software designed for smaller and mid-sized practices looking to streamline and monitor workflow and improve patient care. The system features an intuitive layout for faster, more effective use.
  • Athena: Features of this cloud-based system include EHR, care coordination, patient engagement, population health management, medical billing, point-of-care apps, and revenue cycle management.
  • Cerner: Designed for ambulatory facilities and hospitals, PowerChart is an EMR hybrid used to create both on-premise and multi-entity records. Features include templates designed for multiple specialties.
  • eClinicalWorks: This popular brand offers a zero-cost startup that includes on-site training to ensure your staff takes full advantage of the software's features and capabilities. The company also converts data from a previous system into your new system. This web-based program meets industry standards and regulations and features an intuitive, user-friendly interface.
  • Epic: With nearly 40 years in the field, this is one of the oldest healthcare IT brands. Their software systems are designed for medium to large practices as well as hospitals and educational facilities. They offer user-friendly systems with quick implementation.
  • Greenway: This brand offers two main platforms. Their ambulatory program includes administrative, clinical, and financial applications. They also offer systems designed for specialties, including cardiology, neurology, and pediatrics, available in both web-based and self-hosted systems.
  • Kareo: This is a web-based EHR system designed for smaller practices and medical billing organizations. Features including scheduling, account management, insurance confirmation, custom reporting, and collections.
  • McKesson: This EHR system is designed for oncology practices and includes features such as chemotherapy treatment management.
  • MediTouch: This web-based EMR system allows full customization with integrated practice management and a portal that allows patients to view labs, schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and message providers all while remaining HIPAA-compliant.
  • NextGen: This company provides EHR software as well as practice management systems designed to ensure ambulatory practices meet value-based healthcare and regulatory requirements.
  • Office Ally: This company's EHR solutions are HIPAA-compliant and suitable for all medical specialties.
  • Practice Fusion: If you like "try before you buy" options and don't mind static, on-screen ads, this is your brand. Free to small and medium practices, you may also choose the premium, paid version for an ad-free experience.
  • Praxis: This is an EHR software available in both cloud and hosted varieties. The system uses artificial intelligence (AI) instead of templates, adapting to the user's needs. The more you use an AI system, the faster and smarter it gets.

Why Do I Need EMR Software?

Many practices have moved to EMR instead of paper charting to not only take advantage of its increased efficiency but to also ensure they're compliant with various regulations and are eligible for meaningful use incentives. The initial investment can be costly, but government incentives help defray some of those costs.

In addition, EMR implementation streamlines operations, freeing up staff and improving patient care. And, if you use EHR, it's never been easier to manage multiple practices, collaborate with specialists, or share patient records. Finally, EMR software helps ensure your practice remains HIPAA-compliant.

Author: Angela Escobar

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