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7 Must-Have Urgent Care EMR Software Features

7 Must-Have Urgent Care EMR Software Features, 4. Patient-focused functionality, An urgent care EMR should have functionality to improve patient satisfaction, and work hand in hand with patient engagement solutions. If you haven’t thought about electronic/online registration and wait time transparency, you should. With these patient-centric tools, patients can complete registration before they arrive at the clinic. Then at the clinic, include a simple check-in kiosk and queue display in the lobby that shows the order of patients. Add to this, text-based appointment reminders, notifications about wait time, and secure notifications regarding the availability of lab results, and you not only engage your patients, you build relationships.

Medical record system show on tablet in someone hand with blue background.

Software that offers patients the ability to pay online, preauthorize credit card/debit card payments, or setup payment plans can not only improve the patient experience but also decrease collection time. Urgent cares should look for a PM that includes functionality for pre-authorization of payments. Patients are used to using their credit cards to for subscriptions services, to hold rental cars, and to pay in advance for ongoing services. While it’s a relatively new concept in healthcare, more urgent care facilities are adopting the practice and making it a part of their process. Those who have implemented this into their practice have reported faster collections, reduced delinquent patient accounts, and improved patient satisfaction. Collecting credit card information at registration and storing it to the patient’s account can help make life easier for the patient, and for your billing staff.

Even in an urgent care environment where patients typically follow up with their primary care physician, communication should continue after the visit. Gauge patient satisfaction and encourage positive online reviews with a simple text-based, post-visit patient survey. One simple question about quality of service can send up a flag when a patient is dissatisfied and allow your staff to follow up with timely service recovery. This not only lets a patient know you care but discourages negative online reviews or word of mouth. Learn more about follow-up communication best practices and how to get more reviews >> Another point of contact might be a web-based patient portal, which allows patients to login via the internet and view private messages, lab reports, appointment details, or other documents from their doctor — all in a secure environment.

5. Dedicated focus

A chiropractor office’s workflow is different than a pediatric clinic’s. Physical therapy is different than cardiology, and your urgent care is no exception. Choose an EMR built with your service line(s) in mind. With software designed to work with your typical patient scenarios, there’s no need to modify an EMR to fit your clinic’s workflow — saving you time and frustration. A one-size-fits-all EMR doesn’t really fit urgent care. Larger EMR vendors often focus on servicing hospitals and general practice clients — and don’t make EMRs to fit specialized medicine — nor are they focused on speed of documentation.

6. Partnership

While partnership is not actually a feature, it’s part of this list because it’s essential to your successful urgent care operation. A number of EMR vendors can provide workable software, but not all of them will understand the on-demand healthcare business, share your goals, or provide added support, insight, and flexibility to work with you toward your success. The EMR/PM vendor you choose should listen to your needs and deliver software and services that meets them. They should also understand your revenue cycle management process and provide support and guidance to be sure you’re doing everything you can on your side to keep your clinic in good financial shape.

As the industry evolves, many urgent cares are evolving with it, offering a variety of additional ancillary services like OccMed or limited primary care. As you consider different EMR vendors, think about what they offer in addition to software and if they have the flexibility to ensure your EMR works the way you do.

And don’t limit your thinking to what you need now but include your aspirations for the future of your business. Can your partner make your growth as painless as possible and adapt as you adapt? Remember, partnership doesn’t end with EMR implementation. It’s only the beginning of a relationship that grows with time and benefits both parties.

7. Powerful reporting

Urgent care is increasingly competitive. Making smart business decisions is so much easier when you have access to relevant, actionable data — ideally, this is readily available from your EMR/PM partner.

In today’s healthcare environment, we are inundated with data, beginning with the demographic information we collect from patients during registration. We collect more data at every step of the process including the most common complaints, the types of protocols we follow, and time spent per encounter. When pulled together, this data gives us power.

Your EMR should allow you to access and use this essential data. It should provide data in a way that makes sense for your business to help you react quickly, identify trends, and drill down to get specific actionable data that is relevant to your clinic.

With the right reporting tools, you have access to key performance indicators tied to visit volume, door-to-door times, revenue, and collections, and evaluate where you excel or fall behind.

Choosing the best urgent care EMR for your clinic

It can be a daunting task to choose the right EMR/PM software solution for your urgent care — especially with so many to choose from. The successful operation of your urgent care is hindered or helped by your EMR partner. If you’re switching from your current EMR, you know the limitations some EMRs have. Take your time and test each option against the features you need. The perfect software, including a perfect EMR, doesn’t exist. But there is a platform that will work best for your clinic’s situation.

A software review committee, composed of users and staff with a variety of perspectives, can help your clinic choose the right option. Most importantly, don’t settle for a solution without thinking about future growth. Choose an agile, forward-thinking partner that stays ahead of the trends and is positioned to grow and change with the industry. A good business partner will not only help your urgent care run smoothly but will also be committed to the success of your entire business. see more

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