Comparing EHRs can be a frustrating process since no two products are likely to have the exact same combination of features for the price. Some are customizable, while others are modular. Some vendors produce systems designed for a particular specialization while others focus on general purpose software. Nevertheless there are some critical areas where an EHR has to excel if the practice wants to provide better quality of care.
1. Meaningful Use Certification
Some vendors like to advertise that they have x number of features or the latest innovative technology but none of that matters if the product does not have the 2014 certification for meaningful use. Practices looking to attest for stage II will need software that has passed the certification process, otherwise they will not be eligible to collect incentives. Since the meaningful use program emphasizes critical functionality such as Clinical Decision Support, alerts etc. it is more likely that the product will suit your needs.
2. Customer support
Many practices struggle to achieve attestation simply because the software provider has not obtained the necessary certification or has not updated their product. Periodic updates are even more difficult for vendors who still follow the old client/server model for software. If your vendor does not offer training, seminars and other materials, employees will have a tough time learning and adapting to the user interface.
Additionally, the quality and number of technical support options provided by the vendor will determine your satisfaction with the product. No matter how good the software is, it is likely that you will need help at some point or there will be bugs/errors in the system that have to be corrected. If the only option to contact the vendor is through email or chat, you may not be able to receive support in time.
3. Patient portal
A growing number of patients like to be involved in their own care and have a clear communication channel with their doctor, outside the clinic. A well-designed patient portal encourages two-way dialogue and allows patients to take an active part in their treatment. It also reduces the burden on doctors while offering a convenient means for patients to download or share their data. Some portals even allow patients to refill their prescriptions or review the results of diagnostic tests which can be very helpful.
These are by no means the only relevant metrics but they certainly affect the quality of care your practice can deliver to clients.
Dovetail is a mobile and cloud-based dental software. The Dovetail 1.5 EHR Module is a 2014 Certified Edition compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ACB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dovetail’s customer support team is dedicated to answering any queries or troubleshooting problems when they arise.