Seems like every time you turn a corner there’s a new EHR vendor that says they 'specialize' in Nephrology. Then you spend time on the phone with the sales rep, you schedule a demo, you start digging into the functionality that would be the most helpful in a nephrology EHR only to find out the time has been wasted and you’re basically looking at an EHR that is a better fit for a primary care physician.
It’s not that the vendor outright lied. It’s not even that the software they offer is bad (although we’ve all seen some bad software). The simple fact is that at the end of the day, a nephrology EHR should follow the workflow and automate the time-consuming processes required by this specialty or it simply isn’t worth the investment of time and money. Let’s look at some of the key functions that matter the most.
- Patient Timeline with Interactive Patient Summary: One of the biggest myths about electronic health records is that they make it easier to find the patient information that matters the most. This is not the case. Having to hunt for information is a waste of time whether you’re clicking a mouse or turning a physical page. A good nephrology EHR will have all of the relevant information for the nephrologist front and center as soon as the patient’s chart is open. You shouldn’t have to spend time scrolling around or clicking through pages of information to find what you need. The minute you open the chart you should have access to basic vitals, medications, test results and the patient’s most recent history so you can get right to the problem at hand.
- Dialysis Tracking: A nephrology office needs technology that is as unique and complex as the problems they treat. Being able to identify patients that have met the 4 visit threshold for dialysis is critical – not only to the health of the patient, but to the health of your practice. A nephrology EHR should offer an automated system that identifies patients and helps you group them into the visit number they have completed. This will also go a long way towards simplifying your billing process.
- Dialysis Rounding: Being able to quickly track dialysis rounds by location and ad a dialysis visit to a patient’s chart is invaluable. A good nephrology EHR will allow you to track the patient rounds list, visit level and act as a reminder to complete the required comprehensive visit monthly. This ensures they are getting the treatment they deserve and you are not missing out on billing opportunities.
- Integrated Labs: Of course the lab entry and ordering process varies from practice to practice but a good nephrology EHR will have a flexible solution to meet your individual needs. You should be able to enjoy the ease of use, baseline and results tracking along with graphing capability to easily identify trends.
Clearly there is a lot more that goes into a good nephrology EHR but these key features make life much easier if the vendor you are looking for offers them. Don’t settle for something that doesn’t truly improve your quality of life while helping improve the health outcomes of your patients.
If you would like to learn more about Nephrology EHR, visit NephroChoice, the Nephrology EHR by iSalus Healthcare.