Chiropractors are frequently leaders in implementing electronic records into their practices. From patient history and demographic data to x-rays and CT scan images, the accuracy and reliability of these data systems are paramount for delivering high quality chiropractic care. The sophisticated technology is undermined, however, if each piece of the chiropractor’s arsenal isn’t integrated into a comprehensive Electronic Medical Records ( EMR ) system.
CHIROPRACTIC SPECIFIC EMR’S
The Electronic Medical Record System you choose needs to be able to easily integrate into your office’s workflow. For example, if you do physical exams, x-rays, and other tests in different rooms, you need your EMR to automatically migrate all of the patient’s data so that it is accessible from any computer workstation. The days of manually scanning, uploading, and transferring patient data are over. Therefore, we will begin here with the assumption that all patient records will be easily accessible from one user interface, not multiple software programs for different types of records.
VERIFY EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE COMPATIBILITY
You may be one of the many chiropractors that see patients that have had imaging from other specialists or are referred by a primary care physician. Of course, they may have had imaging at a facility that uses different machines and software than what you have in your office. Choosing an EMR that will interface with all of the technologies on the market is difficult at best and impossible at worst. For example, if you use the Chiropractic Digital DR Summit DXR to perform x-rays in your clinic, but a patient brings you a CD-ROM from an imaging center that uses MediaTech USA’s DDR MAK 2000, you may find that your Life Systems ChiroPad EMR software won’t let you view the images. You need to make sure that the EMR you choose to grow your practice will be compatible with what you will reasonably encounter in this booming technology age.
BUILDING TRUST IN YOUR EMR SYSTEM
The responsibility to wisely choose an EMR does not end with equipment compatibility. You want to make sure that the EMR you choose will make your life easier, not harder. The daily operations of your chiropractic office should not have to adapt to accommodate a rigid, antiquated EMR. It should be the other way around.
Patient records that have positive findings should automatically be flagged for you’re your attention and your EMR should seek to minimize human error by creating a network of checks and balances. For example, if a patient missed their last appointment and you wanted them to repeat x-rays in the interim, your EMR should trigger a combination of audible and visual notifications so that you don’t begin to manipulate them against your prior treatment plan. You should have all the facts before laying hands on your patients, even those you’ve known for a long time. You can do this more safely and consistently by implementing an EMR System that you can trust will alert you to critical developments.
EASILY TRACK STAFF AND PATIENTS’ ACTIVITIES
Your new EMR should be easy for office personnel to learn and use. You don’t want to choose something that will be a burden to those who use it the most. Verify that your EMR will seamlessly integrate patient appointments, reminders, and other scheduling details.
Special tests such as arterial and venous Doppler ultrasounds often require that your staff spend time sending out reminders and tracking down results prior to their appointment with you. An EMR System that could integrate automatic emails or phone calls one week prior to an appointment would improve efficiency.
Whether you intend to use a PACS system or not, the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard is something you’ll need to consider as you evaluate EMR’s. DICOM is a standard construct used increasingly by Health Information Systems, but it is not ubiquitous. Specifically, DICOM covers handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical imaging.
Because you will want to view MRI’s, CT’s, plain radiographs and perhaps ultrasounds, the EMR System you choose will likely need to meet the DICOM standard. To ensure that all of the equipment and software you use can be accessed and viewed within your EMR interface, it will be important to navigate the technical areas of licensing fees versus free viewers and custom integration programming.
Using an experienced EMR consultant without the financial bias of a corporate sales team can be quite helpful in avoiding costly mistakes. Call 888.519.3100 to speak with an expert who can help you make your investment wisely.
Chiropractic EMR/Suite Checklist
Make sure that your Chiropractic EMR is compatible with the specific office equipment in your facility:
- Chiropractic Examination Reports
- Interface with Electronic Goniometers
- Neck Disability Assessments
- Patient information concerning home exercise programs.
- Rand Assessments
- Range of motion measures of the Spine and extremities flow charts
- X-Ray Analysis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cervical Complaints
- Chiropractic Narrative
- Disc Bulge, Herniation or rupture
- Follow Up
- Low Back Pain
- Lumbar Complaints
- Medicare Spinal Complaints
- Motor Vehicle Accident
- Neck Pain and Stiffness
- Physical Exam
- Spinal Complaints
- Sports Injury
- Thoracic Complaints
- Workers Compensation
INTEGRATION OF CHIROPRACTIC SOFTWARE DATA
- Life Systems ChiroPad EMR and ChiroOffice
- Software Motif Inc.’s MyEMR Chiropractic Suite
- Acrendo Software
- AMS Software
- Chiropractic Complete MaxPro
- Clacken Software: DC- PowerNotes
- Creative Concepts in Communication: ClinicPro software
- DataCom Software Business Products
- DB Consultants
- Doctors Computer System
- E-Z Bis
- Forté Systems
- Genius Solutions
- Handy Works
- Herfert Chiropractic Software
- InPhase Technologies Group: Practice management software
- K&K Systems Corporation: Practice Made Perfect software
- MacEssentials: AccountMaster Chiropractic
- MediSoft Patient Accounting
- MPN Software Systems: Office-management systems
- Pulse Software: ChiroPulse
- Quick Notes
- Satori Chiropractic Software
- TGI Software
- Versatile Software Systems
COMPATIBILITY OF X-RAY MACHINE DATA
- Digital X-ray – Kodak Point-of-Care tower
- Digital X-ray – ACL-04 41 plates per hour with complete viewing station and IBM ThinkCenter tower
- Chiropractic DR 9MP CCD DR Retrofit system
- Podiatry X-ray & CR System
- Chiropractic Digital DR Summit DXR
- MediaTech USA’s DDR MAK 800-2000