What Is a EMR Software?
EMR is simply the electronic record of a patient’s health-related information that is gathered and maintained by the licensed healthcare professionals who are directly involved with the patient and their care. Simply put, EMRs replace traditional paper charts. Often, this information is integrated or paired with other tools, such as billing software, patient portals, and scheduling software to create a more detailed patient record and to keep all aspects of patient care in a singular function.
Differences between EMR and EHR
You may have heard of another type of medical software known as EHR, short for electronic health records. While the names sound similar, and the products perform the same basic functions, there are significant differences between the two.
As stated above, EMR software allows you to record the medical history and progress of a patient, keeping their medical records in a digital file. This information can be accessed easily, allowing healthcare professionals to review notes from previous appointments or sessions. They can also add progress notes or update treatment plans.
EMRs offer an advantage over paper records, as all of the information is in one place. However, when it comes to sending these records to another facility or practice, they do not have much of an advantage over paper. This is the main difference between EMR and EHR.As with EMR, EHR software moves traditional charting to the digital world. As with EMR, EHR software moves traditional charting to the digital world. However, it goes one step further and includes the ability to securely transmit patient histories to other providers, including specialists, labs, and pharmacies.
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How Much Is EMR Software?
The cost of EMR software varies depending on multiple factors, such as any additional features, the size of the medical practice, and the specific software you choose. It should also be noted that different vendors have different packages and prices. What follows is a general guide to provide an idea as to what you can expect to pay for EMR software.
- Free EMR software: Newer than other EMR software options, free software is generally geared towards smaller and mid-sized facilities. There are different options within the free category of EMR software, with some being ad-supported, some providing the basic package for free but charging for extras such as billing, and some that provide the software for free, but charge for implementation and ongoing support. Keep in mind that the upfront cost is nothing, but hiring IT staff, training, or upgrades may cost you later.
- License fee with monthly support EMR software: These software systems typically cost between $1,000 and $25,000. The EMR software, implementation, and training are all included in the upfront cost, with annual or monthly payments made for regular maintenance, support, and (sometimes) upgrades.
- Pay-per-provider and percent-of-collections EMR software: This system is more common for EHR software and usually involves a monthly fee for each provider in the facility. Some companies bundle it as an annual or one time only fee, but that is rare. Some pay-per-provider systems are paired with a percent-of collections-fee, which provides payment for the software based on a percentage of the collections taken from patients. You can expect to pay $200 to $700 per provider per month. There may also be a $2,000 to $5,000 one-time fee per provider. If the system includes a collections fee, you can expect it to be between two and seven percent.
Benefits of EMR Software
The benefits of EMR software, when properly implemented, are numerous for both patients and professionals alike. Patients are able to receive improved care, diagnosis, and treatment decisions/options quicker due to the instant availability of their medical records. There are also fewer errors associated with patient records when EMR software is utilized. And for healthcare professionals, consolidating medical records into a digital format saves on space, provides the ability to quickly transfer patient data between departments, and improves the level of care you are able to provide to your patients. It also allows you to customize note templates to better suit your facility and reduces operational costs. For both patients and healthcare specialists, EMR software ensures an extra level of privacy and security for your medical records, something that everyone can agree is important.