Review Comparisons of the Top Electronic Health Record Software

Choosing an EHR system can seem like a daunting task

Gain important insights through the Top 8 EHR review factors for 2017

PracticeSuite

#1 Review PracticeSuite’s Unique EHR Options

A distinguishing characteristic of PracticeSuite is the options medical practices have to choose the EHR option that works best for them. When you combine personal preferences, specialty specific features, regulatory requirements, and workflow idiosyncrasies, a one-sized-fits-all EHR solution is very hard to come by no matter how much you are willing to pay.   That’s why PracticeSuite gives our customers the choice between the PracticeSuite certified EHR or our network of EHR integration partners.

When medical organizations require a single-system with a single data and one support relationship with a vendor, the PracticeSuite Platform is an amazing option.  It gives a fully integrated practice management, medical billing, EHR, and patient portal solution at a very affordable price.  Thousands of healthcare professionals are leveraging the PracticeSuite Platform as their solution of choice for EHR and practice management.

For medical groups and facilities who already have an EHR in place or have their eye on a specialty specific EHR uniquely designed for the care they provide, then pairing that highly specialized EHR with the powerful practice management and billing components of PracticeSuite is one of the best choices available on the market today.  Today’s technology platforms and PracticeSuite’s advanced integration capabilities, the user experience and data flow happens seamlessly between the PracticeSuite environment and the EHR.  There should be no reason to compromise in functionality of practice management or clinical capabilities when you can have the best of both worlds.

Free EHR Comparison Worksheet

Rank vendors based on your criteria. Score them and see which one comes out on top.

What is the Role of an EHR?

#2 Understand the Specific Role Your EHR Should and Should Not Play in Your Practice

It is critical to understand exactly what you should expect your EHR to do and what you should expect it not to do.  The best EHR software will give clinical staff four essential capabilities.

Comprehensive View of the Patients’ Health:  With clinical staff responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of patients each year, the EHR must provide an organized, familiar way for clinical staff to quickly understand the wellness and care plans for each unique patient.  In the old days, medical staff manually consolidated information in the chart by keeping written face-sheets at the front of every medical chart.  Today, the best EHR software make the manual aspect of that obsolete by sophisticated at-a-glance chart views that allow clinical staff to get an overview of care given and even dissect specific episodes of care from a single screen.

Efficient Treatment Orders: A bulk of the action derived from a patient visit is executed through ordering medications, tests, procedures, follow-up appointments, etc. These actions are often fulfilled by various entities inside the practice and external to the practice. Hence, the best EHR software must be flexible to not only document the treatment plan, but communicate to all entities about the details of the treatment. That’s why it is critical that the EHR be connected to pharmacies, laboratories, testing facilities, and the like. However, connectivity is not enough, the volume and variations of treatment orders demand EHRs to make the process of ordering simple and accurate.

Clinical Intelligence:  With the amount of clinical information contained within the EHR, it is only reasonable to expect the best EHR software to help clinical staff to avoid duplications, errors, and adverse interactions as they document care and order treatment.  The degree of clinical intelligence will vary, but at the least, the best EHR software will include intelligence alerts like reasonable vital sign ranges, gender-specific diagnoses, and age specific qualifiers. They should also be able to assess if interactions such as medication duplication, adverse reactions, and allergic reactions are likely.  And, finally, the very best EHRs look at the past data in a patient’s chart and help clinical staff understand what items should be checked to comply with health guidelines and quality standards.

Care Documentation: Each patient encounter has to be documented, but not every encounter will contain the same type of information.  The best EHR software gives clinical flexibility to document a range of patient visits – from routine, standard “H&P’s” and SOAP notes, recurring care management visits, virtual visits, to seriously complex, multi-problem patient encounters.  The best EHRs have also integrated treatment ordering such that the documentation output is a byproduct of ordering the plan of care.

When evaluating the best EHR for your practice, you must consider how the prospective software will help you accomplish the four critical roles outlined above.

Unique EHR Needs For Your Specialty

Learn how PracticeSuite’s EHR or our EHR partner network
can meet your speciality specific workflow needs.

Industry EHR Usage

#3 Compare EHR Software Adoption to Your Situation

According to the ONC, 96% of physicians today have adopted electronic health record systems, and in 2015, 83% of office-based physicians demonstrated meaningful use, but according to the most recent AAFP poll, 55% of physicians surveyed stated their choice of EHR did not improved efficiency, 72% said their EHR did not decrease workload, 54% said their choice of EHR actually increased operating costs, and 43% said they had not yet overcome productivity challenges associated with implementation; meaning that today, fewer than half of all physicians are happy with their choice of technology––and some doctors are on their 3rd or 4th clinical system.

EHR Certifications

#4 Understand EHR Certifications and Authorized Certification Bodies

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services along with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology created certification criteria for electronic health record software. By meeting the functional capabilities and security requirements of these criteria, the software can be used by eligible healthcare providers to qualify for incentives payments and/or avoid penalties in reimbursement.

These certification criteria also help raise the confidence level in patients and healthcare providers that software has been developed to safeguard against HIPAA, data security, and unauthorized access to sensitive patient information contained within these EHR systems.

An up-to-date list of certified products whether active, suspended, and banned can be found on the ONC Website – Certified Health IT Product List.  You may also read more about the EHR technology certification on the CMS website.

Each software product that is certified must be formally reviewed by an ONC-Authorized Certification Body.  As of early 2017, the following organizations have been deemed as authorized certification bodies to test EHRs against the standards set forth by the certification program.  (listed in alphabetical order)

What do Auditors Watch For?

There are 4 things auditors are especially interested in when examining EHR documentation.

Drummond Group

ICSA Labs

InfoGard Laboratories (owned by UL Transaction Security)

SLI Compliance

EHR Certified Software Products

#5 Pick a Trusted, Certified EHR Software Solution

There are over 3,860 named products and product versions on the ONC certified product list. From a consumer confidence standpoint, this large number is fantastic, however it does not help much in the decision-making process of which EMR is right for you.  It may help you to evaluate specifically which criteria the EHR software was specifically certified for.  Did they meet all 59 Certification Criteria or only 20?  These details are available to you on the ONC Website.

We, of course, encourage you to evaluate our PracticeSuite EHR Certification details, but also research information for other EHRs that we respect and are used by other PracticeSuite practice management and medical billing customers.

Additionally, PracticeSuite offers the Best EHR Platform For 360° Practice Management, we’ve ranked PracticeSuite number one because of its comprehensive practice management features and its ease of clinical charting and ordering. The system is flexible, affordable, elegant, and their users rate support as excellent, so you can get knowledgeable help from qualified technicians if your having a difficulty. Plus, there’s a genuinely free single-user version of their practice management system that you can use as long as you want.. You get a patient portal, physician charting, scheduling, e-prescribing, medical billing, and top oft he line revenue cycle management features. (Read our full review here.)

Now that you know more about available EHR systems, you can decide which one fits the bill for your practice. In the meantime, Sign up for our free edition to give PracticeSuite a test drive. We’re sure you’ll recognize this software program’s abundant strengths and benefits.

EHR FAQs

What Is an EHR?

An EHR, or electronic health record, is “a digital version of a patient’s paper chart,” according to the HealthIT.gov definition. Essentially, it turns those color-coded files you see in doctor’s offices into digital files. These files contain the same information — and often more information — but they’re highly accessible, even to providers at other organizations.

However, it’s also used synonymous with a practice-wide office solution. The main difference between an EMR, or electronic medical record and an EHR is that emR refers to the patient records themselves, while an EHR refers to the clinical documentation system that interconnects every aspect of a practice’s operations, from scheduling and billing to reporting and patient communications where providers share their findings, test results, diagnoses, bills, and other information with their patients online. Due to Meaningful Use (MU) all top EHR’s include a patient portal, which allows patients to keep track of their medical records online.

What You Need to Know About EHRs

What You Need to Know About EHRsDoctors’ offices and hospitals, whether they have one physician or hundreds, are using EHR systems to diagnose and treat their patients. Technology increases the accuracy of record keeping and allow physicians and other office staff to communicate with patients and vendors electronically.

In the best clinical systems practices can benefit both financially and practically. For instance, instead of sending staff running to and from the records room all day, nurses, physicians, and other health professionals can simply enter their credentials on a desktop or mobile device to look up a patient’s records. Additionally, patients have come to expect EMR functionality. If your practice adopts a health records system, you might see an increase in patient loyalty, especially if you take advantage of patient portals to quickly post test results.

What Features Do You Want to Look for?

When you’re considering the many solutions on the market, look for well-designed, easy to navigate whole-practice-system that you can easily begin using with minimal financial and time investment. If it is your first time out, you might try a Stand-Alone free EHR that offers a no-barrier implementation. You can get to know the software before you decide to upgrade to a more full-featured version.

The EHRs in this review are ICD-10 ready and help with HIPAA compliance. They also cater to multiple specialties so that doctors in many fields can reliably use the software.

What Types of Clinical Systems Exist?

What Types of Clinical Systems Exist?

You have numerous options when it comes to choosing an EHR. The two broadest types are physician-hosted and third-party-hosted programs. A physician-hosted EHR exists on the practice’s own servers, while a third-party EHR is hosted on remote servers by the software manufacturer or some other entity.

However, you’ll find that you can break down EHRs into many other different types. For instance, the best programs tend to be web-based. This means that you don’t have to install the software on every device – you can access it remotely because it exists in the cloud. Locally based software must be licensed and installed on physical terminals, so they’re not as flexible.

Additionally, EHR providers offer different features and modules. You might want features like scheduling, e-prescribing, physician dashboards, and medical billing functionality. You’ll also want to choose an EHR that can meet your needs based on the size of your clinic or hospital and the specialty of your practice.


Who Should Use Them?

Which One Should You Choose?
If you run a medical practice, you can benefit from an EHR. They’re often sourced by practice managers who concern themselves with the practice’s day-to-day operations. Alternatively, physicians can choose and implement EHRs themselves. Either way, paper records have not yet become obsolete, but they’re heading in that direction.

You’ll want to use an EHR if you schedule appointments with your patients or if you deliver test results and other information. Medical collections becomes much easier if you handle your medical billing through an EHR because you use the same software for the entire process.

Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing an EHR system can seem like a daunting task. Dozens of options exist, so you’re left to weed through the non-contenders to get to the potential solutions.

We’re here to help. We’ve reviewed the top 12 EHR systems so you don’t have to bury yourself in research. Compare these companies side by side so you know where they shine. Read on to learn about the 12 best EHRs so you can make an educated decision.