How to Choose a Chiropractic EMR
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How to Choose a Chiropractic EMR
With hundreds of electronic medical record (EMR) choices on the market, it is challenging for physicians to find appropriate software for their practice. This guide can help ease this process by providing you with some basic information to look for when searching for suitable EMR software for your chiropractic practice. In order to start on the right track of finding suitable EMR systems for your chiropractic practice, you should look for software that is designed specifically for chiropractors or a similar specialty. Chiropractic EMR software is customized to deal with the unique characteristics of treating neuromusculoskeletal ailments. Chiropractors often rely on imaging tests performed by other specialists, so your EMR should be compatible with a wide variety of image types from different imaging equipment and software. Likewise Chiropractic EMR software should integrate with x-ray, CT scan, or MRI equipment you have at your practice and be able to receive and analyze the large amounts of data that may be generated for each of your patients. To more effectively illustrate diagnoses and procedures to your patients, you should make sure your EMR choice has the capability of displaying ADAM images or other related diagrams.
At the start of software evaluation process, you should evaluate potential chiropractic EMR based on the following criteria:
- Practice Size: Some software is better suited to small practices, others to larger ones. EMR software is designed for a certain number and type of user, with scalability in mind. Make sure the software you select is appropriate for the number of chiropractors in your practice.
- Systems Architecture: You can purchase chiropractic EMR software that is installed directly on your computer servers on-site at your practice (“client-server”) or chiropractic EMR software that is located in the “cloud” that you access via the Internet (“cloud-based” or software-as-a-service -”SaaS”). Some chiropractors prefer client-server based EMR software since they feel more comfortable with HIPAA compliance when they control all the underlying data on their systems, despite the need to maintain and upgrade these systems periodically. Other chiropractors choose cloud-based EMR software because it can be accessed almost anywhere through the Internet. However, you are reliant on your Internet connection, so you need to make sure the quality and consistency of your Internet service is high. It is worth reading about all the advantages and disadvantages of each type to make sure you choose software with the systems architecture that best matches your needs.
- Certification: When selecting your chiropractic EMR, you should make sure that it is tested and certified by an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (“ONC-ATCB”). The ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) is the responsible agency for establishing EMR certification standards and certifying vendor EMR products. ONC-ATCB certification assures that your EMR has met required Meaningful Use (“MU”) objectives and measures. This is a prerequisite to obtaining MU Medicaid (up to $63,750) and Medicare (up to $44,000) incentives for adopting an EMR, and avoiding penalties for not adopting one. To learn more about these topics, you may want to read the following articles:
- EMR / EHR Government Meaningful Use Incentives Information
- EMR Deadline; Will I be Assessed Penalties for Not Using an EMR System?
Unique Features of Chiropractic EMR SystemsOnce you have narrowed down your EMR choices based on practice size, systems architecture, and certification, you can evaluate certain features that are unique to chiropractic practices. Some of features included in chiropractic EMR are:
- ICD/CPT codes specific to chiropractic
- Integration with X-ray, CT scan, MRI equipment
- Compatibility with electronic goniometers
- Ability to incorporate treatment data with RAND assessments
- Capability of analyzing x-rays
Pre-designed Templates of Chiropractic EMR systemsChiropractic EMR vendors understand that not all specialties are alike. While there are a lot of similarities shared by all EMR software, you should be able to customize whatever EMR you choose to fit your specific needs. To facilitate this, chiropractic EMR vendors offer a variety of pre-designed templates such as ones tailored for:
- Lower back pain
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sports injuries
- Workers Comp
- Automobile accident
- Bulging disc, hernia or rupture