Electronic Medical Records System Top Five Tips

By Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT on May 26, 2012

It’s not enough that your practice is switching to an electronic medical record system. The most important thing to remember when choosing a physical therapy software is that it will be able to meet your needs.

Price is not the only factor. Nitin Chhoda reviews the top five tips to choosing the right electronic medical records system for your practice.

electronic medical recordsChoosing an electronic medical records system for a physical therapy practice can be quite difficult.

There are hundreds of electronic medical records vendors, all vying for your attention.  Often there is no clear advantage of one solution over another.

But the evaluation and comparison process is worth the time.  Here are five tips to help you navigate the physical therapy electronic medical records (EMR) scene.

Choose Based on Price.  For many firms, price is an important consideration.  But sometimes the low price means bad design or fewer features. If an electronic medical record is able to successfully compete on price, then that product might just be good enough for your firm, but make sure you’re getting the features you need.

Focus on Design.  Remember: you and your team are going to have to use this electronic medical records software every day.  It should be intuitive and practical.That means no excessive clicks to get through note taking or record updates and an easy to understand interface.

The interface matters for physical therapy electronic medical records solutions, because if the program isn’t easy and fun to use, it will feel like more of a burden than a solution. A surprising number of electronic medical records vendors don’t focus on design and usability.

If nobody wants to use the electronic medical records (EMRs) software, it’s not worth buying. Oh, and watch out for the phrase “it’s only a click away!”  Every click counts.  Ideally it should already be on the page you are on.

Analytics are Important.  You will be using your physical therapy documentation software to keep track of your patients.  That also means that you need to be able to use it to get information back out.

Ideally you should be able to ask your physical therapy electronic medical records solution about your patient.  What was prescribed, how many of a given type of injury have you dealt with, how a patient is progressing.  Physical therapy documentation software is only as good as its ability to tell you that information.

Don’t Beta Test.  You need software designed for electronic medical records of physical therapy.  Don’t opt for a product that has seen enormous success in another medical field but hasn’t been tried in a physical therapy setting.

electronic medical records system

Every field is a little different, and physical therapists’ electronic medical records have different needs than more general doctors.Don’t let a salesmen talk you into PT documentation software that won’t do what you need just because either he or the software is slick.

Be Suspicious of Salesmen.  This is probably the best advice that can be offered.  The goal of a salesman is to sell you a product.  As such, they will gloss over any flaws that their software has.

This isn’t a good thing, especially if they manage to convince you to adopt a product with a user interface your team can’t use.

But we have all dealt with salesmen before.  As long as we guard ourselves against slick sales pitches and keep our eyes on the goal of finding the right electronic medical records for physical therapy, there shouldn’t be any problem.  Just remember to try the electronic medical records software and have as many members of your team test it out before you decide to invest.

About Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT

Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT is the CEO of In Touch EMR and In Touch Biller Pro, an electronic medical records and medical billing software system built be leaders in the physical therapy software industry, with thousands of satisfied customers across the world. For more information, please visit www.InTouchEmr.com and www.InTouchBillerPro.com