The “right” EMR and patient portal

July 1, 2008

I am a pediatric endocrinologist about to start a solo practice. What parameters should I use to decide which EMR is the best for my practice? I will also set up a Web site for online scheduling, and I am interested in complete software that includes practice management. This is an important decision, and I want to make the right one.

Question: I am a pediatric endocrinologist about to start a solo practice. What parameters should I use to decide which EMR is the best for my practice? I will also set up a Web site for online scheduling, and I am interested in complete software that includes practice management. This is an important decision, and I want to make the right one.

Answer: Bottom line: What matters most is what you need the software to do; define that first. Do you just need charts out of an EMR or help coding, reporting to pay for performance initiatives, or outcomes reporting? What work flow solutions are critically important? Do you need a solution that works on a mobile tablet or will desktops suffice? How will you prefer to document? Via templates? Free text? Voice recognition?

After you’ve established your needs, then look for a system to fit them. Since you are looking for both an EMR and practice management solution, consider purchasing one integrated system. This means limiting your search to systems that have management and medical record interfaces running from the same database - a much more seamless and robust solution, compared to systems that essentially patch together information housed separately.

Seriously consider a system that is already geared towards pediatrics - one that can, for example, account for the unique dosing requirements of children by automatically adjusting for their growth and age.