Friday, July 8, 2011

Can FREE EMRs get your practice through Meaningful Use?

With the federal government pushing EMR implementations by incentivizing their Meaningful Use, providers of Healthcare Information Systems are all rushing in to get a bite of that booming business pie. As a result, doctors and practitioners find themselves lost in a sea of information and complicated jargon about the various types of EMRs and EHRs available, each claiming to be the best for your Meaningful Use objectives.

Traditional EMR business-models have priced EMR systems for tens of thousands of dollars, making it prohibitive for practices to adopt them. However, with EMRs now being a statutory requirement, an increasing number of Healthcare IT providers are starting to work on revenue models that enable them to provide practitioners with outstandingly efficient EMR systems, absolutely free of cost.

Advantages of FREE EMRs over Locally-Hosted Priced EMRs

It is easy to assume that a free EMR may be inferior in terms of quality or has limited number of features and will hinder your practice from qualifying for the $44,000 incentive pay. The fact is that most free EMRs are web-based systems built with inherent technological features that not only allow them to be provided for free but also lend them a number of advantages over costly, locally hosted EMR systems.

FREE EMRs Cost Nothing

Being web-based, free EMRs can save you the cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining a private, local server which is a primary requirement for traditional, locally-hosted EMR systems. All you need to have, to get a free EMR up and running is a computer and a secure Internet connection. For smaller practices as well as for practices that lack the capital to invest in client-server systems and additional I.T staff to maintain local EMRs, free, web-based EMRs are an ideal choice. Because they are absolutely free, they carry no out-of-pocket, hidden charges that come to the fore after you have subscribed. With free EMRs, you can direct the $44,000 incentive pay to improve and develop your practice, instead of using it to pay for a local EMR.

Convenient and Easy to Use

Remotely hosted or web-based free EMRs are typically more user-friendly and easy to use as compared to other complicated EMR systems that take months of getting used to. Infact, free EMRs that are available in the market today, take only minutes to activate, saving you from all the lengthy, time-consuming installation processes that accompany local EMRs.

Data Security and Accessibility

Free EMRs, contrary to popular perception, are highly secure and protect your data by functioning under stringent confidentiality protocols. Remote hosting of free EMRs allows data to be accessed from any computer, anywhere, over a secure Internet connection. To add to that, your data is backed up on the remove server, completely discarding the possibility of data loss or system breakdowns. On the other hand, local systems are susceptible to hardware breakdowns, power cuts and system failures that bring your practice to a halt until someone arrives to restore it.

Features Required for Meaningful Use

Most local EMR systems contain a limited set of features that help you meet only a few of the required number of Meaningful Use objectives. You are thus forced to install supplementary systems to fulfil other objectives, amounting to additional cost, time and effort. One of the main reasons why free EMRs are so popular with practitioners today is because most of them are equipped to deal with feature requirements for all of the 20 objectives.


Feedback and Interaction with Users

Many Free EMRs make their money through the ads they place at the bottom of the system page. The success of an ad-based model such as this lies in how well and how much its users are able to employ it. Thus, free EMR providers take continual feedback and suggestions from the user community and incorporate them in the system. Free EMRs keep evolving with newer practices and suggestions, giving you immediate and regular updates of the software without having to install anything locally. On the other hand, local EMRs once sold are rarely updated, with each update requiring the EMR vendor to personally install it.


References:

1.   http://www.revenuexl.com/blog/bid/19051/Top-10-Electronic-Medical-Record-Software-Features-for-every-Physician
2.    http://digital-medicine.posterous.com/what-are-the-advantages-of-using-web-based-em
3.   http://www.binaryspectrum.com/electronicmedicalrecord/which-is-better-web-based-EMR-system-or-client-server-EMR-system.html
4.   http://emrguy.com/what-are-the-advantages-of-using-web-based-emr-software/
5.   http://www.practicefusion.com/pages/free_ehr.html


1 comments:

laura sharon said...

As much as three quarters of hospital staff are usually burdened with some sort of billing-related work in a traditional billing system. Opting for electronic medical billing solutions (ones that come with free EMR plans) that fit easily into the healthcare business' workflow are key to freeing up staff resources.
Medical billing services

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