Electronic health record (EHR) software is a platform that keeps digital patient care records. EHR software includes everything that would be managed in traditional paper records, but in an electronic format that’s easier to access, search, and update.EHR software keeps documentation on:
Many EHR systems include additional functionality along with a wide range of benefits.
EHR software was designed to improve facilities in the healthcare field. Many of these facilities regularly struggle with problems like time-consuming paper records that take extra time and effort to find and update. Paper records also force staff to do manual, repetitive tasks throughout their day to accurately record patient care, medication, and other important information.Time spent dealing with records cuts down on time spent caring for patients and long-term care facility residents. With EHR software, facilities can:
EHR software can also improve job satisfaction for healthcare workers by eliminating repetitive tasks. Staff at long-term care facilities, for instance, can use EHR software to reduce the time they spend searching for charts, dealing with regulation compliance, and managing patient care.
Versions of electronic health record software, or the closely related electronic medical record (EMR) software, are widely used in the healthcare industry. Some of the most common users include:
Healthcare facilities use different types of EHR software depending on their needs. Large hospitals with complex operations, surgical schedules, and large staffs will often implement an EMR system that takes months to fully transition to. These systems are far more complex and require additional staff training before they can be used effectively.
Facilities that aren’t regularly dealing with surgical schedules and a high, fluctuating volume of patients and staff use a different type of EHR software. Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are a few examples of these organizations. They need more flexible solutions that can be implemented quickly and support everything from a single bed to a 100-bed operation.
Often, the best choice for long-term care facilities is a SaaS solution that requires minimal implementation and setup. EHR software that you can sign up for online that offers a full range of features and functionality is typically the best choice for long-term care facilities.
EHR software varies greatly in quality and scope. Some systems include only basic record-keeping functionality while others have numerous, complex features. Below are a few of the basic features and functions of EHR software.
EHR software contains all the documentation for patients in hospitals and residents in long-term care facilities, including generating individual care plans. Tools in each platform make it easy for staff to quickly pull important documents and update them as needed.
EHR software helps staff monitor resident health by capturing and processing data on every aspect of patient care.
Track and log the care provided to each resident from every staff members. Care logs can be used to review procedures, evaluate care quality, and improve facility management.
Improve safety and compliance by managing medications for each resident electronically. Paired with electronic medication administration records (eMAR), this can greatly reduce medication errors and improve administration.
Keep records of incidents across your facility to identify patterns and problems. When an incident occurs, EHR systems can send alerts to management and generate documentation. Systems can also send alerts to notify staff of problems such as missed medication.
Workflows allow you to set up automated processes to save time and improve your operational efficiency. Automated workflows may also reduce errors by replacing manual and repetitive tasks.
While not in every system, some of the newer EHR systems on the market include tools for managing your facility and staff as well as patient care. Systems with staff and site management help you track employees, facilities, and vehicles.
EHR software was designed to improve operations at healthcare facilities, but many systems have become complicated and difficult to use. These complex systems have created space for more user-friendly options to gain market share.
EHR systems that include an easy-to-use interface are growing in popularity. These systems are easier for long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and other healthcare operations to implement because it’s easy for staff to learn them. Since staff gets up to speed faster, intuitive systems decrease training time and lower the total cost of ownership of the software.
Easy-to-use EHR software also prioritizes interoperability, meaning it works well with other systems that healthcare facilities interact with. A few systems EHR software might work include:
The best EHR systems include open APIs to help facilities connect their software to important outside systems. You’ll often come across platforms that offer dozens of open APIs, which indicates that the software has already been integrated with many other platforms.
EHR software pricing varies greatly from system to system. Medical EMR systems can cost tens of thousands of dollars to implement, with monthly or yearly SaaS fees recurring after implementation. These EMR and EHR systems are typically complex, requiring in-depth training and IT management. Training and specialized integrations may cost extra. You’ll find these systems in hospitals and other large healthcare facilities.
Long-term care facilities and other healthcare organizations neither need nor want such a high-cost, high-maintenance system. Specialized solutions for these facilities are built to be easier to use, attainable, and scalable for organizations of all sizes. Instead of including implementation costs, these systems charge per resident, per month, so facilities pay only for the records they use. For example, iCareManager pricing starts at $15 per resident, per month, and includes a full set of features.
Before any facility purchases new EHR software, they should get a demo. During demos, providers will walk you through their software, its key features, and its capabilities. Demos give you the opportunity to ask questions and get an in-depth look at the system’s interface.
Demos are done in two ways: solo and group.Solo Demos
Solo demos are often reserved for large facilities or those with group buying decisions. These demos ensure that you have dedicated time with an EHR software specialist who can answer your questions and walk you through the features you’re most interested in.Group Demos
Group demos are done for smaller facilities to help managers and facility leaders get a feel for the software. In group demos, participants have the benefit of hearing questions, comments, and concerns from peers in similar situations. Often, the discussion results in a more well-rounded and useful demo.Prepare for Your Demo
Regardless of the type of demo you do, make sure you come prepared. Before the demo you should:
When you’re ready, request a demo from the provider’s website. They’ll connect with you by phone or email to schedule an online meeting to walk you through the software.
If you’re interested in EHR software, iCareManager could help. iCareManager will help you provide higher quality resident care through improved records and medication procedures. Automation and workflows will let your staff spend less time on manual tasks and more time with your residents, while records, incident reports, and alerts will improve management oversight.
Our system is designed specifically for long-term care facilities with an intuitive interface, a full range of EHR features, and an affordable price. With iCareManager you’ll get:
Find out how you can use iCareManager’s EHR software to improve patient care at your facility today.