Our office has had an EMR system from day one. We still process incoming faxes, daily
Patient visit notes and correspondence. Paperwork is scanned into the system, labeled and then sent to the appropriate file and/or staff member or provider. Setting up patient files is very labor intensive. Does the free EMR provide on site staff support to guide you through the process of generating pt files? This would include setting up the necessary insurance data necessary for submitting a claim. It takes me maybe 20 minutes to set up a new patient and new insurance carrier.
With regard to SOAP reports, you should be able to get into the system from the administrative side and generate notes for your providers to see when writing a report. You can also generate pop ups which only appear with specifics diagnoses or charge sets.
Have you started an implementation plan? One step is to get your existing patient files into the system, which for many practices is a large task. Also need to get your IT people to generate a staged back up, generally on a separate server, as files are transfered in case problems arise.
Our system is able to receive faxes directly into the EMR. But we find it easier to receive paper faxes so we can sort them based on importance and direct them more efficiently to the correct person or file.
It is a very overwhelming process. But with assistance from your IT people and EMR support people? It can be managable. The "holes" in the system, i.e. Pt history prompts and report prompts are not really missing. They are usually left empty so you can generate notes and prompts most appropriate to your office. Which at the front end is more work, but in the end allows the EMR to be tailored to your needs.
What is your time frame for implementation. And is the EMR ready for upgrade to ICD10?
Also, while a paperless office may be the ultimate goal, we still have forms, documents, etc. Available in case if power/technical issues arise that prevent or seriously delay access to EMR data.
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