Dermatology EHR Software Should Make Sense – As In Dollars and Cents


How much is your current EHR costing you?

Having the right dermatology software can really make or break the success of your practice. Outdated electronic health record systems can slow down busy dermatologists, creating more problems than necessary. Using a clunky EHR that isn’t specialty-specific, for instance, can create the need for extra documentation that prohibits having a smarter interface.  It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that by implementing a state-of-the-art dermatology EHR, it will actually help increase the value of care you provide. Why does this seem counterintuitive? Because by switching your software system, it could mean having to shut down your practice temporarily.

Our practicing dermatologists here on staff are familiar with this objection but also see the encompassing value of making the switch to a smarter dermatology EHR. Having the right software that is specialty-specific and cloud-based provides tremendous benefits – benefits most dermatologists are unaware they needed. Using features such as automated suggested coding, an adaptive interface, automated MIPS data collection, built-in specialty content, and a comprehensive cloud platform that could help cut down on IT personnel expenses can not only provide a seamless experience for your staff and patients, it can also help your practice achieve greater success.

Along with these specific features found within some of the newer EHR platforms, having a dermatology EHR that has been built by actual dermatologists really makes a difference as well. Each and every little factor contributes to the big picture: that you could be saving time and improving the value of patient care by investing and implementing an EHR that acts more like an assistant, not a hindrance.

Some Areas Affected By Your Dermatology Software

Gone are the days when patients flooded the waiting room with piles of paper, while office administration and other staff scrambled to find their individual charts in big filing cabinets or walled-off shelves. It is quite rare to walk into a busy dermatology practice and see a situation similar to this. Instead, you’ll probably see a polite check-in person, sitting behind a monitor, with three or four more office staff, all sitting in front of computer monitors.

Going from paper to digital can help save time and improve office productivity. Piles of patient paperwork that just gets shuffled around is becoming a thing of the past thanks to technological advancements in dermatology EHR’s. Imagine a smarter EHR that can actually assist you in treating patients, organizing all of their information and documentation on a beautiful digital interface. Staying organized and current with patient notes and information can help improve the overall health of your practice.

The dermatology practices using iPad EHRs will likely have it positioned on the counter, and upon arrival, the patient will sign in on the iPad EHR. Modern dermatology offices using this type of EHR platform are majorly ahead of the curve. Instead of wasting time having patients fill out packets of forms manually, only to have to type all of that information into a computer—and not to mention try and decipher often illegible handwriting—many of those extra steps are eliminated. The majority of the time, the information entered by the patient is much more accurate as well. This is one of the ways implementing a modern specialty-specific EHR can help save time and improve patient care.

Whether using a more advanced dermatology EHR or a standard EHR, implementing a specialty-specific EHR can allow for a much more cohesive user experience. The convenience of paying a monthly fee for exceptional tools helps provide a streamlined experience.

Some features that Modernizing Medicine®’s EHR, EMA®, offers that could cost extra with another vendor are:

  1. Kiosk – a powerful patient tool that saves time and improves the doctor-patient experience
  2. Real-time prescription price transparency, formulary and electronic prior authorization
  3. Frequent, automatic updates with product enhancements and medical content updates
  4. MIPS performance estimate dashboard and easy submission to CMS
  5. Automated ICD-10 CPT, modifier and E&M suggested coding
  6. Award-winning support and training* including comprehensive online resources
  7. Filterable raw data through Data Explorer and Data Delivery
  8. Access to EMA on desktop, iPad and our PocketEMA™ app for iPhone, Android and Apple Watch
  9. Cloud storage space for your patient records and EMA data
  10. ePrescribing of non-controlled substances
  11. Ability for many users to edit the same note simultaneously

*some training may have an additional fee

Modernizing Medicine’s very own EHR offers many of these services with a simple monthly subscription. Imagine being able to ePrescribe right from your cell phone or have ICD-10 codes automatically suggested right when you need them. Not only does this save invaluable amounts of time, it helps foster an environment where being face-to-face with your patients becomes an everyday norm.

Knowing How Much Your Dermatology EHR Software is Really Costing You

Being slowed down in your already busy practice is less than ideal. Here are some key things to watch out for that could indicate EHR productivity problems:

  • No cloud EHR option
  • EHR usability challenges
  • EHR system without additional features of functionality
  • Unsatisfactory customer support
  • Workflow disruptions
  • Lack of software updates and enhancements

Let’s take a closer look at what some of these actually mean:

No Cloud EHR option

With server-based software, you must be connected to a main, centralized computer to run the software. If your practice isn’t on a cloud-based dermatology EHR system, that probably means you are responsible for managing and supporting server hardware, security, backups, hosting, interfaces, performance and database software. This could drastically cause an increase in cost simply because you’re having to maintain the upkeep required.

A solution for this is implementing cloud-based software. Cloud-based EHRs are commonly known as Software as a Service (SAAS). SAAS refers specifically to where the vendor hosts the software on remote servers, and the client (which is you) can access a multi-user environment through the internet. This means that as long as you have an internet connection you’re good to go.

Workflow Disruptions

Customizing templates to suit your dermatology practice is a major inconvenience. It costs time, money and ultimately the patient is the one who suffers. Common complaints about spending more time on a computer documenting visits and procedures versus actual time spent face to face with patients can be easily avoided when using an EHR that is ready right out of the box. Since one size most certainly does not fit all, utilizing a dermatology EHR that is coded and built by practicing dermatologists can help decrease disruptions in overall workflow functionality.

Lack of Software Updates and Enhancements

In a field as dynamic and heavily researched as dermatology, having an EHR platform that doesn’t automatically offer updates can prevent you from staying current with software trends in your field. If your EHR vendor is only releasing possible solutions to fix bugs, then you’re probably working off of a low-quality EHR.

Software updates are critical to everything running smoothly and efficiently. Your dermatology EHR software should evolve over time. The best EHR vendors are offering software updates more and more frequently to meet the changing advancements in technology and changes in regulations.

These three hindrances to EHR productivity seem to be the most common when dealing with a costly EHR system. Not only do issues like these prohibit seamless functionality, they can also contribute to physician burnout. By eliminating redundancies due to workflow disruptions and keeping your software as up-to-date as possible, valuable time can be added back to your regular workday.

Making it home in time for dinner and possibly getting to the gym is closer than you think. And you know what they say: it’s all about the work-life balance.

Don’t Pay Extra for What Should Already Be Included in Your Dermatology EHR Software

Knowing what to look out for when it comes to implementing dermatology software is critical for your practice. Some of the other helpful questions to ask yourself are:

  • Does it have built-in ICD-10 codes?
  • Does the EHR meet your unique workflow needs?
  • Is it specialty-specific?
  • Is it cloud-based?
  • Can you use the vendor’s patient portal and an iPad check-in kiosk that is seamlessly integrated with it’s EHR system?

This is an excellent checklist to consider if you’re frustrated with an outdated EHR system.

You can’t afford to lose time, money and worst of all potential patients due to dysfunctional EHR software. Make the investment and do yourself and your practice a favor.

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