Dr. Chrono iPad EMR

Dr. Chrono has sparked some of the BEST debate on EMR Matrix.  That being said, we want to drive some data on this rating from clinicians since that is what EMR Matrix is all about, clinicians providing their input.

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Update -14 May 2013

Since this review, users have been posting negative experiences with Dr. Chrono from a support perspective.  This has caused a decrease in the scoring.  EMR Matrix will be reaching out to Dr. Chrono to see whats up with the support issues and hopefully help them regain their top tier ranking.  This is what EMR Matrix is all about.  Thanks users!

First Glance

Dr. Chrono is a relatively new player in the EMR space and has taken a very unique/cool approach to EMR’s its totally mobile.  This native iPad EMR has a slick and easy to use user interface that is very quick to learn.  The UX is very Mac like (which I love) and focuses on a nice, clean and organized experience.

The pricing model is very nice and follows the “freemium” approach.  You can download the free version for basic features and graduate up the pay scale to $399 per month per provider for the premium (Apollo) version.

Interoperability

As many people know, this is a sensitive spot for me.  I really think ALL EMR’s should offer robust interoperability options for their clients in the form of modern API’s, web services, federated identification, etc.   Dr. Chrono shines in this area.   They offer a nice API both in Python and RESTful web services…but its more than just nice, it rocks.   Unlike an Epic, they WANT developers to build onto their platform and innovate upon their API and guess what?  It wont cost you $150,000!

Features (Free through Premium aka Freemium)





  • Meaningful Use Certified
  • Check-in
  • Custom Clinical Forms
  • iPad Clinical Photos & Videos
  • eRx e-Prescribing
  • Payments with Square
  • Template building by drchrono
  • Insurance Eligibility Checks
  • Incoming / Outgoing Fax
  • FreeDraw
  • Text & Phone Reminders
  • Supports Practice Groups
  • Demographics Upload
  • Medical Speech-to-Text M*Modal
  • Quest Labs Realtime Integration
  • 3rd-Party Lab Integrations
  • 2-Factor Authentication
  • Advanced Patient Access
  • Electronic Medical Billing
  • Electronic Remittance Advice
  • Advanced Billing Center

Mobile

Ok I would be silly to even write something here, they OWN mobile.  The only thing that I think I will point out here is that they offer iPad printing features so you may want to check out your existing printers to see if they support.

Pricing (per provider)

This is a true Freemium model meaning basic model is free and you unlock more and more features as you go to premium.

Free through $399 per year

Patient Interaction

The patient interaction is very nice as it provides a free patient App you can download from the App store.  A key feature here is the ability to expedite patient registration which is a huge efficiency boost.   The form fill out on the App is easy and far better than boring paper intake forms…oh and no paper cuts.

Other Key Features

  • eRx – Yup they got it
  • Paperless medical billing….check that as well
  • Oh and I would be remiss if I did not mention text to speech capability…not Siri yet but nice

Adam’s Recommendation:  This is a novel, innovative, very cool EMR platform that just makes sense.  It is simple because EMR’s should be simple.  I am sold.  Just make sure you adopt an Apple device strategy since it is an Apple IOS App.

 

Dr. Chrono EMR Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Dr. Chrono iPad EMR

  1. Unfortunately, DrChrono just isn’t useable–it has very rigid templates and the options they provide(multiple select, yes/no, fractions etc…) are NEVER correct no matter how much modifications I do–I am tinkering with their templates everyday and it increases my workload because I need to triple check my notes to make sure they’re correctly formatted. They do not understand how a doctor thinks. In addition, working on an iPad is nice in theory but the actual implementation of drchrono on the iPad is poorly done. Despite being a “native” ipad emr, it still forces you to use the computer for essential things and does not enable such functions on the iPad. The problem is, there is no easy way to work on notes on the computer for anything(erx, notes,viewing documents) and they have ridiculous tabs/menus to navigate through when you want to view/print a previous note or view scanned documents. their eRX is atrocious–cannot prescribe/ find simple meds or allergies–as of today, there is no way to enter a sulfa allergy–a very common allergy. They arrange patients by their first name in the patient note section and you cannot rearrange it to show by any other method! Do you have any idea how hard it is to find someone by their first name?! They also keep changing their prices and exclude essential features each time unless you purchase the more expensive upgrade.
    It’s simply not worth the price. My recommendation is to use something free(practicefusion) or bite the bullet and pay for something more expensive but with known functionality.

  2. I agree with Steve. I’m finding this program extremely rigid. I have spent literally 48 hours on creating templates. Even now, I am having to make changes as I go through. Don’t even get me started on the billing. There is no way to manually enter anything on a HCFA. The only way to bill is to create an appointment. Then you are billing off of defaults. If you want to bill inpatient hospital stays, you have to create an appointment for every day the patient is confined. And bill each day separately.

    I am so horribly frustrated with this program.

  3. I have to agree with Steve and Griff. The support is terrible. They have recently eliminated chat and it takes hours to get the answers to simple questions. No one seems to know the right answers, but that doesn’t stop them from giving bad answers to questions. We were on a paid plan which I just canceled. Broken promises for features and poor support caused me to just drop it and go back to Practice Fusion. PF isn’t much better, but it’s free and improving all the time.

  4. This program is not worth the hassle that is causes. There are always parts of the system that don’t work, and like Peter said, it then takes days, sometimes weeks, for the issue to be corrected. The support staff is slow, and they immediately tell you to clear your cache and update your browser. We already do this, so that ends up adding another day or two to the response time. It is impossible to reach anyone by phone, and for the past 3 months, we haven’t even had an account manager we can touch base with. Everyone is in India.

  5. I found this system to be the worst I have tried.

    It cost me personally 40 plus hours as the doctor to learn in the first 3 weeks. I have a back ground in database systems, and IT so it's surprising that so much of the software is setup in a fashion that actually adds time to the practice.

    I wonder how many practitioners are aware of the extra time their staff must take to use this cumbersome software. Simple things like make the appointment on the iPad and set a reminder at the same time isn't possible.

    You must make the appointment via iPad and then log-in to your desktop computer to setup reminders. There is no function for a default reminder for a patient. Expect to pay your staff more for the extra time it takes to use this program. This is a very minor example of poor planning by people who never worked in a medical office.

    Their USA team also dump you with their India support team that force you to waste even more time since each one only can answer very narrow questions that they are trained on.

    So if you need help with a few things plan out 1 hour for each call that must be setup as an appointment with that 'specialist'. Then hope you get an answer that isn't that DrChrono doesn't do that really.

    Support tickets end up just filling your inbox with a back and forth dialog that often doesn't resolve the problem, is not about the problem at all, or says 'sorry DrChrono doesn't have that feature'.

  6. Maximum Results Mentor For Solo/Small Businesses, Online Marketing Mentor for home business at Author/Speaker
    I found this system to be the worst I have tried.

    It cost me personally 40 plus hours as the doctor to learn in the first 3 weeks. I have a back ground in database systems, and IT so it’s surprising that so much of the software is setup in a fashion that actually adds time to the practice.

    I wonder how many practitioners are aware of the extra time their staff must take to use this cumbersome software. Simple things like make the appointment on the iPad and set a reminder at the same time isn’t possible.

    You must make the appointment via iPad and then log-in to your desktop computer to setup reminders. There is no function for a default reminder for a patient. Expect to pay your staff more for the extra time it takes to use this program. This is a very minor example of poor planning by people who never worked in a medical office.

    Their USA team also dump you with their India support team that force you to waste even more time since each one only can answer very narrow questions that they are trained on.

    So if you need help with a few things plan out 1 hour for each call that must be setup as an appointment with that ‘specialist’. Then hope you get an answer that isn’t that DrChrono doesn’t do that really.

    Support tickets end up just filling your inbox with a back and forth dialog that often doesn’t resolve the problem, is not about the problem at all, or says ‘sorry DrChrono doesn’t have that feature’.

    I agree with every one here don’t waste your time on this program that is going to ruin your business.

  7. drchrono implements over 100 practices across 80 specialities every month. We appreciate the feedback and are working hard to make sure all of our users (across all plan levels) are successfully using our platform within 4-6 weeks of signing up. During implementation we ask at that you block off at least 5 hours to learn our platform through individual trainings by us. Its important that you work with your implementation specialist and take advantage of the Q&A sessions, Ipad training, Billing training, Practice Management etc. Please also understand that there will be extra hours required for transferring paper files into electronic formats. There are outside services we can recommend to help you out with this transition too.

    We have a strong development team that releases features everyday based on our users’ needs. Recently we released added permission settings, updated eRx, patient education data through Mayo clinic, box.com sync, online statements, various scheduling enhancements, Spanish reminders, advanced reporting tools etc. We are working on making sure that our users are up to date with all of these enhancements.

    For the users that left our service, please feel free to email me at [email protected]. We would love to walk you through our platform and get you up and running again. We do really take your feedback to heart and want to make sure your experience is as great as our other users.

  8. I used to pay $2200 a month for a receptionist plus 7% of what she collected on billing. Now I pay a flat fee that’s only a small fraction of what I was paying out. My patients schedule online, and with my cell phone as my office number, all my texts come through my iPad – so while I’m working with a patient, I can be informed of other patients’ status if need be. A great example happened this past Monday when I got a text from a patient that had just been hit by a car. I told her to come in and added her as an extra last patient of the day. The exchange took 5 seconds and the patient with whom I was working never knew that I had just responded to a critical situation.

    The learning curve on drchrono is like anything, and while I’ve had a few bumps learning the system, my continued use of the product helped me reach a point where I’m free to practice my art without spending so much time on the business end. It does take time to set the foundation, but once it was there, my practice became even more full. For those frustrated by the details of learning to use this software, I would highly recommend watching Derek Sivers and the importance of failure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhxcFGuKOys

    Here’s my set up for a solo practice and it works great for me (and keeps getting better):

    • iPhone as my clinic number
    • I use the fax number provided by DrChrono (this has allowed me to drop my extra line – saving $110 a month)
    • iPads are linked to my cell, so emails and texts come right to me (see example above). The new iPads have text to speech, so my notes and/or adding patient info is fast and fun 🙂
    • wireless printer/scanner in case I need to print anything out. One can save a non-patient paper doc as a pdf on your desktop, then add it to your own patient chart (as you under your name), then fax it out to where ever you’d like. I know this is a work around, but DrChrono is working on adding a more convenient faxing system. receiving patient faxes is a breeze, then you just click a button to add incoming faxes to whomever’s file you’d like (easy!).
    • iMac for getting a big overview – you can add a link on your iPad, but it’s easier on a desktop
    • Square Register – drchrono allows you to use square in their software, but register allows me to add herbs, Kinesio Tape, and other products/procedures. It also will tender cash and checks, so my taxes are a breeze now (my clinic grosses 6 figures)!
    • I spent lots of time here and there tweaking my template for what I do and how I bill – every 30 minutes I’ve put into this process has saved me several hours, if not days of time by now, over my work week. What used to take me 20 minutes of note taking now takes just a couple of minutes – that gives me a huge extra amount of time to work hands on with my patients (this alone is worth investing more time into the process). And billing now takes seconds!
    • The online scheduling option is amazing! I get several email a day informing me that someone has scheduled online! My schedule fills up quickly as the week goes by and while my next week is fairly open, my current week is packed. I’ve added 2 places on my website where people can schedule themselves – drchrono provides a copy and paste template that you put in your website builder (I use 1&1).

    Here’s what DrChrono won’t do:

    • It won’t make you a better practitioner – that’s up to you and your work (although, now that I have more time to do the work…..).
    • It won’t streamline your practice instantly. While it made my practice easier from the start, the more time I put into learning all this, the better it became. DrChrono is a fantastic tool, but so is my Japanese fine toothed saw – and while my saw helped me make better stringed instruments, I had to use it many times before I got the results I was looking for (see Derek Sivers’ bit).
    • It won’t seem familiar right from the start. However, the more you use it, it will become easier and easier. I’ve used a few other products in the past, and drchrono beats them all hands down with its features and flexibility. If you’re a fixed learner, then maybe this software isn’t for you, but if you approach the software with the understanding that it’s going to take some time to master (just like anything worth doing), then I’m sure DrChrono will be just what you’re looking for!

    Updates are constantly coming out because the team is tweaking and listening to its users on what they want. I’ve seen several things I wanted implemented, and Garvis (one of the support people in India) has been there for me from day one. I get consistent call backs and email responses from him, and if he can’t help me, he gets me to someone who can. I used to use a chat feature here and there, but my practice is too busy for me to sit and chat online – the call backs and emails work way better for me. If I have an issue, I just click the support button, and send a quick email.

    In our busy practices, it’s easy to get caught up in your own world, but remember, DrChrono, like most everyone else out there is doing their best (for me, they are the best); I’d recommend watching David Wallace’s, “How’s the Water”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmpYnxlEh0c

    My rating would be much higher than the 75 above, more somewhere in the 90s. Once I get more time (I’m currently president of our state association, and we just finished getting our new practice act passed), I want to share more about how DrChrono has been a game changer for my busy practice. For now, I hope that the above information has been useful 🙂

    yer pal,
    greg

  9. I have to agree with Greg. I researched EHRs before I decided to go with drchrono. The iPad platform is great for my solo office. The learning curve was not steep, and I customized my exam templates to suit my practice needs. I also have to comment on the customer support. I have had nothing but excellent support from the drchrono support staff. All questions were answered promptly and in a way to help a neophyte like me get back to doing what I do best – see patients.
    Look, there is no perfect, one size fits all EMR (I think), and we all need a platform that works well for our individual practice. drchrono is that platform for me. I agree that their score should be higher than the 75. I’d place them in the high 90’s.

  10. I have been using Dr. Chrono for the past 2 months and have been happy with the program. I am an eye doctor and I have created templates that are specific to my needs and work well.

  11. I have found drchrono to be intuitive to use. The support is outstanding; both courteous and fast. I’ve been using the program for almost a year and am extremely satisfied. I’ve been doing computerized billing since 1988 and electronic claims submission to Medicare since day one of that program. I’ve never had software with as few bugs as drchrono, and drchrono is further improved on a regular basis via simple app updates. No complicated, slow downloads or reinstallations. Drchrono’s service and support is vastly superior any other program I’ve used.

  12. Customer service is very friendly if you can ever reach them. My iPad app stopped working yesterday and I emailed the company for support (there is absolutely no way to ever reach an actual human by phone or chat). So I emailed last night. Later last night. This afternoon. Later this afternoon. More later this afternoon…

    After four or five emails sent and multiple calls to various voicemails that I had in my old messages, and finally a post on their FB page begging for a human to call me back, I got a call back… only to be told it's not working because my upload speed is not 3Mbps (it's 1.57). Except that it has never been at a higher upload speed, and it worked fine up until yesterday. I am trying to learn this system, and maybe I'm just not tech savvy enough, but it seems to be taking me forever to figure out. Some stuff can only be done on iPad and some stuff can only be done on computer.

    It seems like they are working hard to make it better, but in the meantime…

    Not sure if there is any better solution, but kind of wishing I hadn't paid a year in advance!!

  13. I work for a primary care office with 3 providers and we have been using Drchrono for nearly 3 years. Early on there were many bumps in the road but now everything runs pretty smoothly, much better then our last EMR. Appointments, billing, and nurse calls are done on desktops, all of the in room activity is done on the iPad. I think this setup gives you the best of both worlds, an iPad where mobility and face to face interaction is required and a desktop for everything else.

    The templates use a mad libs style sentence builder that works very well when seeing patients but does require some work to get the phrasing correct in the template, overall the doctors love how they are set up. We use the predefined H&P and SOAP templates with a few modifications and have many disease specific templates we created ourselves.

    Support is generally good but can be slow to respond. I have had very few critical issues that have come up, most support issues can wait a few hours. If an iPad isn't working you probably need to update the OS/software. If the system is down (very rare) it gets quickly fixed without me doing anything.

    Overall I'm happy with Drchrono, it's one of very few EMRs that works well on a tablet and they are continuously improving. If you have a problem they actually fix it, no "it'll be fixed in the next release" or upgrade fees. In my opinion it is one of the best EMRs in the small office market.

  14. Broken promises and failed execution are the only way I can describe DrChrono.

    After signing up for a plan at $450 a month it was almost impossible to get in touch with anyone. The system is extremely buggy, after several weeks I still haven’t had important features turned on, and I have received no support. The “support” I have received came from people in India that don’t even know the product.

    I’d stay far away from DrChrono. The system wasn’t designed by physicians, nor do they know the important of a software system like this for running a practice day to day.

  15. Where do I start… first of all, this is the WORST software I’ve EVER used.

    1) Two people cannot be in the same account. And if you are, ALL of your notes disappear into thin air.
    2) The speech to text feature is useless
    3) The reporting function is inoperable. It crashes if the report is too big. And you cannot customize it to your liking and you have to wait for it to be in the message center.
    4) Their online support is A JOKE. They cannot help you 50% of the time from the start.
    5) The whole platform constantly crashes without any warning and they leave you stranded without prior notice
    6) They need to market to small PCP groups only, this software is not made for other specialties
    7) Their onboarding training is a waste of time. Their trainers have no clue what the provider does on daily basis.
    8) They only do API interphasing and they don’t do it themselves. You have to go through a 3rd party and pay tons of money for it.
    9) Their template construction is too cumbersome. It actually takes you less time to free type rather than follow their note template
    10) Everything is done based on appointments. So, you need to document outside of that, you cannot.

    I am switching to eClinicalWorks because this software cost me a lot of money, headache, frustration, and time. I do not recommend for groups with more than 5 providers.

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