Elements of An EMR In Todays World

The way medicine is practiced is changing fast and completely.  Whether a physician owning the practice, a medical office manager for a medical practice or physician just striking out on their own there is the one tool you must have in our world of medicine today: Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

Every medical person will attest to how intricately EMR is laced into the everyday world of medicine.  And one of the biggest needs for EMR to a physician is records retrieval and billing.  Billing is what guides the profitability and records is what guides the billing.  Today medical records are evolving at a rate as never before.

What with HIPPA, a new coding system and new health care reforms, Medicare and Medicaid; it is imperative that individual physicians keep abreast of these nuances.  The medical industry has moved beyond the exam room and entered into a technological field where to remain in business means to embrace technological advances in medical record keeping and storage.

EMR must work intricately with not only the community hospital(s); but also other physician practices.  When looking for the right system there are some fundamental things to know.

  • Knowing how well trained the present medical records keeper is and how well this person embraces change.
  • Having a system which is easily understood and easily grasp by everyone in the practice.  The system that is versatile and easily maneuvered will save money, staff and countless hours of frustration.  Remember changes will happening whether we are ready or not; so let’s be ready.
  • Being aware of all the CEU’s necessary to maintain a prominent thriving medical practice also means having the ability to move forward on all levels.  Maintaining CEU’s and licensures are vital to a growing practice.

The search for the best EMR is driven by the physician or a person hired by the physician to do just that for the office.  There are many different systems to look at, but only one medium to help guide the purchaser through the different and complex systems. .  #EMR-Matrix.org

Records safety is not only important it will also have a bearing on the malpractice insurance necessary in the practice.  Although it would seem there is no place totally safeguarded from hackers and theft  showing due diligence for patients, practice, staff and yourself. Electronic Medical Records Matrix is the best tool to step forward with as the learning curve is concave, and a gentle slope.

The challenge is:

Knowledge of community assets and deficits will carry the practice well; due to the interaction with the community hospital(s); the systems in the community and ability to link to them.  (Tip: The hospital is the guiding force for linkage.)  If by chance the community is at the ground level of instillation, stick your foot in the door and take the journey with them.  Electronic Medical Records Matrix is a tool to guide and meet the challenges ahead of the community

Training is very expensive and time consuming, the system which is easily understood and easily grasp by everyone in the practice will provide well.  Having a system that is versatile and easy to maneuver within will save  money, staff and countless hours of frustration.

And possibly the most important is can the system be tailored to the needs and necessary activities of your practice.  Being able to take a new procedure or instrument and easily intergraded it into the billing and records system is going to benefit all patients and staff alike.  No matter how well the staff is meshed together into a well-oiled machine, people and practices change.  Can this new tool be used by a new person within the office?

These questions: (1) one tool, (2) blend with hospitals and other practices, (3) records safety, (4) training of staff and physicians alike, and (5) be tailored to the practice; can best be answered by .  #EMR-Matrix.org

Five things to think about if you’re purchasing an EMR to replace an existing EMR

When opening a medical practice the need for Electronic Medical Records is front and center.  However, how to find the right system is another matter.  The best way to find out what works for you is to look at comparison sites and review the comments left but other clinicians in the same situation.   Small practices have far different needs than large practices who have different needs than hospitals.   Specialty practices also have their own set of unique needs so there are a myriad of variables that you have to compare, price and support being cross cutting.

There are five things necessary to meeting the EMR standards.

  1. Integration:  Ability to integrate into a system, which will meet prescription writing, billing, charting, interface with other medical providers and insurances.
  2. Time Saver: Ability to save time and therefore money within the office.
  3. HIPAA and Technical Security:  Security and therefore patient confidence.
  4. Care Teams:  Ability to interact with other physicians, patients and hospitals in the area.
  5. Implementation: Quick set-up and easy to get operational.


There are many systems to choose from and there are many different levels of service.  Gone are the days of having a system which only does medical billing or green screen technologies that transactionally allow you to complete tasks.  Today it is a critical factor that any EMR you purchase meet the new Meaningful Use requirements around interoperability, patient engagement and quality metrics.  You can no longer afford not to be connected electronically with the community.  This is a good time to transform your practice into a digital operations…and receive the government ARRA funding for doing it.

A temporary hire (six months to 1 year) of an EMR implementation project manager may be the best move you will make.  This person will be able to search through the systems; look at where your practice is headed and make a quality recommendation.  You may want to spend a couple hours examining  and reflecting on  information at http://www.emr-matrix.org.  This one site can help you with not only finding the right match, but suggest the questions to ask.


On the site you can ask questions from other providers about the systems they chose to use and what are the “gotchas” that you may not see on their website.  The best shortcut is to look at the user ratings on EMR Matrix since they are pulled from the EMR “Hot or Not” which is voted on by clinicians.  In terms of interoperability, knowing that the system will communicate with the labs and radiology facilities will be very high on your list of needs.  While looking at your own practice, there will be a need to communicate with other physician to which you might refer a patient; thereby moving interfacing the top five needs.

EMR-Matric.org is up to date with the top EMR systems for small to large practices (not focusing on hospitals) so safe to assume those EMR’s probably will fit your needs.  The site keeps abreast of new and fledgling systems as well as older systems which have produced for physicians in the past.  With the new legislation, now is the time to find the system which will bring you into the new world of medicine. Searching for the cutting edge of these systems and know what the strengths and weakness are is why you want EMR-Matrix in your corner.


This one site can give you and/or your project manager the necessary information to look more closely at the best system for you.  You will know if tech support is part of the package or training of staff is part of the purchase.  Because this is a nuance in the medical community there is just not enough known about what is out there and how to select for your practice.  The help you receive at emr-matrix.org is designed to save you money, time and frustration.


This is an expensive prospect for your business.  The knowledge gained and the ability to produce quality material for the local community can make or break your practice.  Most physician’s see this as a journey of endless perils and missteps.  Having EMR-Matrix walking along with you and opening the doors needed to make your practice a budding business is the only way to assure yourself of finding the answers in one place and knowing the quality.  You will have the peace of mind that you have done the very best you can to protect your patient’s and yourself.








DOD May Not Select OpenVista

Something is amidst with OpenVista. Recent reports indicate it may not be the sole EMR of choice for the DOD according to a recent article in FierceGovernmentIT. This would prove to be a significant departure in adoption support for OpenVista given the potential alternative is a commercial off the shelf EMR.

We will be installing a demo version of OV shortly for you to review yourself.

About OpenVista
OpenVista(R) is the open-source version of VistA, an enterprise grade health care information system developed by the U.S. Veterans Affairs and deployed at 1,500 global facilities. OpenVista is a registered trademark of Medsphere Systems Corporation


New CMS Update

The CMS EHR Incentive programs are currently open programs for eligible professionals and hospitals to receive incentive payment for participation.

National Provider Call: Stage 1 of CMS EHR Incentive Programs for Eligible Professionals: First in a Series on Thursday May 30, 1:30-3 pm. This session will inform individual practitioners on the basics of Stage 1 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. Learn if you are eligible, and if so, what you need to do to earn an incentive at: http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/NPC/National-Provider-Calls-and-Events-Items/2013-05-30-EHR-Stage-1-Eligible-Professionals.html

Reporting Period to Submit eRx Data and Avoid Adjustment Ends June 30:

A major Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program deadline is approaching for both individual eligible professionals (EPs) and group practices participating in the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO).

Quality Alignment Timing: Learn more about the timeline for program alignment that is trying to be achieved for both eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals. Quality alignment will begin in 2013 for eligible hospitals, and in 2014 for EPs.

Checking in on CMS will be a regular weekly post to keep up with communication coming from CMS on information about these and other related programs.http://www.cms.gov/

Selecting An EMR

Selecting an EHR system is a critical decision and a significant planning task. There are different opinions regarding when the selection of an EHR system should be made in the planning phase. Some practices go through the planning process and develop the selection criteria they wish to use. Other practices begin by selecting an EHR system and then conduct planning to support the selected EHR system. Most practices develop an initial plan to identify their key goals, select an EHR system that supports these goals, and then finalize their plan after the selection.

After establishing the practice’s objective(s) and planning how EHRs will affect workflows, the leadership team and staff can determine what to look for when considering and selecting an EHR system. The following are several considerations for EHR software comparison that the Regional Extension Centers (RECs) have found useful over the past several months:

  • Understand if and how a vendor’s product will accomplish the key goals of the practice. Essentially, a test drive of your specific needs with the vendor’s product. Provide the vendor with patient and office scenarios that they may use to customize their product demonstration
  • Clarify start-up pricing before selecting an EHR system (hardware, software, maintenance and upgrade costs, option of phased payments, interfaces for labs and pharmacies, cost to connect to health information exchange (HIE), customized quality reports)
  • Define implementation support (amount, schedule, information on trainer(s) such as their communication efficiency and experience with product and company)
  • Clarify roles, responsibilities, and costs for data migration strategy if desired. Sometimes, being selective with which data or how much data to migrate can influence the ease of transition
  • Server options (e.g., client server, application service provider (ASP), software as a service (SAS))
  • Ability to integrate with other products (e.g., practice management software, billing systems, and public health interfaces)
  • Privacy and security capabilities and back-up planning
  • Linking payments and EHR incentive rewards to implementation milestones and performance goals
  • Vendor’s stability and/or market presence in region
  • Cost to connect to HIE
  • Consider costs of using legal counsel for contract review verses open sources through medical associations

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