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EHR software systems are, in their simplest form, computerized or digital versions of patient paper charts. However, in practice they are more than just patient paper charts. EHR software systems offer real-time patient-centered records for easy access and use wherever needed, bringing together everything about patient health in one place.
With these systems, it is also easy for doctors to share information, including test results, and collaborate about a patient and treatment methods. This helps reduce costs significantly, especially when you consider the time savings in traditional charting. Refer to the following to compare features, understand the system, and estimate your costs.
Benefits of EHR Software Systems
Electronic health records contain patients' full medical histories, including diagnoses, immunization dates, medications, radiology images, allergies, lab and test results, and general patient medical history. EHR software systems offer easy access to evidence-based equipment that practitioners can use to make decisions about patient care. Another benefit is that these systems streamline and automate the medical provider’s workflow while increasing accuracy and organizing patient information.
EHR software also supports key changes in the market, especially in terms of consumer expectations and payer requirements. The key benefit of EHRs is that they can easily be designed, managed, and consulted by any authorized staff, as well as providers across multiple healthcare organizations. Moreover, one EHR software system can bring together important information from the past to current physicians, workplace and school clinics, emergency facilities, medical imaging facilities, laboratories, and pharmacies.
Points to Consider before Choosing EHR Software
- Security: When it comes to patient information, security is of paramount importance. This ensures that the confidential patient medical information is not compromised in any way and also guarantees trust between patients and practices, as well as practices and EHR software providers.
- Backup: A system with frequent backup capability helps ensure both the security (see point one) and integrity of patient data. This ensures that things such as natural disasters, theft, and fires do not prevent access to patient information. Also, one can’t ask a patient to bring his data to the healthcare facility. This defeats the purpose of EHR software.
- Easy to use: You want a system that's easy to use and with an intuitive interface. This ensures immediate implementation with minimum training required. It also cuts down on the cost of implementing the software.
Sample Prices of EHR Software
Prices for EHR software systems vary based on a wide variety of factors, including:
- Whether you choose cloud-based or in-office EHR software, both have different costs that affect the final price of the EHR software
- The number of healthcare providers who will use the system, since pricing is based, in part, on the number of users
- The size of the practice, as the number of patients also plays a role in determining cost
- The type of practice, as certain practices require more detailed charting and complicated measurements that require higher expertise, which can increase the ultimate cost of the system
- The number of licenses the practice is required to have in order to use the EHR software – licenses may include, among others, software updates and one-year email support within the same software version
Keeping all these factors in view, here are rough estimates of what getting EHR software for your facility may cost.
- Cloud-based EHR with four users starts at around $800 to $900 per month.
- Cloud-based EHR with eight users averages between $1,500 and $2,000 per month.
- Cloud-based systems for 12 users average between $2,500 and $3,000 per month.
- Cloud-based systems for up to 20 users average between $3,000 and $4,000 per month.
- Implementing an ASP-based system has a much broader price range, between $4,000 and $10,000 on average.
- Implementing a server-based EHR system averages between $20,000 and $40,000.
- One personal computer per physician averages between $5,000 and $8,000.
- System hardware averages between $5,500 and $6,000.
- IT-related issues and support average between $3,000 and $4,000.
- Multi-physician practices pay between $180,000 and $200,000 for their EHR systems.
- First-year maintenance costs average between $80,000 and $100,000.
- Training costs between $2,000 and $3,000.