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Healthcare providers understand the benefits of electronic charting software to reduce costs, improve care, and enhance efficiency. Choosing the right software for your practice, though, requires understanding the technology and your own needs to determine the best solution and vendor. Most electronic charting systems focus on automation, flexibility, and discrete data. Most of these systems have built-in evaluation and management capabilities, ensuring all data entered into the system is accurate and that staff enjoy much-needed assistance performing daily, simple tasks.
Benefits of Electronic Charting Software
Charting allows you to quickly see a patient's history as well as his or her current treatments and conditions. Electronic charting takes that one step further, by allowing easy access to records and the ability to quickly share patient histories with specialists and in collaboration.
Electronic charting software solutions offer a range of clinical guidelines and decision supporting tools, such as automated listings and references, essential components of delivering improved healthcare services. Web-based application capabilities provide easy access from any location, reducing development time. You can also quickly submit claims and pay bills with reduced risk of human error.
Practices also experience increased productivity throughout the organization. Newer services include voice recognition, speeding up the charting process even more. Charting software saves valuable time and allows you to dedicate your human resources to improve the patient's experience.
Points to Note before Selecting an Electronic Charting Software Vendor
- Define your goals: Basing your electronic charting system on your facility's functional needs ensures you choose a solution that truly meets your needs. Look carefully at whether the software integrates seamlessly with other systems currently in operation reduces risk of complications. Understanding your goals also helps you determine which features are must-have, which are nice-to-have, and which ones you're unlikely to use. As features add considerably to overall cost, understanding which ones you actually need offers significant savings.
- Shortlist possible vendors: Make a list of possible vendors you would like to research further. This allows you to eliminate vendors who do not deal with a particular specialty or size practice. Also, choose vendors that have actual certification that gives you surety of the authenticity of the software.
- Arrange for a demonstration: Once you have a shortlist of vendors, can arrange for a demonstration of the charting software to identify the right software for your healthcare facility. Include staff who will actually use the software in your demonstration, as they offer the best front-line opinion.
- Voice recognition services: These are becoming more common by the day. This factor should also be taken into consideration for the software. Some of the newest systems can be programmed to recognize different voices so as to be able to be used by various practitioners in the same clinic and this will bring the cost down.
Sample Prices of Electronic Charting Software
The price of electronic charting software ranges from as low as $200 to tens of thousands of dollars. There are so many variables in pricing that estimating cost is impossible without knowing your exact needs. Pricing varies by the number of users, whether the software is cloud-based or hosted in-house, the features you choose, and much more. For an accurate estimate, you need to talk to vendors – preferably at least three – but the following estimates should help you begin the budgeting process.
- A web-based software solution averages between $200 and $1,000, billable either monthly or yearly.
- In-house hosted software averages between $2,500 and $5,000 per user.
- Expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for the initial setup.
- If you require training, expect to pay an average of $2,000.
- Some charting software vendors charge by usage, with pricing ranging from $1 to $2 per patient.