Chiropractic EMR vs. EHR – Do you need a Chiropractic EMR vs. EHR? Learn what the difference is between these two different types of software and find out which one is best for your practice.
Chiropractic EMR vs. EHR
Let’s start with the acronyms. Chiropractic EMR stands for “electronic medical records,” while chiropractic EHR means “electronic health record.” Aren’t they the same thing? The short answer is “no,” although people mistakenly use them interchangeably. EMR is the older term, and dates from the early days of maintaining electronic rather than paper medical records. Fast forward a few decades, and not much has changed with EMRs. On the other hand, EHR is the current jargon for electronic records containing more comprehensive information that can easily be shared with patient care team members, no matter their location.
A practice still using chiropractic EMRs today really hasn’t evolved much too beyond keeping paper records. In essence, it’s the digital version of a patient’s paper chart. A practice relying on EMRs can access a patient’s medical records via the computer, but that’s about it. Chiropractor EMRs can’t help you with billing, scheduling or other critical aspects of patient care and business. Another downside: Chiropractic EMRs are not certified for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the related Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) necessary to participate in Medicare’s Quality Payment Program, which is only available for EHR systems.
The federal government oversees certification, and the lack of certification due to using an EMR system means a practitioner cannot take advantage of Medicare incentive programs. This may prove a considerable financial blow to many chiropractors.
There’s also the practical matter of inability to share EMR information with other providers. If you want to send patient information on, you have to make a copy and then scan it or fax it on. Perhaps the best analogy for EMR vs EHR is the cell phone. A decade ago, a flip phone probably met most of your needs. Considering that you can access the internet with your smartphone, make purchases, pay bills and accomplish thousands of other tasks, would you willingly go back to a phone that simply lets you make calls? That’s unlikely, and that’s the same reason chiropractors don’t benefit from having even the best 1990s technology in their offices. While EMRs have some advantages over just keeping records on paper in file cabinets, the difference between an EMR and an EHR is even more vast than the difference between paper records and an EMR.
When your practice utilizes chiropractic EHR software, all of your patients’ data is in one place, easily accessible and readily available to send securely to other healthcare providers, as long as that provider is also signed up for Direct Messaging. That includes not just other doctors, but laboratories, pharmacies, medical imaging technicians and any facility involved in patient care. The time needed to get in touch with other medical professionals is cut down to seconds. Overall, you’ll present your patients with better care and additional options after installing a chiropractic EHR software system. There’s less chance of some vital piece of information falling through the cracks, such as a patient’s allergies or the list of current medications. When information is shareable, patients are less likely to undergo duplicate, unnecessary testing. When you have comprehensive information about a patient in one place, it’s more probable you will make the correct diagnosis and devise the right treatment plan. If your patient moves out of the area, sending their medical information to their new chiropractor is a snap if the provider has Direct Messaging, allowing your patient’s treatment to continue without interruption. Non-health information, such as insurance coverage, is included in all patient records, too.
The ability to share isn’t just limited to fellow providers. Patients can also log in to the system via patient portals and see some of their medical data, such as lab test results. The data may answer questions that prevent patients from having to contact your office.
Certification goes beyond MACRA and MIPS participation. With certified chiropractic EHR software, your patient’s data is completely secure and protected. You’re meeting federal standards for such software, and that means it reduces the liability if your system is hacked and security breached.
Google Trends Data
As far as Google is concerned, there’s no contest in the search department. Those looking for information regarding EMRs far surpass searches for EHR, and that’s been true for at least five years. However, vendors have long since standardized the term “EHR” for their software. Since it would make more sense for EHR, with its integration capabilities, to prove the more popular choice, let’s examine the reasons why this isn’t apparently so. Part of this is cost and demographics. Younger chiropractors, presumably familiar with tech since childhood, are more likely to become EHR adapters since he or she knows their practice’s future lies in operations integration. However, at this stage of their career, they may not have the IT budget to support an EHR system. Older chiropractors, who might recall when desktop computers were an innovation, may not adopt IT as aggressively. They might want to go paperless and all that entails, but don’t see the need at this stage of their profession to spend the money on an integrated system, as a standalone EMR meets their needs.
When it comes to choosing between an EMR and EHR system, there is no wrong decision. It is a matter of choosing what is right for your practice and your budget. If an EHR is out of reach right now, you can always upgrade when the funding is available. The bottom line is that both systems eliminate paper charts and store patient information electronically.
ChiroTouch EHR Software
ChiroTouch’s certified chiropractic EHR software offers a fully integrated practice management solution. Not only does ChiroTouch interactive software provide a streamlined solution for your practice, but you can tailor the software to best meet your custom needs. With state-of-the-art, fully automated software, you have confidence in your documents, and you and your staff have more time to spend focusing on patient care. Call us today to schedule a demo and see for yourself the difference ChiroTouch’s certified chiropractic EHR software can make for your practice and your patients.