Your long-term care (LTC) charting system affects every part of your practice, from clinicians to admin staff. Clinicians spend 1.84 hours each day using EHR software, so it’s the one tool that has the potential to cause major headaches and chaos if you get it wrong. Careful consideration of a few key factors and features can help you refine your search and find the best solution for your practice.
Factors to Consider in an LTC Charting System
At a minimum, your software should meet HIPAA privacy and security rules, including data encryption, access control, and audit trail functions. However, a few other factors may affect your day-to-day operations. Before you commit to a new system, consider your budget, technical skill, and whether you want to manage on-site hardware and technology.
Ease of Use
An intuitive system is the most important thing to consider. You and your office staff use the EHR daily, so it must be simple to use and onboard. A clunky or outdated system is slow and adds extra burden to the workload, quickly causing frustration.
If possible, demo the software with key people from your admin team before you commit. That way, all departments can confirm it has everything you need but is also user-friendly.
Considering overhead costs is good business, but it’s even more essential for long-term care practice. Running a practice is expensive, and margins are already thin, so your software shouldn’t break the bank.
At the same time, you don’t want to be too cheap. Investing in a quality system you use daily will save you money in the long run through higher efficiency and fewer claims and compliance issues.
Cloud-based solutions will cut your costs. These are often web-based, which means there is nothing to install and no hardware or servers to maintain in your office. You simply log in and access your EHR. All you need is an internet connection and a computer or tablet, making it easy to stay up to date from anywhere without expensive overhead.
Most clinics or practices use more than one software or tool. The best LTC charting system is one that integrates with your essential programs. Look for an EHR that includes integrations with billing, medication management, prescriptions, and reporting. This will help you meet your interoperability and meaningful use requirements.
Must-Have Features of an LTC EHR Software
Once you have an overall idea of your requirements, narrow your options by features. Your system should simplify charting with customizable templates, simplified billing and reporting, and electronic prescriptions.
Medical chart templates are essential for clinicians and other healthcare practitioners. Built-in templates speed up the intake and documentation process. However, customization helps refine your charting process, allowing you to pull repetitive information forward and minimize redundancy while still maintaining compliance.
Smart Billing and Coding
EHR software with smart coding functions also helps refine and simplify your billing process. Choose an EHR with an extensive coding database and intelligent functions. Smart coding, for example, recommends billing codes based on your notes so that you don't waste time searching for the correct entry.
A billing integration that allows you to use one platform to verify benefits and bill clients is also essential. Systems that talk to each other and operate from one native solution help reduce data entry errors and claims denials.
A MIPS dashboard tracks metrics you may want to report, such as quality performance, improvement activities, and interoperability. Rather than scrambling for information at the end of the year, a MIPS dashboard helps you continually collect data and monitor progress.
Ideally, your LTC charting system should allow you to run reports on specific categories and sync with the MIPS registry. That way, you can file your annual report with a simple click to avoid penalties and take full advantage of bonuses.
An e-prescription integration helps streamline your charting process. Rather than flipping back and forth between software screens, you can manage patient prescriptions all from one place. It also helps prevent data entry errors that may have serious consequences.
Look for an LTC charting system that allows you to prescribe, refill, and track prescriptions without leaving the chart. It should also integrate with prescription drug monitoring programs and a controlled substance prescription system.
Get Started With ChartPath EHR
ChartPath is an electronic health record for long-term and post-acute care. Intuitive software with customizable charts, intelligent coding and reporting, and prescription integration makes it easier to chart and get paid. Transform your practice with ChartPath. Schedule your demo today.