Healthcare is a sector that focuses on zoomed-in aspects of the human body and well-being. The industry is known for specific specializations that can narrow down a person's skills to very minutest of applications.
The technologies prevalent today are playing a critical role in enhancing the healthcare industry. Practical applications like Electronic Health Records are improving the way healthcare providers manage their patients' information and access it on-the-go.
However, the EHR applications up until now have been generalized and thus proven to be quite ineffective for the highly specialized industry. In order to zoom into specific areas in healthcare, organizations are now moving towards specialty-specific Electronic Health Records.
When are Speciality EHRs important?
Specialty EHRs can sound like a dream-come-true reality, but they often pose a variety of challenges. If specialty EHR could function as good as multi-specialty systems do, then there is no point in counting their lacks. But, specialty systems will see the light of the day only if they can be customized to meet the requirements of a pool of specializations in healthcare, as opposed to a single stream.
This is for the plain reason that developing organizations are affected by the reach of the highly-specialized products. Their profits and market segments depend on the higher reach, which can be achieved, though with some difficulty, by introducing flexible functionalities and integrations into healthcare EHR systems.
For an example, consider an EHR for ophthalmologists. It might have specific templates for eye tests, terminologies for the complaints that eye patients come across, help sheets with optical E&M codes, integrated billing functionality, and RCM.
A cloud-based specialty EHR would further the benefits of such a system by reducing substantially on the installation and security costs, hardware and on-site maintenance costs, etc. A web-based system would create an encrypted secure environment for the system that would also be accessible from anywhere.
The benefits of a specialty EHR system
Customized according to the needs of the practice – A specialty EHR would be customized according to the needs of a particular healthcare practice. Pediatrics doctors and nurses are more concerned with all the ailments that strike us during our childhood and would have nothing to do with a system built for oncologists. No specialty in healthcare can perform as well with ordinary EHR software as they can with a specialty EHR system that addresses all of their needs.
Better care for patients
The whole point in introducing advanced systems is to better the patient care. For an example, a specialty EHR built for cardiologists can contain a checklist of questions about a patient's family history with regards to health problems. This information, collected through an EHR system, can highly improve a cardiologist's plan for patient's treatment.
Better educational information for healthcare providers
An Endocrinology EHR by CureMD is an intuitive solution that contains predefined templates for conducting physical exams, document management system, fax management, clinical forms and reminders, E&M Coding for Endocrinology, Drug ad patient information, and data mining reports, all at one place. Such a system can greatly improve the educational material that healthcare practitioners can get from their EHR system.
Reduction in time and effort
Physicians today have no time for buying a general purpose EHR only to fill it with the required information thereafter. Getting hands on a ready-to-use specialty EHR system is the most affordable option for these practitioners in terms of time and efforts.
While IT innovations for health have certainly widened the arena of EHR functionalities, they seem to remain stagnant in specialty care settings. Pediatricians, in particular, have grown frustrated over the lack of RHE innovation related to pediatric care.
While research and developments are still underway, there are a lot of challenges that stare us in the eye when talking about specialty EHR systems. For one, their lack of flexibility is an issue. Workflow flexibility is reduced in a specialty system as the configurability is limited as compared to a holistic general-purpose EHR.
While the challenges are few and reducible, the advantages are many. As we go into finding new ways of innovation, EHRs are ready for revolution.