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Frequently Asked Questions

Purchasing and implementing an EHR system is a big decision. The right EHR can have a tremendous positive effect on every area of your practice.

There are many choices when it comes to choosing an EHR, and knowing some basic information about what to look for will make your decision much easier.

For over 25 years, PracticeStudio has been not only covering the basics, but far exceeding industry standards for premium, integrated EHR systems. The following are key questions to ask when researching EHRs, along with reasons why PracticeStudio is such a powerful EHR solution.

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PracticeStudio is a Complete EHR.

EHR systems can be either complete or modular. Complete EHRs present you with all of the features required to provide your patients with quality care as well as allowing you to meet government healthcare requirements. EHR modules, on the other hand, provide you with the tools required to complete only some (and in some instances, only one) of the actions you need to perform to run an efficient clinic.

PracticeStudio has received the 2014 Edition Certification by Drummond for Stage 1 and Stage 2 ONC-ACB Certification as an Ambulatory Complete EHR.

The ONC, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, runs a government-sanctioned certification program by which certifying bodies, also known as ACBs, Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies, can test EHR systems and verify that they are compliant with the latest healthcare standards. Providers who hope to receive ARRA (American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009) incentive payments must use ONC-ACB Certified EHR products.

One thing to watch out for is whether you are purchasing a Complete or Modular level certified product. A Modular certification forces their customers to purchase multiple products that will meet all of the necessary certifications. While this is obtainable it is up to the customer to ensure their compliance and they do not have the reassurance that a Complete certified product can provide. PracticeStudio is a certified Complete EHR and does not require you to integrate several different products; PracticeStudio contains all the tools you need within one product. Go to our certification page.

PracticeStudio uses a wide array of electronic interfaces to ensure that our software is interoperable with the majority of external systems on the healthcare market. PS is also PQRS (Physician Quality Reporting System) Qualified, which means that our EHR is capable of submitting health information to the government in accordance with the latest quality measure standards.

Interoperability refers to a software product's ability to communicate or interact with products from different manufacturers or with public health registries established and maintained by the government. In order to run your practice efficiently, your EHR should be capable of communicating electronically with other providers, labs, public health registries, drug databases, pharmacies, and insurance companies, to name just a few.

PracticeStudio uses intuitive, role-based organization, as well as a role-based menu system that groups areas of the software according to which users typically access them. PS also includes customizable charting workflows, a Provider Dashboard with links to outstanding provider tasks, and a Quick Launch menu that is user-specific, customizable, and always accessible.

Any complete EHR is necessarily going to be an extensive and detailed software product. Some are much easier to navigate than others, though. The organization of the system, as well as the navigation tools (the menus, the links, etc.) should be easy to learn quickly. If they're not, you'll waste countless hours training your staff to use the system, and then any time you hire a new staff member, that learning curve will start all over again.

PracticeStudio includes all of the features listed below as well as many more, including touch screen posting, past due lab notifications, patient tracking, estimated insurance calculation, remittance posting, and inventory tracking. It comes ready-to-use, day one, with a full complement of discipline-specific treatment forms and workflows...but it's also highly customizable.

There are certain things that all EHR systems have to be able to do: keep track of patient demographics, post financial transactions, allow you to record patients' charting information electronically, etc. But some EHRs contain additional features that can make your clinic run much more smoothly, like messaging, appointment scheduling, electronic claims processing, eprescribing, and lab management.

PracticeStudio can easily handle one user on one computer or a thousand users on a thousand computers. PracticeStudio is built on the Microsoft® .NET platform and uses a SQL® Database backend, which allows for scalable growth within the application database when adding provider records and user accounts. The true limiting factors of scalability for any EHR system is a function of hardware, networking, and database installation.

Scalability typically refers to two aspects: the number of providers whose records the EHR can keep track of, and the number of users who can be logged in simultaneously. Some EHRs are designed for small to mid-sized practices and have a hard time accommodating larger practices with numerous providers and a large number of staff members.

PracticeStudio is fully integrated and contains a large number of programmatic connections that link different areas of the software together, so that you can maximize productivity by reducing the amount of time you spend entering information into the EHR.

Most complete EHRs have both Electronic Medical Record and Practice Management features, but not all of them seamlessly integrate the two parts. You need a system that doesn't just provide billing and scheduling features in addition to charting, but that weaves all of the features together so that actions you perform in one area of the software are updated in other areas of the system simultaneously.

PracticeStudio offers discipline-specific data sets for Cardiology, Chiropractic, Dermatology, Family Practice, Internal Medicine, and Urgent Care. Each data set comes with a set of pre-built workflows, screens, and templates that were designed with input from practitioners within the discipline, but the screens are also highly customizable.

Not all medical exams are the same. The charting feature of some EHRs contains a basic set of screens that is expected to adapt to a broad range of disciplines, and because of its generality, it doesn't work very well for any of them. You need an EHR that is designed specifically for your discipline, so that the screens allow for detailed input pertaining to your patients' precise conditions.

PracticeStudio offers product support and training in a variety of ways: remote desktop, phone, email, online HelpDesk, webcasts, and streaming training videos. And the best part is, it's included in your monthly subscription fee. All of it.

An EHR is valuable only when it works the way you need it to and when you are informed of the extent of its capabilities. If you have a problem with the system or a question about its features, you need ready access to technical support and learning resources so that the issue can be addressed quickly. Also, in addition to availability, you should consider the cost; many EHR companies charge by the minute for tech support.