July 20, 2023
Pediatric EHRs have many features similar to general-use EHRs. These modules, however, cannot fully cover the everyday needs of a pediatric practice. This is why AHRQ and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have developed the Children’s Electronic Health Record Format, which describes the critical functionality, data elements, and other field-specific requirements for pediatric EHRs. Moreover, pediatric EHRs’ functionality can be enhanced with the help of third-party integrations.
The healthcare industry is becoming increasingly digitized, so the number of software tools medical professionals use daily is growing. In order to protect patient data while maintaining efficient operations and accurate patient records, healthcare software must be interoperable. EHR often becomes the heart of a hospital ecosystem and integrates with other software based on the organization’s needs.
Integrating EHR with practice management software brings together the administrative and clinical sides of a pediatric practice. It eliminates the need to duplicate information about initial and follow-up appointments, tasks for personnel, patients’ and doctors’ personal details, and care plans, which results in fewer errors and accelerated operations.
Connected billing and claim management software streamlines cash flows, accelerating the claim submission process and reducing the workload on professionals dealing with claim reimbursement, rejection, or validation. Also, pediatricians can get their reimbursement much easier.
Marketing and sales tools integration with pediatric EHR helps facilitate the client’s journey from a prospect to a patient. Accurate and secure data flow between such tools and EHR software is especially valuable in pediatrics, as parents or guardians purchase healthcare services, not patients.
Connecting EHR to telemedicine apps allows pediatricians providing remote patient care to have the child’s health information on hand during the session and share the meeting and treatment information with other professionals: family doctors, nurses, caregivers, and school or camp healthcare personnel.
Integrated patient engagement solutions allow parents, guardians, caregivers, and older children to manage health and medical records, notify their doctor about condition changes, or get educational resources. Coupled with other integrations, patient portals enable users to receive online consultations with their pediatrician or schedule an appointment.
Most seasoned vendors offer on-premise or cloud-based EHR systems geared toward pediatric organizations. However, many of them are just general-use EHRs with a couple of add-ons. Therefore, we recommend choosing a solution that was developed as a pediatric one at its core.
Arguably the largest EHR vendor, Epic offers a cloud-based solution with all the essential functionality of a standard system and various add-on modules relevant to pediatricians. The company has recently cooperated with PediNotes to enhance its functionality with pediatric practice management, neonatal/infant-focused features, data analytic capabilities, and pediatrics-specific information. This software is most suitable for large and medium practices, while smaller pediatric care providers might turn to cheaper systems with less advanced functionality.
Image title: Epic EHR
Data source: emrfinder.com — Epic EMR Software, 2022
The challenges shouldn’t discourage pediatricians from adopting the system, as the advantages prevail. Besides, the healthcare IT industry advances very fast, and both vendors and care providers take an active part in improving pediatric EHR usability, interoperability, and security.
Pediatric practice management should carefully choose and implement software solutions that contain only the vital functionality to avoid overburdening users with unnecessary tabs or fields to fill in. The interface should be user-friendly, simple, and intuitive to reduce the mental pressure on clinicians – the primary users of the software. Sufficient training also contributes to personnel satisfaction and prevents burnout as users learn how to use their EHR efficiently.
Lack of unified AAP regulations
Software providers, ONC, CMS, and healthcare organizations should work together to create unified regulations so that certified EHRs for pediatricians adhere to uniform rules and standards. Comprehensive documentation would benefit pediatric EHRs’ security and the efficiency of all child healthcare organizations.
Providers should consider updating their pediatrics EMR and EHR software in favor of solutions that ensure interoperability or invest in integration services to create a seamless data flow between different software solutions in a particular healthcare ecosystem.
Each medical specialty faces unique challenges and tasks, and general-use electronic health record solutions can’t always meet them. There are many EHRs to choose from that can enhance healthcare delivery and reduce the administrative workload for pediatric clinicians. Before implementing a pediatric EHR solution, determine the functionality and data security features your hospital needs. Afterward, follow the best implementation practices to reap the most benefits from your system. Implementing EHR in pediatrics is a challenging task and requires experts' insights. Itransition is ready to help, offering professional EHR consulting and development services.
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