While most practices are leveraging EHR systems, there are many practices that are working around the gaps of their EHR system, since their system was not designed specifically for a modern pediatric office. While we could fill a book with all the features and benefits of a high-quality pediatric EHR, listed below are three areas where a high-quality EHR can enhance the performance of a pediatric practice:
Simple User Interface for Office Team:
Being both full-featured and simple is a challenging task when designing and developing software. With minimal training, each team member in a pediatric practice should be able to quickly complete their role. Roles vary by function in a pediatric office, subsequently the pediatric EHR should have login and users roles that vary by function (Front Desk, Medical Assistant/Nurse, Provider, Biller, Practice Admin). Many multi-specialty EHR systems have features and options designed for every area of medicine. This wide variation of choices causes much adult medicine questions to be available. If the pediatric practice is part of a health system or multi-specialty group, then the practice needs to be on a multi-specialty EHR. However, if the practice is an independent pediatric group with no adult medicine or health system, then the group can leverage a Pediatric-Specific EHR.
Linkage of Clinical and Financial Information in the Patient Record:
There are many clinical roles and tasks that pediatric practice staff members complete, such as a nurse or medical assistant fulfilling vaccine orders from the provider. The EHR system should record the details of giving vaccines in an easy and efficient manner, without requiring the staff to enter all of the lot numbers and other information manually, each time a vaccine is given. Ideally, the EHR should contain clinical templates for well visit (ages birth – 21 years) as well as sick visit templates. Additionally, the system should be easy to use for recording and managing depression screening in teenage children. Where possible, the system should allow the practice to set up auto-rules for adding CPT codes based on the practice’s approach.
Family-Based Linkage of Patients:
In a modern pediatric practice today, there are many families with different last names between patients and parents/guardians. A pediatric-based system should allow the practice staff to manage patients in families so the family balance shows across multiple patients. Aligning by family also helps providers understand the size of the family and the patients within a certain family. The ability to download a family list with phone number or address allows the practice to send out postcards or practice announcement calls.
Pediatric practices have relatively low reimbursements per provider compared to other medical specialties. An effective and efficient EHR system should enhance overall practice performance and ideally, this should be a simple to use and full feature Pediatric EHR.