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AdvancedMD is a unified suite of software solutions designed for mental health, physical therapy and medical healthcare organizations and independent physician practices. Features include practice management, electronic health rec...Read more
McKesson Practice Partner is an ONC-ATCB and CCHIT certified electronic health record (EHR) and practice management solution. It is HIPAA compliant, and can be deployed on-premise. To date, it has served over 25,000 users across p...Read more
Q.D. Clinical EMR is an on-premise electronic medical record (EMR) solution for clinical documentation, managed care support, practice research, image management, lab order tracking, drug interaction checking and more.
Q.D. C...Read more
CGM APRIMA, previously known as APRIMA EHR, is a market leading, award-winning EHR loved by physicians and office staff. Designed to take advantage of multiple hardware forms including the APRIMA Mobile app which is perfect for t...Read more
Sevocity is a cloud-based medical solution best suited to practices seeking a very customizable EHR. The system includes unlimited customization services, unlimited personalized training, and US-based live telephone support 24 hou...Read more
athenahealth, recently ranked #1 by 2022 Best in KLAS for athenaClinials Ambulatory EMR for 11-75 physicians and athenaIDX practice management, provides cloud-based services for electronic health records (EHR), revenue cycle manag...Read more
ClinicalWorks, an electronic health record (EHR) and practice management solution, provides technology for every step of the patient care delivery process. Clinicians access features including patient engagement, Telehealth, custo...Read more
MDConnection is a web-based solution for medical practice management. The system serves the needs of small practices consisting of just one physician or a small group of physicians. The core functions include scheduling, medical b...Read more
Harmony e/Notes is a hybrid integrated solution that offers functionalities for electronic medical records, practice management, billing and revenue cycle management. Specialities that the solution caters to include cardiology, ge...Read more
AllegianceMD is a cloud-based medical software system that is designed to serve the needs of small and midsize practices, as well as ambulatory surgery centers. The solution includes practice management functionality for billing a...Read more
MedWorks is a cloud-based ONC-ATCB certified, integrated electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management solution designed for midsized practices. It is suited for a variety of medical specialties such as family medicine, ...Read more
NueMD offers a suite of cloud-based software and medical billing services for practices of all sizes. NueMD is an integrated practice management, medical billing, electronic health recording and appointment scheduling solution.
Allscripts® Practice Management is a comprehensive revenue cycle management solution for physician practices of all sizes and specialties, including those associated with health systems as provider-based practices. It boosts pract...Read more
MedicsPremier supports comprehensive financial/operational/workflow management and a nearly 100% success rate on first attempt HCFA/UB clearinghouse claims with a utility for workers compensation/no-fault claims/documentation.
iKnowMed Generation 2 is a cloud-based electronic health recording solution built for the needs of oncologists and hematologists. It is designed to help practices meet Stage 1 and Stage 2 of Meaningful Use certification.
In a...Read more
DrFirst, the medication management leader in the industry for over 21 years pioneered EPCS with DEA, myBenefitCheck (Real-Time Benefit Check), and artificial intelligence in the field of medication management. DrFirst is always in...Read more
WEBeDoctor is a cloud-based practice management solution that helps medical practices to manage their daily administrative operations. Key features include appointment scheduling, insurance verification, patient electronic medical...Read more
CareCloud Inc. offers an integrated electronic health recording (EHR) solution–Charts–that provides collective benefits of EMR, practice management and medical billing services. Charts helps physicians to streamline clinical opera...Read more
Enablemypractice is a cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) and practice management (PM) solution. Enablemypractice is modular, allowing practices to utilize (and pay for) just the functionality they need. In addition to an O...Read more
Kareo is a Web-based EHR, medical billing, and practice management used by thousands of physicians across the United States. This system suits small practices and billing companies. With Kareo, practices can schedule patients, con...Read more
Electronic health record (EHR) software—also often referred to as electronic medical record (EMR) software—addresses many of the same concerns for nephrologists as it does for practitioners in any medical specialty. Broadly speaking, this software will automate repetitive tasks, streamline documentation, improve access to information, enable more accurate and profitable coding and foster efficiency.
But nephrologists have some unique needs they’ll want their software to address, as well. We’ve created this guide to help you evaluate software to find an ideal fit for your practice.
Nephrology EMR software is an electronic medical record system (more commonly referred to as an electronic health record, or EHR, system) that is specifically designed to be used by nephrology specialists. These EMRs / EHRs include specific functionality, features and data sets that will only be used by nephrologist practices; for example, they will be pre-programmed with nephrology CPT & ICD coding as well as templates that address specific nephrology-related fields.
While nephrology practices can certainly use general EMR or EHR software systems, utilizing a specialty-specific system will save time and improve accuracy of records, diagnosis, treatment, and billing.
Common features of nephrology software
The following features are those that nephrologists commonly cite as most helpful in medical software:
Receiving, reviewing and sharing lab results is critical for nephrologists. Some EHR systems integrate with laboratories and/or support alerts for abnormal lab values.
Nephrology CPT & ICD coding
Your software solution should be able to reference current CPT and ICD code sets for nephrology. Many systems allow you to identify “favorite” codes that you use frequently so they can be called up quickly, and some even suggest codes automatically.
Many software solutions will offer templates specific to the nephrology specialty, such as note templates for CKD, Dysuria, Flank Pain, Hematuria, Renal Failures and others. These templates are designed to make documenting the types of visits you conduct most frequently more efficient.
Nephrology practices tend to need the ability to access and create appointments based on their own office calendar as well as dialysis center calendars. Many scheduling systems offer this level of visibility.
Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS)
Some EHR software offers a PACS feature, which will manage the storage, retrieval, distribution and presentation of MRIs, CTs and other patient images.
Not all nephrology EHR software will include all of these features, and some features may be supported to varying degrees in various products. Further, you may place higher importance on some features than others. Be sure to identify the features that are most critical to your practice’s operations, and evaluate software that supports them.
Benefits of Nephrology Software
Implementing a new EMR with nephrology-specific features can help your practice reap a great deal of benefits, such as:
Improved documentation: When evaluating kidney-related conditions, it’s key to keep detailed notes of every patient counter so you can track progress over time. Note templates ensure you’re capture all the necessary information in a clear and comprehensive way.
Greater access to records: Digitizing medical records makes them easier to share through tech-enabled processes and platforms, such as direct messaging or patient portals. This eliminates the need to spend time locating paper files, making copies and sending them to patients or referring physicians.
Faster workflows: Most EMRs come with time-saving features, such as e-prescribing and clinical decision support tools. The first of these allows you to generate and send a prescription order (e.g., dialysis medication) directly to a patient’s pharmacy so you don’t need to rely on phone calls and faxes. Clinical decision support tools may include computerized alerts/reminders, clinical guidelines and patient data reports that can make it easier to treat and diagnose patients.
Aside from the functionality mentioned above, there are a few other things to keep in mind as you evaluate software solutions.
What applications do you need? Do you only need an EHR? Or will you need applications for medical billing and/or appointment scheduling, as well? If you’re only looking for a single application, that application will be known as a “standalone” or “best-of-breed” solution. If you’re looking for one system that includes multiple applications (e.g., EHR, billing and scheduling all in one), that is what’s known as an “integrated suite.”
Most nephrologists we talk to are seeking an integrated suite, with one major exception: if you currently outsource billing and don’t plan to bring that function back in house, you probably won’t need a billing application. However, you may still want to evaluate integrated EHR and scheduling offerings.
What type of deployment do you prefer? “Deployment” refers to where the software is “hosted,” meaning where it lives. If the software is installed on your own office’s servers, it is an “on-premise” system. Alternatively, the software can be hosted online (in the cloud), meaning it can be accessed via an Internet browser on any device with an Internet connection. This type of deployment is known as “Web-based” or “cloud-based”—it’s also synonymous with software-as-a-service (SaaS). (To learn more about Web-based systems, check out our Web-based EMR buyer’s guide.)
On-premise systems usually entail larger upfront costs in the form of software licenses and hardware. Web-based systems, on the other hand, usually have a lower monthly subscription fee instead of a single, upfront license fee. However, the costs of the systems tend to diverge over the life of the software—check out our Total Cost of Ownership calculator to see how this often works.
Practices that prefer on-premise systems typically want the control of running the software on-site through an internal IT team. Practices that prefer Web-based systems generally like the flexibility of being able to access the software through any Internet connection, as well as the ease of automatic upgrades, which are typically “pushed” out to users without requiring downtime for installation. Some practices have no preference, and many vendors offer multiple modes of deployment.
Will you require mobile support? If you or users in your practice will want to be able to access your nephrology EMR software via a smartphone or tablet, you’ll want to make sure the vendor you select offers mobile support. This may be especially useful for nephrologists conducting dialysis rounds who wish to access charts on the go.
Keep in mind that while Web-based systems typically offer the ability to access the software through any Internet browser, you’ll still want to confirm that the vendor offers a “native” mobile app—that is, an interface designed specifically for use on a smaller screen, such as a tablet or smartphone. Take a look at our tablet EMR guide for more information on available tablet options.