3 useful integrations you should look to include in your next EHR

A consequence of EHR products including more functionality has been the development of the market for EHR software integrations or add-ons that further enhance functionality. A software add-on is any third-party software program or script that is added to a program and enhances it by providing additional features and abilities. For example, Adobe Flash is a software add-on that gives Internet browsers the capability to watch flash movies or play flash games.

Third-party developers have played a significant role in enhancing the stock functionality of EHRs, which can be particularly beneficial for consumers who do not wish to entirely replace their existing EHR a new version offering more functions. A third-party add-on can provide a strategic way to enhance functionality in areas that may need attention-such as revenue cycle management or customer relations-whereby a full EHR replacement may be unnecessary.

Here are three useful EHR integrations you should look to include in your EHR:

1. CRM

Customer relations management EHR integrations can provide an upgrade for practices that wish to enhance their ability to interact with patients in various ways, such as sending automated alerts to remind the provider to contact their members based on new data or the absence of data. Further CRM add-ons can provide more nuanced patient data in a more user-friendly manner than an EHR alone can provide. This is especially useful in practice areas or markets where quality monitoring is conducted, or where market conditions require an extra emphasis on patient engagement.

Recommended Reading: EHR Selection Survival Guide - Select the right system for EHR integrations

2. Practice management

Medical practice management software is a category of health care software that deals with the day-to-day operations of the medical practice. Such software allows users to analyze patient demographics, schedule appointments, maintain billing lists, perform billing tasks, and generate reports based on all of this information. Practice management add-ons offer practices the ability to avoid using a separate standalone practice management system. The benefit of this integration rests in the fact that existing data contained in the EHR can be leveraged to better address the consumer side of a practice, particularly if the practice is not making the most of its existing patient revenue due to missed appoints or non-optimized billing.

3. Data analytics

When looking at the market for data analytics, one can see that it is segmented into descriptive analytics, predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics. Although predictive analytics represents the more sophisticated form of analytics, it also represents the market that is the farthest away from reaching maturity. On the other hand, the descriptive analytics space represents a market where a number of add-ons are available. Through these add-ons, providers can first understand what is at hand regarding their organization and its patient population, and then aggregate data to try to tease out past trends to craft future decision making.

Add-ons may be the present solution to practices who wish to provide more sophisticated functionality to their existing EHR while avoiding buying an EHR with all the costly “bells and whistles.” However, as the EHR market matures and products begin to include more functionality the need for add-ons will likely diminish, but for now they offer a way to increase functionality on a budget.

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Jeff Green

About the author…

Jeff Green, MPH, JD works as a freelance writer and consultant in the Healthcare information Technology Space.

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Jeff Green

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