Hate your EHR? You’re not alone. Clunky user interfaces, never-ending workflows, and unreliable tech support are just a few of the problems that have turned many eye care providers against their eye care software. If you’ve tried everything possible to make your current eye care software work, it might be time for a change.
The ophthalmology EHR market continues to grow at a fast pace, and there are likely many more eye care software products available today than when you were last in the market. Or maybe your practice is still on paper—either way, the choices can be overwhelming. And with such a significant amount of money, time, and effort at stake, you can’t afford to make the wrong decision.
8 Tips for Choosing Eye Care Software
Finding the right vendor can be tough, and you won’t fully know if you’ve made the right choice until further down the road. However, these eight considerations will help you narrow the field.
There’s no way around it—electronic health records are expensive, and cost is likely one of your main concerns. Pricing for each system can vary widely depending on the size of your practice, the features you choose to include, additional components (like revenue cycle management, for example) and more. When comparing different eye care software systems, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples to get an accurate picture of the real, bottom-line costs of each.
Intuitive and Usable
The ease-of-use of an ophthalmology EHR system is everything. Over time, even a few unnecessary clicks here and there can add up to major lapses in efficiency. You want your eye care software to enhance your patient relationships—not detract from them. A system must be intuitive and user-friendly in order to increase your efficiency and allow you to maximize your limited patient face-time.
Eye care software that’s designed specifically for eye care practices can help you deliver the highest quality care in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. Specialty-specific vendors like Eye Care Leaders will have taken into account the unique needs of your eye care practice, creating workflow solutions that work for you, not against you.
Hosting (Cloud or Client Server?)
In years past, most eye care software was client server-based—hosted at the practice and requiring expensive hardware and IT expertise. Today, many eye care providers opt for cloud-based solutions that they can securely access from anywhere, anytime. Cloud-based systems (like myCare iMedicWare) are more cost-effective to set up and easier to implement. They also allow for more seamless, real-time collaboration between providers and staff, leading to better coordination of care.
Implementation and Training
Implementation is typically where high expectations meet reality. This is often the time when you’ve realized that you’ve overlooked something. Be sure to get as much detail about a vendor’s implementation and training process as possible. How much and what kind of support they will offer before, during, and after go-live? Also, remember that training doesn’t end with go-live. It’s an ongoing process. It’s typically a good sign if your vendor offers an annual user-group meetings or other ongoing training programs.
Find out what interfaces your eye care software vendor employs, and what partnerships they have. Features such as e-prescribing and integrated payment solutions offer additional ways to increase revenue and practice efficiency. For example, Eye Care Leaders’ partnership with TSYS allows providers to maximize their eye care software by securely storing credit cards on file, setting up and managing patient payment plans, and facilitating ACH, FSA, and HSA draft transactions. If there are specific integrations that you’d like that a vendor doesn’t offer, check to see if they can build those out for you. Keep in mind that there might be an additional cost for that customization.
Earning certifications requires months of preparation, reviews, and audits. If a vendor maintains certifications, it’s a good sign that they’re dedicated and “in it for the long haul.” For example, many of Eye Care Leaders business solutions (including optometric software and services such as revenue cycle management, hosting, and more) have been HITRUST CSF (Common Security Framework) Certified one usince 2018. This status shows that ECL has met key regulations and industry-defined security requirements to appropriately manage risk and protect your practice’s most sensitive information. The HITRUST CSF certification is the highest level of recognition in security compliance that an organization can achieve in the healthcare market.
Once you’ve narrowed down your field of potential eye care software vendors, you’ll want to check their references. Be sure to ask about their customer service and tech support. Any signs of unresponsiveness are red flags to look out for. You’ll hit technical snags with even the best eye care software systems, and a responsive vendor who’s committed to building a relationship with you will greatly reduce the frustration and lost productivity.