Choosing Between Ready-made and Custom EHR Solutions

In the US, EHR solutions form the heart of healthcare reform. Healthcare companies often require a software product that helps in aligning all the digital processes with their internal system. EHR has 96% coverage in hospitals today.

Choosing the right EHR solution is a challenge for many medical organizations. Every business is different, and requirements can vary based on your organization’s size and type, objectives, and goals.

Healthcare organizations usually get stuck while choosing between ready-made and custom EHR software. But first, let’s take a look at what is an EHR system and then at the pros and cons of each solution to identify which one is appropriate.

What is an EHR System?

An EHR (electronic health record) is the electronic version of a patient’s paper chart. It is real-time, patient-oriented records that make patient information available securely and instantly.

Although an EHR contains the medical and treatment records of patients, an EHR system goes beyond basic clinical data collected and has a wider view of a patient’s care. It is an important part of healthcare software development and can:

  • Enclose a patient’s medical record, medications, diagnoses, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, treatment plans, and test results.
  • Grant access to evidence-based tools that doctors may use to make decisions about a patient’s care.
  • Streamline and automate a doctor’s workflow.

One of the key features of EHR is that health data can be created and managed by certified doctors in an electronic format capable of being shared with other doctors at another healthcare organization. Thus, EHRs contain patient information from all clinicians involved.

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Ready-Made EHR Solutions

🔹There are multiple reasons why healthcare organizations opt for ready-made EHR software. They include:

  • As these solutions are industry-specific, it is likely to meet most requirements of a company
  • Affordable up-front costs. Development costs are scattered between a large number of end-users. Ready-made EHR software is an attractive option if you have a limited budget.
  • Ready-made solutions have several features that a company might start using with time as it evolves.
  • Users are assured that any software problems are timely addressed as vendors usually provide maintenance and support services.

🔹On the other side, few things make ready software a bad option:

  • Healthcare specialists don’t always require the full functionality of a ready-made EHR solution or may require other features that are not available.
  • Users can ask the provider or a third-party to add more functionality to the system. However, this means extra costs.
  • Medical organizations have to pay for support services, different licenses, upgrades, etc. Thus, the system’s final cost can be higher than what the user expected.
  • At times ready-made apps can fail to comply with the security requirements or the user’s hardware may not be powerful enough to run them smoothly.
  • Dependency on a particular system could limit options in buying software for other uses.

Custom EHR Solutions

🔹Several healthcare organizations choose custom EHR systems. The reason being:

  • Custom EHR solutions have all the crucial functions and features that the business needs.
  • Users don’t have to spend much time getting acquainted with the product. This is because custom software developers pay close attention to the user’s business processes and requirements while working on the solution.
  • Custom EHR solutions completely fit the user’s security, hardware, and software needs.
  • The customer has to pay only once. No licensing or additional fees are required.
  • All problems are resolved quickly as the vendor provides fast and direct support to its products.
  • Organizations have to only pay and manage for features that they want.
  • Custom EHR can be in sync with existing workflow and hence the organization does not have to make any changes.

🔹Few aspects that prevent medical organizations from ordering custom EHR solutions include:

  • Custom EHR products generally have high upfront costs. The costs can be recuperated through overtime eventually creating a positive ROI
  • Software development can be a lengthy process. Medical organizations should understand that they will not get their desired EHR solution in a week or two.
  • Custom EHR has a dependency on the execution team to build the product. It is hence, always advisable to choose among established players

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Key Features of an EHR system

👉Your Digital Health File

Imagine it’s like your super organized folder for health stuff but on a computer. It keeps track of everything about your health – from medicines to allergies, even your X-rays and doctor’s plans.

👉Helps Doctors Decide

It’s not just a bunch of records! This system has tools that help doctors choose the best treatment for you. It’s like having a smart helper for your doctor.

👉Makes Work Easier for Doctors

Just like how your favorite robot vacuum cleans your house, this system helps doctors work smoothly. It handles a lot of their paperwork, so they can focus more on helping you.

👉Shares Health Info Securely

Imagine this system is like a secret keeper. It keeps your health secrets safe and only shares them with other doctors when needed. It’s like having a super-locked diary that only trusted people can read.

👉Connects All Your Doctors

It’s like having a group chat for your doctors! This system lets all your doctors see the same info about you. So, no matter where you go, they’re all on the same page about your health.

Read more: Benefits and Challenges of The Electronic Health Record

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Conclusion

Deciding between ready-made EHR solutions and custom EHR systems is a big deal in healthcare. EHRs, or electronic health records, are super important in the US, used in almost all hospitals. But picking the right one depends on weighing the good and not-so-good things about each.

Ready-made EHR solutions are like store-bought options: they have industry-specific features and are cheaper at the start. But they might not fit perfectly for every specialist and can cost more over time.

On the other hand, custom EHR systems are made just for a healthcare organization. They fit perfectly, reduce unnecessary stuff, and ensure security and software needs. Even though they cost more at first and take longer to make, they save money in the long run and don’t need continuous payments.

Custom EHRs are great because they’re made just for the organization, fitting exactly what’s needed and saving money in the end.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of custom EHR solutions over ready-made ones?

Custom EHR solutions are like personalized tools for healthcare organizations. They’re made to fit exactly what each organization needs. This means they can have features that are just right for them. When everything fits perfectly, it can lead to better care for patients.

How can I identify the right EHR solution for my organization?

To identify the right EHR solution, you should assess your organization’s needs, consider key features, functionalities, and integration, and evaluate the user interface and regulatory compliance.

What factors should I consider when selecting an EHR system?

Critical factors to consider when selecting an EHR system include assessing your organization’s needs, identifying key features, considering integration and interoperability, researching available vendors, and checking for regulatory compliance.

How can I develop a plan to choose the right EHR solution for my practice?

The process of choosing the right EHR solution involves identifying decision makers, clarifying goals, writing a request for proposal, selecting recipients, and reviewing and making an informed decision.

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