Can large clinics use OpenEMR? [Top 8 challenges & shotgun solutions]

A doctor and two nurse stands firm with their hands closed symbolizing the challenges faced by large clinic using openemr

An OpenEMR to begin with is a free source of electronic medical records and practice management. It facilitates a space for clinics to centralize health records, finances, and calendars.

It covers functions from scheduling to the final payment of any by patients. It is full-on HIPAA compliant for the entities covered by it. The covered entities are guaranteed compliance by OpenEMR’s federally certified software, HIPAA-compliant cloud services, and AWS’s Business Associated Services.

OpenEMR serves as a cement to the challenges faced by large clinics. Let us concentrate on the problems and how this adoptable OpenEMR can solve them diligently.

Problem 1: The complicated in & outpatient documentation and related tasks

Solution: Hybrid inpatient/outpatient support

The current status of the outpatient and in-patient focus and the hybrid support of OpenEMR for the outpatient community are; 

  • Encounters
  • Documents
  • Scheduling
  • Billing
  • Medical coding
  • Cloud-based
  • Demographics 
  • Lab integration
  • E-prescribe
  • SOAP notes
  • Decision support 
  • Problem/Med list

OpenEMR is also keen and working on features like smart self-measuring and clinical text analysis. 

For hospitalized/in-patient management, they are working on facilitating hospitals and clinics by acquiring regular vitals and hooking them into their big data platform to provide the physicians with more insights and useful information rather than providing raw data with features like hospital unit support. The web PACS system allows providers to read the radiology report along with the ability to see the DICOM image.

Problem 2: Managing claims, A/R interface, insurance queries, etc.

Solution: Advanced billing

OpenEMR’s medical billing feature supports;

  • 5010 standards that regulate the electronic transmission of specific health care transactions 
  • Institutional Billing Standards (UB-04), the uniform billing form for institutional providers
  • Electronic billing to clearing houses like Office Ally and ZieMED using the Accredited Standards Committee X12
  • Paper claims
  • The medical claim management interface
  • Insurance Eligibility Queries
  • Insurance Tracking Interface
  • Accounts Receivable Interface
  • EOB Entry Interface
  • OpenEMR billing is customizable to work with a clearing house for automated Electronic Remittance Advice entry
  • Has a flexible system of coding including CPT, HCPCS, ICD-9, ICD-10, and SNOMED codes, and the ability to add others.

These billing abilities and integrations allow easy billing and coordination of insurance processes.

Problem 3: Secured electronic data exchange across different systems

Solution: Rocksolid security

OpenEMR is 100% HIPAA complaint. A security risk assessment is a requirement in the US for compliance with HIPAA and Meaningful Use. The OpenEMR provides security to;

  • The support for a role-based menu (that allows customization of OpenEMR’s main menu) and a custom-based menu (while developing it each menu item has some fields)
  • Ability to encrypt patient documents (it uses the PHP mcrypt library)
  • Active directory support
  • Database correction encryption support
  • Supports fine-grained per-user access controls
  • Remote access from any latest web browser with an appropriate security certificate

Problem 4: Cost-budget barriers to effective treatments

Solution: Low-cost medical devices connectivity

The major challenges faced by practices are the cost associated with developments and upgrades. OpenEMR is an open source which means it’s free to download, install, upgrade and use. The cost enters only when additional support is needed. The cost of OpenEMRs is comparatively lower than most proprietary EMRs developed by traditional vendors. This is the sole reason why they provide low-cost medical device connectivity.

Problem 5: Proper tracking of patient prescriptions and medications

Solution: Quick & effective prescribing

Tracking and managing patient prescriptions is always a headache for healthcare providers along with all the other tasks they do. OpenEMR’s e-prescribing solves all the issues with this particular problem. OpenEMR’s prescription feature facilitates;

  • Tracking of patient prescriptions and medications
  • Online drug research
  • Layout customization (with options for Drug Enforcement Administration, National Provider Identifier, and state license numbers.
  • Creation and sending of prescriptions
  • Internal pharmacy dispensary support like in-house prescription dispensing, inventory of internal medications, and other healthcare supplies.)

Problem 6: Making timely appropriate clinical decisions

Solution: Clinical decision rules

These tools are created to help physicians to make therapeutic and bedside diagnostic decisions. 3 stages are involved in developing a CDR;

  1. Inference
  2. Authentication, and
  3. Implementation.

Many criteria need to be fulfilled while designing and measuring the results of an implementation trial. The CDR feature covers the following functions;

  • Patient and physician reminders
  • Automated Meaningful Use Measurement Calculations
  • Fully Customizable and Flexible
  • Clinical Quality Measure Calculations

Problem 7: Language and cultural barriers

Solution: Multilingual support

OpenEMR is software that is being adopted globally for its versatile use and abilities and the barrier to language does not bother its adoption as it now supports nearly 34 languages. Any language can be added and translated using a collaborative google docs spreadsheet managed by the OpenEMR community.

  • It fully supports UTF-8 encoding (an encoding system for Unicode. It translates any Unicode character to an equally unique binary string, and can also translate the binary string back to a Unicode character)
  • Supports RTL (right to left)
  • Supports the use of multiple languages within the same clinic

Problem 8: Patient Access

Solution: Patient portal

Facilitates patient-provider communications and empowers patients to take care of their health, diagnoses, and treatment by themselves. OpenEMR patient portal serves as a direct platform for communication within appointment scheduling and document and file sharing.

In OpenEMR there are two options for setting up a patient portal.

  1. Functional patient portal (included with OpenEMR).
  2. CMS patient portal (uses a set of APIs included within OpenEMR).

The patient portal feature in OpenEMR contains the following functions;

  • Scheduling and appointments
  • Online payments
  • Modern User Interface
  • Secure messaging and chats
  • Direct messaging for sharing records
  • New patient registration
  • Customized forms
  • CCDA support
  • Labs
  • Reports
  • Medications & medical problems
  • Allergies
  • Secure API that Supports Third Party Patient Portals
  • Appointments

RELATED: How Integrations Made Easy With OpenEMR [Undiscovered Features + Benefits]

Note: OpenEMR is being constantly updated and patched for improving the vast workflow functionalities of hospitals and other healthcare providers by its community. Constant OpenEMR upgrades are required for extracting high productivity from its side.

OpenEMR Services From CapMinds

OpenEMR consigns clinicians with the best features and ways to integrate easily and make their workflows more efficient and filtered. The fully integrated features will allow them to combine the ability of patient record management with conceptual and concurrent reminders to enhance the process of decision-making and improve patient care and quality.

Get the best technologies and HIPAA-compliant and more efficient OpenEMR that can be tailored exclusively to fit your practice needs from CapMinds Technologies. CapMinds OpenEMR services facilitate a Modern User Interface (UI), customization, production support, training, compliance, billing and report enhancements, specialty enhancement, clearing house integrations, and lab & e-prescription (eRx) integrations, payment and communication, and cloud & security.

“Let’s dissolve your clinical issues with smart solutions along with CapMinds OpenEMR services”

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