Chiropractic clinics need an EHR and practice management software that slides smoothly into the flow of their day-to-day operations. This software should optimize their administrative work while making charting a breeze, but since many chiropractic practices are operated entirely by a single chiropractor, clunky medical software oftentimes makes an already heavy workload feel unmanageable.
If you approach your EMR system search with a suite of features in mind, it will help you narrow down the competition and avoid compromising on the tools you really want. As a chiropractor, your electronic health record system can be something that makes patient care easier and more personal.
However, finding a software that fires on all the right cylinders is often harder than expected. Whether you are opening a new clinic or simply looking for a new electronic medical record software, the features outlined in this article will help you narrow down your search.
What an EHR for Chiropractors Needs
First and foremost, a mobile friendly, cloud based EHR is a hand in glove fit for chiropractic clinics. Chiropractors should be able to access and edit patient notes directly from mobile devices like their iPad or iPhone.
DrChrono user Dr. Alex Miller of KC Performance Chiropractic and Rehab was able to open his practice on a strong note due in part to the mobility of his EHR system.
“I could literally take my phone into the treatment room if I wanted to, pull up the patient notes, and do anything I needed to from there,” he said. A mobile EHR is essential for practitioners on the go who value more face-to-face time with patients during appointments.
Similarly, for chiropractors taking telemedicine appointments, mobility is key. You should be able to conduct video visits via iPad and iPhone, as well as the web, and your patients will appreciate being able to access those appointments on their mobile devices too.
Next, practitioners should prioritize EMRs with smooth charting features built to let you spend less time in the software. Chiropractors often work with the same patients who are dealing with similar problems during each appointment over a long period of time. To cut down on data entry for these encounters, look for an EHR with persistent templates.
Persistent templates allow you to enter patient information once during the first encounter. Then that information will populate into their chart for each future appointment. This is a powerful tool for tracking pain progress over the course of an extended period of time.
If flexibility is important to you, your platform has to have customizable templates. That is one thing that excited DrChrono user Dr. Jonathan Adams of The UnBroken Body.
“Being able to customize the notes I use everyday has really improved my charting process. I have just about 100% customized my notes. I’ve even been able to build notes similar to those I used in school which has simplified things greatly for me,” he said.
Another simplifying charting feature is smart switches. When building clinical forms, chiropractors can add switches to populate common recommendations, procedure notes or frequently used documentation at the press of a button.
Finally, another feature that chiropractors get good use out of is free draw on clinical images. If your EHR is mobile friendly, you should be able to take photos from your iPad and upload them directly into the patient’s chart.
From there, a free draw feature lets you annotate directly over the image to highlight points of interest. Chiropractors have also found it useful to be able to take videos of prescribed exercises from the iPad to share with patients as a point of reference.
For a more in depth look at the features you need in your chiropractic clinic, check out this blog.
Ideal Chiropractic Practice Management Software Features
When Dr. Adams was starting his chiropractic practice, he gravitated towards DrChrono due to the wide variety of practice management features available to him.
“I actually chose DrChrono, because I found myself not having enough time to do all of the other little tidbits like making the phone calls, answering the emails, writing the papers and all of the things you have to do when you’re an independent doctor,” he said.
Managing all of those tasks on top of practicing medicine is a treacherous tightrope to walk, and it can even be difficult for practices with some administrative staff on board. Dr. Adams found a balancing solution with his practice management software.
One feature that helps maintain order with the frequent flow of patients at a chiropractic clinic is online scheduling. This will make managing your calendar easier whether you have administrative staff or handle those tasks on your own.
Moreover, patients want to be able to quickly schedule an appointment online from their phone or the web. Appointment scheduling via phone can lead to lengthy stays in call waiting. Online scheduling saves your patients and staff from that frustration.
Make sure your chosen EHR and practice management software has an intuitive appointment scheduling tool that can integrate into your clinic’s website. Patients should be able to schedule in-person appointments and telehealth, if offered, through this portal.
To further optimize the scheduling process, look for a software with appointment profiles. This tool allows you to pre-determine the length of an appointment and the necessary intake forms based on the type of encounter.
With common appointment types like new patient consultations, injury assessments and standard adjustments, appointment profiles streamline scheduling and intake. These can also decrease the occurrence of data entry mistakes by allowing you to save the most commonly used medical billing codes and notes associated with the appointment.
Another issue that can be improved upon with better practice management software is a clinic’s no-show rate. Find a software that will send automated reminders to patients for their scheduled appointments. By automating that work, you or your staff will free up time that would have been spent on following up with patients to confirm appointments.
Once those patients get in the door, or ideally before then, save even more time with online check-in. Not only does this reduce wait times, it also helps to make your chiropractic clinic paperless. A web-based check-in process allows patients to fill out their intake forms from anywhere, such as in the Uber over to your practice.
If your patients do not have time to fill out their forms before their appointment, self check-in kiosk mode lets them handle that on your office iPad. One way to speed up check-in is an EHR that lets patients take pictures of their health insurance information that is then entered into their form. Once all of their forms are complete, the information therein should be entered into the patient’s chart upon staff approval.
Finally, your patients would benefit greatly from an easy-to-use patient portal. This would be their hub for appointment scheduling, conducting the check-in process and viewing their own health information. This portal needs to be accessible via web, mobile site or an app.
This feature is a great medium through which you can communicate with patients. HIPAA compliant messaging in the patient portal makes it easier to quickly explain things to patients, share exercise videos with them, and even receive videos from patients for movement assessments. It is also a patient’s main hub for finding their personal health care information.
For further insight into practice management software features for chiropractors, take a look at this blog.
Must-Have Medical Billing Tools and Other Important Features
Medical billing is time consuming and often a difficult task for practices to handle. One way that your EHR can improve your billing process is being able to save patient payment methods for future appointments.
Chiropractors will also appreciate their ERAs and claims being automatically posted from their EHR. Though that seems fairly obvious, it’s not a feature that is found in all specialty-specific electronic health records. Often, platforms will need to go through clearinghouses to get that information.
“Billing is fairly straightforward with DrChrono. By the time I’m done with the note, the bill is sent out, and then we get something back in about a week or two,” said Dr Miller. Learn more about medical billing features and when to consider outsourcing your medical billing here.
Finally, if you want a truly customizable EHR platform, look for a vendor with a secure, open API featuring third party app integrations. This will allow you to round out your EHR with the tools it may be lacking natively. For example, Dr. Adams wanted some specific appointment scheduling features for his practice.
“I integrated Holly by Nimblr into my EMR because it was so useful for not just scheduling appointments but managing appointment reminders on top of that. It’s an AI powered software that just does all that work for me, and it really rounded out DrChrono for me,” he said.
On the clinical side, third party apps like Physitrack can integrate into your mobile EHR, giving you access to over 4600 clinically validated exercise videos to share information with your patients.
Though finding the perfect EMR for chiropractors can feel impossible at times, there are solutions out there for you. Entering your search with clarity about the features you need to run your practice your way will set you up for success. An EHR and practice management software with the right suite of tools to optimize your charting and administration will give you the time you need to focus on providing the best chiropractic care.