Acupuncturists require an all-in-one EHR platform that makes operating their clinic as painless as possible. Finding a system with integrated EHR, practice management and medical billing software can set your acupuncture clinic up for success. Whether you are opening or scaling your acupuncture clinic, choosing an EHR is a critical step.
This blog overviews the most essential features in an all-in-one EHR system for acupuncture, and includes some insight from DrChrono user and Chief Operating Officer of Acupuncture Atelier, Afsheen Khosrowjerdi. If you have been struggling to settle on the right EHR, this is a great place to set your search in the right direction.
Sometimes half the battle in acupuncture is fought in patient education. Oftentimes, new patients can be skeptical of the efficacy of treatments before they get to experience them, so it can be beneficial to provide some visual demonstration of the acupuncture procedure for them. This can be tackled quickly with a free draw feature in your EHR.
A free draw feature allows you to annotate clinical images, diagrams or even pictures that you capture on your iPad. You can also securely share annotated images with patients for their own reference. When you sit with your patient, you can pull up your iPad and highlight areas for needle placements. This can help ease some nerves about the treatment. If your new patients need more education on acupuncture treatments, free draw will be useful.
Just as patients require tailored care, acupuncturists need a clinical workflow tailored to their practice. An EMR with customizable templates can deliver a wealth of opportunities to establish a charting process that works for your acupuncture clinic. Some electronic medical record companies will offer rigid specialty specific templates, and others offer templates built specifically for your practice. Perhaps your workflow will change over time. The best EMR will allow you to edit templates as needed.
Medical Speech-to-Text Dictation
Typing out notes for every encounter can be time consuming, and some details might get lost in translation. If you want a more complete narrative of your appointment with a patient, medical speech-to-text dictation is a crucial EHR feature. Your acupuncture clinicians would benefit from a smart dictation system that can adjust to their voice or accent over time to ensure greater accuracy. Digital dictation features can streamline note taking, improve accuracy and allow you to focus more on the patient in front of you.
Cloud Based Mobile EHR
These features can be effective for your acupuncture clinic, but if you want to get the most out of your EHR, look for a cloud based, mobile friendly electronic health record system. The flexibility provided by a cloud based platform can greatly improve your operations. It allows you to access your EHR from anywhere whether you are on your iPhone, iPad or computer. Your files will not be tied down to one location but rather securely stored in the cloud. Mobile EHRs are also ideal for acupuncturists who want to establish more personal connections with patients because you will not need to turn your attention towards a desktop during appointments.
For more information on these features, you can visit this blog that covers the top six EHR features for acupuncturists.
Patient Portal and Online Check-In
Having a seamless, modern check-in process will make your practice stand out to patients from the jump. Instead of a paper checklist that then requires manual processing from your staff, acupuncture clinics can save time with online patient check-in that is integrated directly with your EHR.
“We’ve gotten review after review saying we’re super professional, super clean and incredibly knowledgeable. You don’t get that at other acupuncture places, and part of it is because we use DrChrono. There’s a check-in app, and when you walk in, there’s two wall mounts with iPad kiosks for patients to use,” said Khosrowjerdi.
Another essential piece of the patient experience is your patient portal. From the patient portal, your patients should be able to handle intake forms as well as securely message their provider. This allows you to share helpful information with your patient such as a video explaining how their acupuncture treatment will help their respiratory issue, or even just answer some quick questions. This is also their hub for their health information. Therefore, a HIPAA compliant patient portal can be an acupuncturist and their patient’s best friend.
Automatic Insurance Eligibility Checks
Verifying your patients’ health insurance eligibility takes up valuable time for you or your staff. No acupuncturist wants to be stuck hunting down this information when they could be treating patients. That is why your practice management software should automatically verify coverage eligibility for acupuncture treatments.
“The software lets us verify people’s benefits really quickly, and we couldn’t do that before. On top of that, we don’t get any questions on billing because as an out-of-network provider, I can tell a person exactly what the responsibility is upfront, making a more transparent experience for our clients,” Khosrowjerdi explained.
Online Appointment Scheduling
Online appointment scheduling is one of the best ways to save time at your practice and improve the patient experience. Instead of having to work through long queues on the phones, patients can simply access your appointment calendar and set a time. This also frees up your staff to handle other tasks at the office. Your practice management software should be able to follow up with appointment reminders sent to patients as this will cut down on your no-show rate as well.
FHIR API with Third Party App Integrations
When assessing EHRs and practice management software, you may find a system that meets almost all of your needs but is not quite perfect. In that instance, an FHIR API with third party app integrations can go a long way towards rounding out that system for your acupuncture clinic.
“The saving grace to me for DrChrono is actually the partner marketplace where we’ve been able to integrate with apps like NextPatient which is just rock solid. The fact that you have third party app integrations, and you have an open API is a huge positive that can solve a lot of issues,” said Khosrowjerdi.
A partner marketplace powered by this API can get your acupuncture clinic the tools it needs for patient messaging, appointment scheduling, reputation management and much more. By using those applications to fill in the gaps in your practice management software, you will be able to have a more frictionless experience with your chosen software vendor.
If you want to learn more about practice management software for acupuncture, check out this blog that dives a bit deeper into those features.
Integrated Billing Software into EHR
Medical billing is complicated enough; acupuncturists should not have to deal with clunky billing software on top of it. When assessing EHRs, it can be well worth your time to find one with integrated medical billing software. This can drastically improve your billing workflows, and streamlined billing and coding can make all the difference in the world for solo practitioners in particular.
If that easy-to-use billing software is integrated directly into your EHR, you will be able to enjoy a fast and smooth flow of data from the EHR to the billing system. This will cut down on data entry errors on top of saving time for you or your staff. An user friendly billing software cannot be overlooked in your search for an acupuncture EHR.
Billing profiles are another useful feature to seek out in a medical billing software. Because your acupuncture clinic may be treating many patients for the same conditions, billing profiles can speed up the coding process on those treatments. Simply establish your billing profile for certain common treatments, and the relevant billing information will automatically populate into your patient’s chart. These kinds of automations save time and improve the accuracy of your billing.
Though your acupuncture clinic may not need to outsource billing today, having the option to do so with the same vendor that provides your EHR and billing software will make the process much easier. When your clinic gets to a point where patient volume is overwhelming the staff you have and billing work is bleeding into after hours, revenue cycle management services can help make your workload much more manageable. On top of the time saved, working with expert billing professionals can even improve your revenue processes, allowing you to get paid faster with fewer issues.
Acupuncturists may often run lean operations, but that does not mean they would not benefit from robust EHR, practice management and medical billing software. The real challenge is finding the best EHR for your clinic. By following the tips in this article, you can set yourself on the right track towards finding that ideal medical software for your practice.