Although there are a wide variety of EHR systems that are certified for meaningful use, it can be particularly challenging for dentists to find software that suits the needs of their practice. Some of them may purchase and implement a complete EHR solution in a bid to receive incentives quickly, only to find that it lacks basic functionality necessary for their practice. However, the truth is that most dentists do not actually need many of the features found in a full-fledged EHR system. Instead they can opt for dedicated and certified EDR software or take the modular approach, building their own system from smaller modules which are individually certified.
There are a number of reasons why dentists should be particularly cautious when evaluating the EHR systems available in the market:
â— Many EHRs lack oral health-centric features such as the ability to mark particular teeth for treatment on images or x-rays;
â— They can be prohibitively expensive especially when you consider that most of the features will not be useful for a dental practice;
â— Medical and dental EHRs are often not interoperable, making it difficult to send data to others such as specialists or hospitals which are using certified EDR systems.
EHR systems available in the market:
EDRs which are certified for meaningful use can help dentists in achieving the objectives and receiving incentive payments. They will have all the features and workflows necessary for a dental practice and depending on the software, will have various customization options to suit the needs of individual users.
However some dental practices may not be able to afford the costs of purchasing new systems or may not have the time to implement a complete solution. Others may need a longer timeline to evaluate the available options with regard to the long-term strategic needs of their clinic. A modular approach may be the solution to such issues as it is both cost-effective and can be implemented quickly.
There are quite a few certified modules which allow dentists to streamline particular processes such as e-prescribing, enabling them to qualify for incentives while still keeping the door open for implementing another system later on. This option can be especially beneficial since many of the core meaningful use objectives do not apply to dentists. It will also minimize the amount of training necessary for your employees and your practice can make the transition to an EDR as and when needed.
Regardless of whether you opt for a complete EDR or a modular approach, using a dedicated and certified dental EHR can be immensely useful to your practice in the long-term and not just for receiving meaningful use incentives.
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