Change can be overwhelming but OpenEMR is here to help. Switching from manual patient charts to a computerized system doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. It is quite the opposite. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge. The benefits far outweigh the costs, especially when it’s free. Yes, that’s right. Free. Read on to find out how OpenEMR can make your life easier when making this conversion — without the hefty price tag.

What is an EMR

EMR stands for electronic medical records. Electonic medical records include all of the standard medical and clinical data collected in the office of a medical provider. A patient’s electronic health record contains all of their diagnoses and medications, progress notes, and lab tests, as well as any other pertinent medical information.

Traditional medical records, which are kept on paper, have a number of disadvantages. First and foremost, they can only be accessed by one provider at a time. For this reason, a patient’s chart often ends up fragmented because the updates made by one doctor don’t get shared with other medical professionals at other facilities. In addition to these downfalls, paper records also have the added problem of being fragile. They are easily destroyed by water or fire and even normal use can lead to the deterioration of manual records.

Electronic medical records have many advantages over paper records. According to HealthIT.com, electronic medical records have the following benefits:

  • Track data over time
  • Identify patients who are due for preventive visits and screenings
  • Monitor how patients measure up to certain parameters, such as vaccinations and blood pressure readings
  • Improve overall quality of care in a practice

Electronic medical records are designed for sharing records within one healthcare facility. In contrast, electronic health records (EHR) contain broader healthcare information and are created to be shared between a variety of different facilities.

Popular EMR System Options

With the deadline for switching to electronic storage of medical records creeping nearer every day, software companies specializing in healthcare information are popping up left and right. Here are the top 10 EHR systems on the market in 2018.

  1. Cerner PowerChart Ambulatory EHR by Cerner Corporation
  2. EpicCare Ambulatory – Core EMR by Epic Systems Corporation
  3. Allscripts Professional™ EHR” by Allscripts
  4. NextGen Ambulatory EHR by NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc*
  5. athenaClinicals by athenahealth
  6. Centricity by GE Healthcare
  7. eClinicalWorks by eClinicalWorks
  8. iKnowMed EHR, Horizon Ambulatory, and Paragon by McKesson
  9. iconnect Network by Abraxas Medical Solutions (Merge Healthcare)
  10. Vitera Intergy, Vitera Stat, Vitera Medical Manager by Vitera Healthcare Solutions

Converting from paper records to an electronic system is an expensive undertaking. The cost of implementing an EMR system in one provider’s office can soar as high as $163,765. Even to medical professionals, that is quite a hefty price tag. The cost of EMR conversion is enough to make physician’s balk at the thought of taking the plunge and converting to electronic records. Luckily, there are free options available for medical providers who don’t have this kind of money to spare.

Image CC by 0, by vjohns1580, via Pixabay

Free EHR Choices

Electronic health records are clearly the best way to keep track of patients’ vital health information, but not every provider can fork over this kind of money to implement a computerized system. However, there are free EHR options available to help fill in the gaps and allow all medical providers to take advantage of this technological advancement. Open source EMRs, which are often free, serve as blueprints which allow each provider to customize the system to their specific needs.

Below are four of the most popular free EMRs available on the market today:

  1. OpenEMR
  2. Practice Fusion
  3. iSalus
  4. OpenMRS

The Best Free EMR

Out of all the free an open EMR options available, OpenEMR stands out from all of the rest. OpenEMR is both free and open source system for managing electronic medical records, and it is also fully certified by the ONC as a complete EHR. OpenEMR is the most popular free EHR system available today, and when you look at all they have to offer, it is easy to see why. The OpenEMR system provides the following features:

  • Patient Demographics
  • Patient Scheduling
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical Billing
  • Clinical Decision Rules
  • Patient Portal
  • Reports
  • Multilanguage Support
  • Security
  • Support
  • Community

OpenEMR, which is used in countries around the globe, also says that the company’s goal is to provide medical professionals with “a superior alternative to its proprietary counterparts.” In addition, the system also boasts of a “commitment to openness, kindness, and cooperation.” Best of all, it is completely free of cost. Even better, OpenEMR is freely available, as well as free to download, use, modify, and upgrade. It also offers free documentation and free support.

Why OpenEMR is the Answer to Your EMR Problems

The deadline for switching to electronic medical records seems to be coming up fast. And it’s time for considering your options. Because OpenEMR provides a top quality system completely free to all medical providers its time to look into it. Clearly, OpenEMR is a great answer to all of you EMR problems. Converting to electronic health records from paper doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg now that OpenEMR is an option. Because, with just a little bit of know-how, you can put paper medical records behind you and leap into the future of healthcare.

There is no better time than now to take advantage of this free open source software. Because using OpenEMR will save time and money while ensuring that your patients’ medical records are as safe and accessible as possible. Finally, EMR software allows medical providers throughout the world to convert to electronic records without the sky-high prices. And, it does it all without sacrificing quality. So, what more could you ask for? Make the leap and move your medical practice into the new millennium of healthcare today.

Featured image CC by 1.0, by Free-Photos, via Wikimedia Commons

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