EHR adoption within a rural healthcare setting can pose some unique challenges. Often, rural hospitals are found seeking answers to two key questions:
- Is it necessary for the organization to adopt an EHR system?
- If so, what specific system and features should the organization look for?
Many successful rural hospitals have found the following functionalities and features to be crucial to consider during the decision-making process of EHR system adoption for small rural physician clinics and hospitals.
- A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Solution, Available via Web Browser
At the top of Rural Health Clinic’s (RHC) list of must-haves is a lightweight system that is easy to deploy and maintain. A SaaS solution, that can be used on a browser with comparatively lesser bandwidth requirements, is the most desirable deployment option within the rural setting. A lightweight EHR is able to load and function, supporting quick patient care and easy documentation utilizing even the lowest levels of internet connection.
- The Ability to Configure and Customize the Core EHR Functionality
For rural hospitals, configuration over coding is the desired option. The EHR should be equipped with the ability to configure and customize according to the workflow and specific level of care the organization is providing. This feature would allow a hospital’s local IT team to support localization and workflow customization, without depending on the vendor for development or additional coding. This gives more control to RHCs and allows them to function and maintain more quickly and easily.
- Applications like Telehealth & Patient Portal should be Included in the Solution
Applications that support instant communication and connection along with devices and machines that reduce dependency on city or urban based facilities should be at the top of the list. It is critical to both continuity of care for patients and the survival of rural practices. It not only reduces administrative burden but also helps in improving efficiency and reducing costs.
Applications that support the virtual care delivery enable RHCs to extend their reach to new patients and augment their practice with specialists and clinical resources that they may lack in their current healthcare setting.
- Affordable Options
Thirty percent of hospitals are located in rural communities. These rural hospitals face their own struggles in terms of resources and funding. Therefore, they must look for a solution that not only fulfills their functional needs but also meets their budgetary requirements. A cloud-based EHR, such as iPatientCare, is an affordable option as it does not require buying servers or employing IT staff.
- Analytic Tools
The EHR system your organization implements should have smart analytic tools that can help staff access data and develop reports for quick patient care decisions. Your EHR system should be able to quickly and painlessly pull large amounts of data and generate reports on a daily basis.
- Strong Support & Services
Real-time support is key to the success of an EHR implementation and long-term EHR goals, so it’s vital to understand the support system and check client services before choosing an EHR vendor. iPatientCare’s next generation EHR software offers exceptional support to our valued customers.
About iPatientCare EHR
Not familiar with iPatientCare EHR? For over two decades, iPatientCare has helped providers improve the quality of care, patient satisfaction, and revenue with an EHR developed by physicians for physicians. We are proud to serve providers across the U.S. and globally. We have dedicated ourselves to helping rural communities meet their healthcare IT needs and goals with easy-to-use, affordable, and interoperable healthcare IT solutions and services. Our impeccable ability to customize our EHR solution is a big advantage for rural clinics.
Contact us today to learn more about iPatientCare for Rural Health Clinics (RHC).