According to Statista reports, the global EHR market is expected to reach $40 billion in 2024, nearly double the value it had in 2015. It’s clear that practices understand the value of having a digitized system for patient data and health record management – the problem comes down to choice. Which EHR for small practices is best?
When it comes to increasing practice efficiency and improving patient care, every medical practice could benefit from an electronic health records (EHR) system behind it – and there’s no shortage of options out there.
Let’s take a quick look at a few of the top EHR systems for small practices.
Small practice EHR is not one-size-fits-all.
Every EHR system comes with a cost, and if you want to justify the return on investment (ROI) of your new EHR, you’ll need to choose one with important EHR features that fit your clinic’s needs.
Below, we have three popular EHR options that are well-suited to small practices due to their cost, feature set, and required technical expertise.
If you’re a small medical practice, one of these options could be an excellent fit for your business.
(Source: NextGen Healthcare, 2021)
First, we have NextGen. Ranked the top practice management solution in the 2021 KLAS report – and winning top honors for the third year in a row – NextGen is a good, all-around EHR for small practices.
It tops our list due to its blend of user-friendly features and an affordable price tag. This combination of features and low cost entry point make it a strong, comprehensive solution.
- Ease Of Use: Very easy to use. The platform is designed for simplicity, compatible with all browsers, and functional across any computer or tablet devices.Note-taking and real time reporting are particularly easy to manage across NextGen’s electronic medical records (EMR) systems. The platform is built to accommodate these functions in a user-friendly way.
- Implementation: Relatively simple implementation for a small medical practice. It’s easy to implement because the platform features interoperability across systems and auto-population capabilities to help clinicians get to work fast.
NextGen comes with helpful features that include:
- Reporting dashboards
- Automated insurance tools
- Online scheduling options
- Referral exchanges
- And more
These tools make health information management easier across the board.
- Pricing: Low-to-mid range, suitable for private practices and smaller clinics that don’t want to invest in more robust systems. Pricing can range from between $379-$549 per month, per provider, depending on your needs.
Clinics will need to contact NextGen directly for pricing quotes, though most implementations are affordable for smaller clinics.
- Customer Service: NextGen features responsive customer service via phone or email, though some users have reported issues with glitches and platform slowdowns.
(Source: Allscripts, 2021)
Allscripts is another of the best EHR systems for small practices. Recognized by Frost & Sullivan with the 2019 Best Practices Award for population health management solutions, Allscripts offers a nice blend of documentation tracking, patient records management, and financial planning tools.
These core EHR features are essential for any medical practice.
Allscripts is a good EHR for small practices that want to get a handle on finances and budgeting, particularly as they pertain to the patient lifecycle. Allscripts contains extensive revenue management tools that make these calculations easier.
- Ease Of Use:
Allscripts is straightforward and accessible even for practices without substantial experience with EHRs.
Some of its long-term planning features are extensive and will take some time to get used to, but the basic processes for appointment management, uploading lab results, and patient flow are easy to understand.
This EMR software for small practices is relatively simple to implement, though some clinics may need to upgrade their operating systems to ensure compatibility with Allscripts’ cloud based systems.
Allscripts features extensive revenue cycle management tools that help clinicians manage quality of care, from eligibility determinations to payments. These integrated budgeting tools and financial support features set Allscripts apart from other EHRs, though they take some experience to leverage fully.
Like most EHRs designed for smaller practices, pricing is affordable and available on a per-provider, per-month basis. Allscripts offers a quote-based plan, so will need to contact the vendor directly for pricing.
- Customer Service:
Past customers have reported issues with sluggish system operation and frequent platform updates, but in general, customer service is responsive when contacted via phone or email.
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(Source: AthenaHealth EHR, 2021)
Our third option is the award winning AthenaHealth EHR, a powerful EHR that recently won the 2020 Small Practice Ambulatory EHR accolade for ten or fewer physicians, as well as Best in KLAS award for Ambulatory RCM Services.
Naturally, clinicians find plenty of value from AthenaHealth’s offering with its tools for patient management, billing services support, revenue cycle management, and care coordination.
- Ease Of Use: Like the above practice management software options, AthenaHealth is designed to be user friendly and accessible to a wide range of clinicians.The platform is billed as an all-in-one solution for patient care management, and with its extensive service modules, it can certainly back up the claim. This includes:
- Appointment scheduling
- Compliance tracking
- Charting functions
- Self-service tools
- And more
Implementation is straightforward for basic applications, though AthenaHealth comes with a suite of additional modules and integrations that may extend the implementation timeline. The more modules you require, the longer the solution will take to implement.
AthenaHealth’s small practice EHR provides a broad range of functions and modules to support healthcare management, such as:
- Cloud based EHR patient portal
- Performance reporting
- Medical billing
- Specialty clinical content
This comprehensive feature set makes AthenaHealth an ideal choice for practices with more extensive EHR needs.
The cost of a basic license starts at $140 per month, per user. Additional services, such as custom integration with a number of systems, can cost between $2500 to $25,000. Contact AthenaHealth directly for a custom quote.
- Customer Service:
Due to the wide breadth of features offered in the electronic medical record system, clinicians may find that they need more support as they get familiar with the processes.
However, customer service is responsive to issues. Customer care is available via phone or email, as well as through a service portal in the platform itself.
Find and Implement the Best EHR for Small Practices
The above is a great shortlist of the best EHR software for a small practice, but with any system, there’s bound to be some growing pains as you get your new infrastructure up and running.
If you’re confused about the implementation process, we recommend working with an HIPAA-compliant EHR solutions provider like True North. We are experts in procuring, identifying, implementing and managing the right EHR systems for small practices.
We’ve implemented thousands of successful healthcare IT projects over the past 14 years and have over 100 hospitals and practices under management.
Aside from choosing the right system from the outset, the ongoing support of an experienced service provider is the best way to ensure you derive the maximum value from your EHR investment. Contact True North today for an in-depth review of the best EHR system options for your business.