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Medical Record Systems for Family Practice

Many clinic and medical care facilities can tell horror stories about computer software glitches and human error in record management systems that should have lightened the load but instead made it almost unbearable. This result is often due to specific mistakes or areas of ignorance on the part of those who chose and implement the system. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to avoid such an outcome. One of the criteria of a successful family practice is the existence of practice management methods that work. What will the Family Practice Medical Record System do? If a family practice is to work well (and profitably) it is important that everyone involved carry their share of the workload. This applies to equipment as well as individuals and departments.

The first consideration in medical record system management is in determining exactly what is expected of the equipment. How many patients does the family practice serve? How many physicians are part of the family practice? How many records will the system need to process? What tasks will be involved in the management of the family practice patient and business records? What information will be managed? Who will be using the Family Practice Medical Record System? What members of the family practice team will be using the program? Will the system need to support multiple users at the same time? Does the system process information quickly and automatically? Will there be any 'down time' while the system updates or processes information? Will the system be accessed at one physical address or from multiple addresses or locations? How many workstations will be required? Will the system have to be hard wired or will a wireless system work? How many users can access the system at the same time? If the family practice is a large one with several physicians seeing patients simultaneously, can office and nursing personnel access the system at the same time? Can information be processed for multiple patients at the same time? Family Practice Advanced Medical Record Software Issues Will the system need to be accessed remotely (from the hospital, from home, etc.) at all? Can more than one patient window be open at the same time? For example, can personnel have two windows open for John Doe, one for entering prescription information and another for flagging test results? Miscellaneous Family Medical Record System Issues Can the program grow with the practice and be updated as necessary or will time and practice growth render it outdated? Can multiple patient windows be open at once? What kind of support is provided? Can support be reached immediately at no charge or will support be hard to reach? What kind of reputation does the company that created the system have? What kind of learning curve is involved? How long does implementation take? Family Practice Data Storage Issues Can patient information be accessed by a variety of means? For example, can the patient database be searched by name, age, diagnosis, zip code, etc.? If a single patient should end up with multiple charts, how easily can those charts be easily and automatically combined into one family practice chart? Can users of the system run queries and print reports showing the query results? There is no perfect family practice medical record system. There are some systems that are better than others.

Knowing what is needed and what can be expected of the family practice software, along with what can be expected of the system can aid in choosing the right system.


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