I have done a ton of research today. The first thing I have discovered is that there is no large company that is readily visible that has one software that does scheduling, billing and electronic medical record keeping all in one place.
One of the most important things to know in this is just what EMR is. EMR stands for Electronic Medical Records. It is not commonly used to describe billing, but instead for the health care records taken by the doctor.
To understand the below it is also helpful to know that Medisoft is a medical billing software, and Office Hours is a scheduling software that Medisoft makes that integrates into Medisoft.
I found the following link very helpful:
One of the most poignent statements of all was by Dr. Channing Bollock of Orlando, who stated in a Yahoo group (paraphrasing) Medisoft has a hundred thousand users, and most of the chiropractic software programs have a few thousand.
It reminded me that in order for software company to hire and keep good programmers and creative people it takes a lot of users or it just is not sustainable. Even if a software company sells a product for $20,000 and they only have 1000 users, it is just not enough money to put the time and energy into perfecting their software to the level that I have gotten used to. The standards set by programs such as Quickbooks, Turbo Tax (hello to Bill Harris!), Ultra Edit, and Word Press, some of the perfect softwares that I use has raised the bar of what I expect from a software company.
So I am leaning toward Medisoft. Originally I was hoping to find one software that could handle all of the information from scheduling, to visit documentation, to billing, all in a company with enough users to keep it running well.
I have given up for the moment on finding that.
I came across a few programs that claim to handle medical records seemlessly with Medisoft. One of them is Medinotes and the other one is SpringCharts.
The more I read, the more I liked SpringCharts website. Having spent so much time on building websites over the past few years, I can tell a lot about a company and the people behind it, not just by content and look of a website, but also about the set up and organization of the site.
I called SpringCharts a few minutes ago just on the off chance that they had sales people answering the phone on the weekend. To my surprise the president of the company Jack Smyth answered the phone. They were in on the weekend working on some projects. He answered my questions,
1. That the software was closer to a few thousand dollars rather than ten thousand dollars.
2. Information flows from Office Hours directly into SpringCharts.
I still have a little bit of concern about the fact that Medisoft, owned by NDC Health, Now Owned by Per-Se technology, who may have been recently bought out by another larger company. I have no idea about the focus of the current owners, and whether Medisoft is important to them or not, but with as many users as Medisoft has, I am sure hoping the motivation to keep the product good is there.
I am also going to ask David Churbuck one of the V.P.’s at Lenovo who sells a lot of tablet PC’s, if he has any opinions or recommendations.
In talking to my wife about this earlier, she just finally visualized what our office would be like without paper. The idea of this made her very happy, as she is an avid environmentalist, even more so than I am.
I will update this as the journey to become paperless unfolds. (Get it? Paperless? Unfolds?)