As the healthcare landscape continues to shift and evolve, it becomes more imperative that local health departments and individual providers work together to improve the health of their communities.
How can health departments and providers improve outcomes for individuals and populations while containing costs? By implementing an electronic health record (EHR) that allows them to participate in health information exchanges.
But not all EHRs are created equally, and while many offer robust features, only a handful of solutions offer features that were designed specifically for public health. These features help local health departments improve reporting and surveillance, prevent chronic and communicable diseases, exchange critical data with community providers, labs, and pharmacies, improve overall care while increasing efficiency and keeping costs low.
If your local health department is in the market for an EHR, check out the following top three vendors who offer software tailored specifically to your needs.
Netsmart is one of the most established health IT companies in the United States with a proven track record. Since 1968, Netsmart has focused on creating technology solutions for health and human services communities. With each decade, Netsmart has leveraged the rapid pace of change to find numerous opportunities to drive the industry to a new level.
Netsmart offers comprehensive solutions tailored specifically for public health. Their CareRecord™ EHR, which is recommended by the Public Health Informatics Institute, is completely integrated and web-based and offers clinical and financial management, and operational features designed just for public health. It also provides an integrated inventory management system for immunizations, medications, and supplies.
The EHR supports multiple sliding fee scales by program.
Patagonia Health provides cloud and apps-based EHR, practice management and billing software that is federally certified. Their technology solutions serve private practices, Behavioral Health agencies, Public Health Departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), and Community Health Centers (CHC).
The company is no stranger to industry awards. In 2015, Patagonia Health earned a spot on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5000 fastest growing companies list. They also won the bronze 2016 Stevie® Award for Customer Service Success, and have recently been shortlisted by Silicon Review Magazine’s 50 most innovative products to watch.
Patagonia Health focuses on providing public health departments the technology needed to keep pace with the constantly-changing federal EHR Meaningful Use mandates. To that end they have developed software that public health officials can use to meet compliance requirements that fit seamlessly with their workflow needs.
Through high-quality clinical reporting and the ability to easily share data with other providers in the community, Patagonia’s solutions allow local departments to manage staff, improve workflow, achieve efficiency and achieve compliance.
Featured apps include:
- Patient Registration App: Individual patients can be registered into the correct pay scale program. The system then automatically generates a declaration of income.
- Clinical App: Contains all the necessary public health forms like Maternal Health, Breast Cancer Cervical Cancer Screening Program (BCCCP), and Family Planning, as well as TB clinical forms. The app was developed to allow users to enter data once and it is automatically flowed throughout the system.
- Billing and Financial App: The app electronically connects to more than 5,000 payers across the nation, including Medicaid and Medicare. The company’s unique billing software significantly cuts down on denials and rejections.
CureMD provides award-winning solutions that help healthcare providers transform their administrative and clinical operations. The company’s technology solutions ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations while simplifying decision making.
For years, CureMD has sought to bring features to their EHR that will address the concerns of public health departments, namely, maintaining physician compensation amidst declining reimbursements due to limited funding from federal resources. CureMD’s EHR offers billing and reporting features that help departments submit clean claims so they can receive reimbursements on time, every time.
Recently the company has included public health functionality in their award-winning Electronic Health Record for users at no additional cost. The company has essentially taken the best practices of private practice and integrated them into public health, so departments all over the country can provide top care while lowering costs.
Some of the features included are:
- Sliding Fee Scale – Manage poverty guidelines, sliding threshold, discounts and more with CureMD’s sliding fee scale configuration.
- Eligibility and Insurance – Capture and store specific population data to maximize revenue. This features allow office staff to see eligibility and insurance information at a glance, saving time and money.
- Built-in Clinical Forms – CureMD customizes clinical forms for each health department. Plus, since this is a completely integrated all-in-one solution, users only need to enter data once and it automatically flows throughout the system.
CureMD clinical form library includes:
- Child Health
- Maternal Health
- STD Testing
- Family Planning
- Cancer Screening Programs
- TB Screening
- Behavioral Health
- Communicable Diseases/Epidemiology
- Immunization Services
- Refugee Health
- Simplified Billing & Reporting - CureMD Public Health is the only billing solution specifically designed for public health departments. Through comprehensive management of your revenue cycle, complete in-process visibility, compliance with health care and government standards, and robust reporting CureMD enables you to maximize reimbursements from payers and create sustainable revenue.
Choosing the right public health EHR for your local health department is important to your community’s health. When shopping around, make sure you go with a vendor who has included public health-specific features in their solutions.