Ambulatory practices’ needs and challenges are quite different from the hospital system. This is the reason why the electronic health records (EHRs) of both these systems are not the same. EHRs are designed to meet different needs. Hospital EHRs organize and share data across all the departments. This real-time sharing of data helps in delivering quality patient care. When a patient is admitted to a hospital, he/she goes through an array of tests and treatments. To help the providers make the right call, they must have the latest information about the patient’s health. This is the reason why hospital EHRs are made to give complete information within the hospital.
The Role of Ambulatory EHR
Ambulatory EHRs are different as they support all outpatient healthcare needs. Diagnosis and management of chronic conditions come under the umbrella of outpatient care. This comprehensive and accessible data is used to support the proper diagnosis. The complete medical data is stored in ambulatory electronic health records software that helps providers suggest the right treatment plans as per patient needs.
Selection as per the Requirement
Both the EHR software are designed as per the billing needs of every healthcare facility. Inpatient EHRs support complex hospital billing to fulfill billing requirements. Usually, for office-based services, ambulatory EHRs are preferred. They help the providers complete all the coding and documentation to streamline their workflow.
The Complexity of Inpatient and Ambulatory EHR
Usually, the inpatient EHRs are more complex as they deal with the array of departments within the hospital. They not only support workflows but also share data across all departments to deliver quality patient care. all this requires complex systems along with dedicated data storage capacity and a technical team to take care of these issues.
Ambulatory EHR on the other hand is quite simple. They are developed to support a narrower range of activities such as visits, prescriptions, and other outpatient procedures. So, if you are looking for an electronic health records software that focuses more on patients’ medical history, ambulatory EHRs must be your first preference.
When it comes to the cost, ambulatory EHRs are an affordable option. Inpatient EHRs require both the on-site servers and trained staff – which is full of administrative burdens. Whereas ambulatory EHRs have low start-up costs making them a cost-effective option. Contrary to inpatient EHRs, ambulatory EHRs don’t require any customization and development. With the help of customization, you can simplify your practice’s workflow and increase productivity and efficiency.
Selecting the right EHR
Both EHR software share data with other systems but the nature can be different. Ambulatory EHR is a perfect option for outpatient healthcare needs whereas the inpatient EHR is recommended for inpatient services. If you are looking to select an EHR, you need to select it as per your choice. There are plenty of providers out there but making the right decision is a daunting task. For this purpose, the right strategy is to take a look at the specifications. It is recommended to prefer a customizable EHR so that it can perform as per your requirement.
Both the EHRs have their own use and their selection must be done based on the requirement. If you are a single practice, the right strategy would be to select ambulatory EHR but if you are a part of a chain of practices, you have the freedom to choose between both available options. In some cases, like if you are a chain of hospitals, implementation of both EHRs will be recommended. So, keep these points in mind to make the right decision.