A roundup of athenahealth EMR Pros and Cons

What Does An EMR Do?

Electronic Medical Record or EMR is software designed to aid in the clinical setting. The software is usually a combination of features that help document the patient encounter. It can also include other services such as a patient portal, a billing system, and even a patient management application.

athenahealth EMR is one such software with many modules covering different clinical, administrative, and billing tasks. athenahealth works across various practice structures as cloud-based or local software.
The Pros of athenahealth EMR
Here are some of the stellar features reviewers are enjoying from athenahealth.

Intuitive Documentation

One of the most attractive features of athenahealth is that it intuitively offers to document patient cases. This feature means physicians and doctors can enter data using quick suggestions, making the time-consuming note-taking process considerably faster.

A common issue in the clinical setting occurs when patients don’t know what medication they’ve been using. This can become problematic, as doctors need to know what medication a patient is on to make informed future treatment plans. athenahealth steps in by creating a list of drugs from the patient’s purchase history at their pharmacy.

Not only that but with standardization, athenahealth ensures everyone within a practice uses the same template. Templates structures work throughout the clinic. The athenaclinicals module offers streamlined documentation as part of its services.

The arduous task of organizing files in physical cabinets is not necessary with quick online documentation. All data is stored in the cloud and can be accessed remotely at any time by users. Doctors can also monitor specific cases by creating a structure to access files faster.

Meaningful Use Compliance

Meaningful use is a set of standards set by the United States government to ensure electronic medical record software provides the best possible care to patients while at the same time improving the efficiency and productivity of the clinic.

If clinics and practices follow meaningful use guidelines, they can receive incentives to expand their work at the clinic. Lucky for you, athenahealth is meaningful use certified and incorporates the Meaningful use guidelines into its documentation process.

With athenahealth, your practice will also receive training to ensure that the data you collect from your patients is Meaningful use compliant. The patient registration on the phone also prompts staff to ask questions to comply with Meaningful use regulations.

Excellent Patient-Doctor Communication

One of the modules offered by athenahealth, athenacommunicator, allows patients to communicate with doctors using email or web-based platforms. Do you have patients that need specialized, round-the-clock care? You can also set up emergency call services for such patients to connect with doctors.

Because of excellent communication platforms, there is a smaller chance you will have missed appointments on your hands, as appointments are set by patients and doctors when it is the most convenient for both parties.

As patients interact with their doctors, they can also access messages, reminders, and more, all from the comfort of their phones. Aside from this, patients can also use their mobile devices to view their lab results and request refills for prescriptions.

The Cons of athenahealth EMR

Here are some of the complaints presented by athena EMR reviews.

The Cost Adds Up

athenahealth utilizes a quote-based billing system, where various aspects of practice contribute to the final quote for each client. However, according to reviews, this cost can add up, considering the client may not be using all of the services available at athenahealth.

While most reviewers stated, the cost was worth the benefits they received from athenahealth EMR, it seems this software is not for small practices on a budget. While athenahealth’s pricing is not available online, you can request a quote from the vendor.

The Billing System Can Stall

Athena medical software includes a billing system that seems to be a topic of contention amongst reviewers. While the overall opinion about the system is positive, many reviewers stated it was difficult to work with, especially compared to what the company told them would be needed for the system.
Some reviewers stated the billing system was becoming a burden for them, mainly because they had a small team that could not handle the system’s workload. There is a lack of training and communication regarding paperwork needed for functionality to clients, which can cause issues with medical compliance.

Medical Administration Modules Aren’t Flexible

Administrative tools are an essential part of clinical practices. According to some businesses that have used athenahealth as an EHR tool, one issue that arises is some modules, like the administrative one, cannot be customized to reflect each practice’s needs.

Some issues that may arise are regarding standardized units and inappropriate documentation methods – for example, an assumption that medicines are prescribed verbally rather than through a written order.

Final Verdict – Is athenahealth Worth It?

Like any other software out there, athenahealth EMR is subject to errors. However, most reviews by businesses who use athenahealth also point out their customer support team’s effectiveness. Additionally, the software uses a forum where users can post suggestions, and the most upvoted suggestions are incorporated into the software eventually. Therefore, we think athenahealth is a robust solution for your practice and one that will improve your productivity.