Providing an effective and efficient care service to our patients requires record keeping. It is very important as it provides detailed information of the patient’s medical records such as history, medications, allergies, procedures required, and so on. It provides accessible information whenever you need it.
There are a couple of ways on how you can do your patient’s charting.
1. Traditional Paper Charting
2. Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Traditional Paper Charting
This method involves creating your patients’ medical records using paper, films, discs and keeping it in an area or a storage facility that you can have access to whenever you need it. Paper charting method is note-taking method that uses charts to organize information of each patients and being documented into several columns and rows.
Paper charting method enables you to save for upfront costs of record keeping. Since that all you need to have is a paper, folder and an empty small space to keep your documents. It also allows you to be familiar with the format and gives you an ease in pulling up information from a file, examine previous notes and medical charts and record new information.
With the physical form of all the previous records, charts and medical history, you do not need to worry about emergencies and you can access to the necessary information at any time.
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
EHR or Electronic Health Record Software is the digital version of a patient’s paper charts. The previously paper-based information about individuals has been replaced with the digital format. EHR are sought after as they provide real time, accurate, and quick access to patient data regardless of location. Armed with latest technologies and tools, Web based electronic health records software offers permanent solutions to various challenges in personal health care service.
It is a patient-centric and real-time digital version of the paper charts describing in detail the patient data. This way of furnishing data enables information exchange in a quick, reliable, and accurate manner to the destination in a secure way. The ability of EHRs to provide information exchange in an efficient manner facilitates medical service providers to offer high quality treatment as well as more secure health care for patients.
Clientcare is an EHR developed to be the most complete EHR and practice management system for birth care professionals. It has extensively worked with hundreds of midwives in various birth settings to bring a software that is truly comprehensive and intuitive.
· Charting System
· Client Portal
· Practice Management
$55 month per user
2. Simple Practice
Simple Practice is the only Cloud-Based EHR Platform in Its Category to Obtain Certification. HITRUST CSF Certified status demonstrates that an organization has met key regulations and industry-defined requirements and is appropriately managing risk.
· Client Portal
· Billing Insurance
. Essential ($39/month) – Unlimited Clients, Client Portal, Paperless Intakes, Diagnosis and treatment plans, Free Appointment Reminders, Online payments
. Professional ($59/month) – Custom templates, Custom appointment reminders, appointment request widget, claim filing and payment reports, secure messaging, administrative notes, Free billers and schedulers, Monarch directory listing, Professional website, Add-on: Telehealth, Add-on: Wiley Planners.
3. Mobile Midwife
Mobile Midwife EHR is the premier electronic charting and patient health records software for the iPad and Mac.
· Client List
· Adding a Client
· Document Signing and Templates
· Appointment scheduling
· Client data sharing
· iPhone Contacts Integration
· Labor and Delivery
· Signing off Charts and Change History
· Birth Summary
· Email Client Records
· Tasks and Notes Feature
· Client Billing and Invoices
· Insurance Billing
· Lactation Client Feature
· Gynecological and Primary Care
· Client Portal
· Client Messaging and Chat
.$39 month per user
4. Maternity Neighborhood
Maternity Neighborhood is a company that was founded and led by a midwife. More than a company, it is a community. HIPAA compliant tools support midwives, obstetricians, doulas, childbirth educators, lactation consultants, and community based health programs. Maternity Neighborhood are supported in the delivery of relationship-based care, focused on shared-decision making and education relevant for the communities of families they serve.
· Track Visits
· Track Payments
· Education and Engagement Libraries
· Email Support
· Complete electronic health record for maternity and well-woman care
· Coding and Claim Creation
· Quests Labs and Concord EFax available
· Unlimited Care Providers
· Custom Reporting
· File Storage
· Implementation Support
· Virtual webinars and in-person training
. Yearly rate based on how many clients you will be having in the EHR system (example 25 clients at $30 per client per year would be $750 year or $62.50 monthly)
5. Athena Health
Athena Health delivers exceptional care while staying ahead of industry change with our easy-to-use EHR. Athena clinical is designed to help you document more efficiently and accurately while making it easier for you to provide high-quality care. Athena Health’s EHR software license starts at $140 per provider per month. This means that a practice of 5 physicians would pay $700 per month, minimum ($8400 annually) plus a percentage of income collected for care provided while using the system (speak with local rep to get your customized rate, typically around 5%)
· Enable clinical efficiency – Save time on clinical work with intuitive workflows, and access more complete information during patient encounters. Make documentation more efficient- Spend less time documenting and minimize distractions during patient encounters.
· Practice on the go- Access patient records and do meaningful work from your mobile device.
· Improve care coordination – Collaborate on patient care plans with other clinicians directly within the patient chart.
· Optimize quality performance- Succeed under any reimbursement model. Athenahealth’s quality performance team and flexible technology gets you stay ahead of the industry’s ever-changing regulatory requirement.
· Improve VBC results- Close more gaps and help you improve your value-based care result with accurate real-time data.
Should in this day of age rare used for a very small scale homebirth practice or serve a community where internet access is quite a barrier for care and home visits like the Amish and Mennonite communities (even then a simple wifi hot spot would solve the later challenge). Paper is sloppy, hard to keep track of long term, and increases chances of safety mistakes with transports and team based practices wanting to have a central location for chart access for staff. There are pros and cons to use any EHR system.
I have found with my 20yrs+ experience of using EHR platforms all over the country that the first four listed EHR systems are great for home birth practices or simpler birth center practices with mostly obstetrical clients only billing a few insurance companies out of network services. The platforms are made by midwives, for midwives. The costs is affordable for the focused function of taking care of pregnant families in your community. As a starting place or goal to stay solo practice long term with minimal gynecological services part of your practice, the first four listed practices would all be great options.
When you start talking about expanding into a larger scale operation with a team, women’s health clinic, or busier birth center with many in and out of network insurance contracts, transitioning to a platform more like Athena Health would typically be a better option. There are so many additional features you are paying for to help keep track of Meaningful requirements, reports, customized automations for reminders, flow of visits, charting templates, providers sending claims out and having the EHR system help manage the follow up process, and so much more. Athena Health has been personally used by my private practices for years and works really well for anyone doing many office visit types and full scope midwifery services on a larger scale.
In conclusion, as you know, record keeping is a must when it comes to providing health care services to our patients. There are many options out there to enable you to keep records accurately and efficiently. These range from actual paper files to diverse electronic filing systems. It’s all about finding out which method suits your style of work.
Electronic Health Record