An Electronic Health Record (EHR) is an electronic record of patient health information that is generated according to doctor visits, notes, health problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, lab data and radiology reports. EHRs automate a clinician’s workflow by offering a general overview of a patient’s status.

Unlike electronic medical records (EMRs), which are digital in-house versions of a patient charts, EHRs are easily shared outside the practice with specialists or patients. EHRs keep patient information accessible and current.

Top 10 Best Rated Electronic Health Records (EHR) Software

AdvancedMD is one of the leading software solutions for private practices. Fully integrated EHR, medical billing and patient experience tools help you run your entire practice from a single cloud-based platform.
CareCloud offers cloud-based health records software. Its goal is to re-platform the health records industry so that providers can more easily comply with current record-keeping regulations and share records during consultations.
Athena Clinicals employs over 3,000 people nationwide to assist with electronic health records management. Its goal is to help health care providers across the country streamline their record keeping processes as required by law.
Practice Fusion has been providing EHR management since 2005. It doubled its staff in 2013 to accommodate the electronic health records revolution and offers assistance with transitioning to a electronic health records systems.
eClinicalWorks made Inc Magazine's list of the top 500 fastest-growing companies. Many of its customers have won awards for electronic health record maintenance in addition to demonstrating compliance with applicable records laws.
Greenway Health was founded in 1977, when health information technology was brand new and mainly unknown. Today, it offers a variety of EHR related services, including record creation, maintenance and storage services.

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What features matter most?

Scheduling

A good EHR should make it very simple for patients to schedule appointments. The staff should have no trouble using the system to register patients and document a reason for their visit.

  • Cost: Different companies have different pricing models for their services.
  • Auto-reminders: In addition to scheduling options, some companies offer the option to send out automated appointment reminders via text or email in order to decrease the amount of no-shows.
  • Ease of use: A good EHR should be accessible and easy to use. The overall design and navigation should be easy to learn, not requiring high costs related to training employees and patients.

Task management

EHR’s can help a medical staff to free up time by managing daily tasks more efficiently. This can drastically reduce overhead and also increase patient satisfaction, making it more likely to bring in more patients.

  • Signing notes: The ability to sign notes in an EHR means that people can easily tell what notes were left by which staff member in order to avoid confusion.
  • Reviews: Being able to review lab results in an EHR reduces the time it takes to pull them up in another program.
  • Patient messages: Having the ability to view and respond to patient messages within the system reduces the time it takes to respond via phone or a separate email system. This means that patient visits will be shortened and overall efficiency will increase.

Efficient encounters

Meeting with a patient should always be productive and efficient. One of the main objectives of an EHR is to speed up the patient appointment process, making it simple and quick for patients to arrange for a visit. This saves time and money on the overhead for office staff.

  • Patient history: An EHR should make patient history easily accessible – information such as medications, allergies and other important health factors should be accessible. Once all this information exists in a system, it reduces the time needed to question patients on recurring visits.
  • Recording ability: The best EHRs allow users to quickly jot down notes about clinical content so it is easier to document health conditions. This reduces the time and cost of transcribing notes after the fact.

Smart workflows

Having improved patient workflows means that a medical practice is operating at its highest efficiency level.

  • Real-time tracking: Tracking patient workflow in real-time is crucial to finding the most cost-effective and efficient methodology. The best systems allow both patients and physicians to view records and add information.
  • Record keeping: An effective EHR offers a method of record keeping that allows an office to determine what is bottlenecking the workflow.

Templates and order sets

In medical offices, it is common for patients to be treated for the same or similar conditions. Specialized practices need to make sure they keep accurate records of their patients histories, taking care to record specific details. Having the ability to track these histories is extremely valuable.

  • Order sets: Having order sets in place allows medical practitioners to prescribe the same treatments for patients with the same conditions. This can save drastic amounts of time when when dealing with specialized conditions.
  • Templates: Templates save a great amount of time and help physicians make smart decisions about patients who have received a similar diagnosis. The ability to build on previously acquired knowledge is important in a medical practice.

24/7 accessibility

It is important to be able to access an EHR from any device and at all times.

  • Mac and PC accessibility: An EHR should offer both PC and Mac accessibility since employees might need to access it from different computers at different times.
  • Web-based solutions: Having a web-based EHR means that staff can navigate through the system from anywhere at anytime. Server-based EHR systems require staff to be connected to a particular server in order to access the information, which can be a bottleneck for some physicians.

What are different types of EHR systems?

Physician-hosted system

These systems store data on the physician’s own servers. The physician purchases the hardware and software and is then responsible for maintenance, security and data backup.

Remotely hosted system

These systems store data on a remote server. The remote company is responsible for storing data as well as security, backup and routine maintenance.

Client-centered system

Some systems are created with the client’s needs in mind. This means that they will be easy to navigate and interact with so that the client can leave feedback, retrieve information and feel more connected to the physician.

Physician-centered system

These systems are meant to help a physician or medical practice stay more organized and keep better records. This can help to reduce costs and also improve efficiency at a medical practice by streamlining processes.

Who's it for?

Independent physicians

Physicians who run their own practices can benefit from EHRs. Independent physicians typically work alone and have fewer patients to care for than larger practices.

Specialized physicians

Specialized doctors require more than what a general EHR can do and need specific types of EHR systems. These doctors need to be able to keep special types of records and to customize the EHR in order to allow for different types of testing and note-taking.

Large medical practices

Hospitals and other large medical practices have different needs than smaller organizations. They have to send summaries to a large amount of patients over time and need the appropriate technology to do so. They also typically have a larger budget to allot toward an EHR system.

Company reviews

  • AdvancedMD

    AdvancedMD is one of the world’s largest providers of cloud-based software offering an all-in-one EHR and practice management solution. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, AdvancedMD has 16,000 physicians and 60,000+ users in nearly all medical specialties in all 50 states.

    • Cloud-based network: AdvancedMD allows users to sign on from any location allowing immediate data access without downloading or maintaining any software.
    • Multiple plans & pricing: AdvancedMD offers four separate pricing plans for scheduling, practice management, integrated PM and EHR, and a full-service RCM – leaving options for every practice and budget.
    • Training: AdvancedMD offers multiple training methods including group training, individual training, on-site training, online tutorials, training videos and virtual training.
    • Designed for specialists: AdvancedMD software accommodates a wide variety of medical specialists and practices with specific billing or integration needs.
    • Customer support: Some complaints about AdvancedMD mention the lack of on-going support within the first year of service. For smaller practices with less internal resources, this could be a problem.
    • Required hardware: AdvancedMD recommends Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer and Office for optimal performance which could be a problem for Mac users or those who prefer using different browsers or operating systems.
    • Best for Specialized physicians, independent physicians, large medical practices
  • CareCloud

    One of the pre-eminent EHR providers, CareCloud was founded in 2009 and has quickly achieved acclaim in the industry. Many of the world’s top medical providers choose to work with CareCloud.

    • Best for Independent physicians, large medical practices
  • athenaClinicals EMR

    This is a cloud-based software that has one of the best track records in the industry.

    • Best for Large medical practices, independent physicians
  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion provides free records to small practices.

    • Best for Independent physicians, specialized physicians
  • eClinicalWorks

    eClinicalWorks is one of the leading medical software solutions that lets health care providers deliver the best quality of care.

    • Best for Independent physicians
  • Greenway Intergy EHR

    Greenway Health provides medical services to healthcare providers and is recognized as a leader in the industry. It was founded in 1998 and is a popular choice amongst health professionals.

    • Best for Independent physicians, specialized physicians
  • ChartLogic

    ChartLogic is a fully integrated HIPAA-compliant software system with meaningful-use requirements.

    • User-friendly interface: ChartLogic’s easy-to-navigate software increases productivity and smooths office workflow.
    • Precision-voice technology: Special features enable doctors to dictate notes by voice commands.
    • Highly specialized templates: Templates are available for more than 40 specialties.
    • Customer support: Customer support is lacking and issues aren’t always resolved quickly.
    • High turnover: The company has a high turnover rate which makes it difficult to establish relationships.
    • Best for Specialized physicians, large medical practices

  • Aprima

    Aprima EHR is a well-respected software that provides great functionality for users.

    • Ease of use: The software is easy to use and not at all cumbersome. Users love that it takes little time to learn.
    • Support: Customer support is excellent and issues are typically resolved very quickly.
    • Templates: There aren’t many templates available to help specialized practices customize their records.
    • Billing: Billing can take extensive amounts of work and time and it can be difficult to post billing for certain types of clients.
    • Best for Independent physicians, large medical practices

  • Accenture Electronic Medical Record Solutions

    Accenture is one of the leading providers of EHR systems and has years of experience in both clinical and ambulatory settings.

    • Ease of use: Users can easily adapt to this new system as it is easy to learn.
    • Cost reduction strategies: They offer improvements in operations that can help reduce costs across the entire healthcare system.
    • Templates: Specialized physicians might have a hard time customizing their records as there aren’t many templates available.
    • Cost: Accenture’s programs tend to be more expensive than others available.
    • Best for Independent physicians, large medical practices

  • EpicCare

    EpicCare is an award-winning software that offers a one patient, one record approach to ambulatory care and practice management.

    • Fast and friendly: The software is easy to learn and navigate.
    • Integration: Access and revenue systems are integrated in order to simplify administration.
    • Inpatient engagement: This software has an app that is designed to strengthen the patient’s relationship with the care team leading to more enjoyable hospital stays.
    • Guided tour: They don’t offer a live demo to preview before purchasing. Consumers can call to schedule a guided tour but can’t actually use the software hands on without doing so.
    • Customer service: They offer phone and email support but no live, online chat support for real-time help.
    • Best for Specialized physicians, large medical practices

  • McKesson EMR

    McKesson is a web-based EHR and practice management system that was designed with the independent practitioner in mind. It can help with clinical, scheduling and accounting, and connectivity and security.

    • Both cloud and server-based: The software is allows users to navigate it both from a server or via the cloud.
    • Great for independent practitioner: Small medical practices will greatly benefit from this system as it was designed specifically for physicians to develop strong relationships with a moderate amount of patients.
    • Usability: This software scores low on usability guidance and has a steep learning curve.
    • New patients: New patients report having a difficult time navigating the system, and the graphical interface can be a little confusing.
    • Best for Independent physicians

  • Amazing Charts

    Amazing Charts is an electronic health records company founded in 2001 by a family physician. Today, it provides EHR software and services to both primary care and specialty outpatient practices. The company has over 6,700 unique practices in the United States and abroad.

    • Best for Primary care physicians, specialty outpatient practices and physician-owned practices.

11 – 12 Best Rated Electronic Health Records (EHR) Software

Amazing Charts offers a unique, user-friendly electronic health records service. This service was founded by a physician who wanted to make it easier for nurses and doctors to comply with electronic charting regulations.