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This is a must-have feature. Don’t settle for EMRs without this option. Make sure your EMR is working for you and not the other way around. Remember to read feature #5 that definitely should be on your list, too. And stay tuned for feature #7.

6. Easy-to-use Navigation & Customization

Most software is made to be generic so it can be useful for a wide range of specialties. However, the best software providers offer personalization options; EMRs should be no exception. Customization can improve chart completion rates and overall revenue.1 You’ll also notice higher employee satisfaction and engagement when customization is possible.

A flexible EMR—even a practice-specific model—should allow you to change documentation processes to meet your needs. You should be able to create complaint-specific templates (and adjoining symptom attributes) based on each provider or clinic location’s desire. Staff reminders, free text fields, occupational medicine protocols, and reports should also be modifiable. Customization should be simple—without complex programming required.

An EMR needs easy navigation. While many EMRs utilize cumbersome drop-down lists and window-in-window navigation, an easy-to-use EMR should allow you to document in the least amount of steps possible. As with a paper chart, an EMR should let various staff document an encounter in any order they prefer—and have an intuitive flow of documentation steps.

To accommodate the needs of real-life urgent care workflow, your EMR should also allow multiple people to document in a chart at the same time. Navigation support like single-click selections, search queries, and favorites lists help providers from having to re-enter info.

Tip: Pick an EMR that fits you, not one that tries to make you fit within it. Ask up front about customization options so you know what can be changed within the software. Review what modifications will be needed for optimal EMR use with your staff. Create an ideal flow beforehand—and see if the EMR can do it.

1. Bennett, Kevin J. and Steen, Christian. (2010 May). Electronic Medical Record Customization and the Impact upon Chart Completion Rates.

Looking for a better EMR for your urgent care? Take a look  at DocuTAP’s cloud-based, tablet-run EMR with workflows and customizable templates designed specifically for urgent care clinics.

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