As a medical practitioner, you know how much of a nightmare managing medical records compliantly can be. With dozens of EMR systems to choose from, we thought we’d do the heavy lifting, research the hundreds of features available, and give you the scoop on which ones are best in this guide. We found NextGen Healthcare to be best for most users. It’s the all-inclusive EMR system record management, patient scheduling, billing, telehealth, and more.
The Best EMR System For Most
NextGen Healthcare provides you with an efficient and reliable EMR that can work for medical practices of all sizes. Your patient experience will improve and it also makes medical record exchange much more accurate, which can literally save lives.
Beyond all the essential features any EMR should offer, NextGen can streamline important recurring tasks like coordinating with labs for results, electronically delivered prescriptions, and managing refill requests. Plus, you get an online payment portal to eliminate so many headaches (for both you and your patients) that come with manual billing.
The 8 Best EMR Systems to Consider:
- NextGen Healthcare – Best for most users
- Kareo – Best for independent practices, nurses, and therapists
- CareCloud – Best for growing small practices
- DrChrono – Best EMR mobile application
- Greenway Health – Best for workflow automation
- CureMD – Best EMR system for medical billing
- Practice Fusion – Best for small practices that want to stay small
- Amazing Charts – Best EMR for OB/GYNs
When it Makes Sense to Invest In an EMR System
EMR systems can make or break the quality of a healthcare facility. From independent primary care physicians to specialists and large medical groups, EMR systems are for everyone and you need one you can count on.
Years ago, EMR systems were considered a luxury in the medical world. But today, they have become a necessity for every type of medical practice.
Medical practices that aren’t using an EMR system are subject to government penalties in the form of Medicare reimbursement reductions. Implementing this technology will not only improve patient care and back-office functions, but it will also save you money.
From chiropractors and dentists to OB/GYNs, surgeons, and everything in between, every practice in the medical field needs an EMR system.
#1 – NextGen Healthcare — Best For Most Users
NextGen Healthcare is one of the best EMR systems on the market today. And they provide software and tools to practices of all shapes and sizes.
They’ve been providing solutions to healthcare providers for nearly 50 years, servicing more than 155,000+ customers worldwide.
Furthermore, those hundreds of thousands of practices implementing NextGen Healthcare benefit from higher productivity, improved patient experiences, and enhanced information exchange.
The software is a cloud-based, all-inclusive EMR solution fully equipped with practice management tools, revenue cycle management features, and a patient portal.
Furthermore, you get a ton of powerful features, including:
- Drag-and-drop scheduling
- Automated appointment reminders
- Custom follow-up rules
- Billing services
- Telehealth visits
- Medication refill requests
- Online payments
Plus, NextGen Healthcare solutions are fully customizable for your specific needs, whether you’re a large facility or a small one.
And providers in a wide range of categories trust them to help things run smoothly behind the scenes. Some of those categories include family medicine, OB/GYN, primary care, urgent care, and more.
The cloud-based software gives organizations like yours connections to major labs, simple e-prescribing, consolidated patient data, and reporting from anywhere.
In addition to making things easier for your team, the software also helps improve the patient experience.
NextGen offers two base solutions to choose from—NextGen Office (for practices with up to 10 physicians) and NextGen Enterprise (practices with 10+ physicians).
#2 – Kareo — Best EMR System For Independent Practices, Nurses, and Therapists
Kareo is built specifically for small, independent practices. And unlike software designed for hospitals and larger medical groups, Kareo eliminates the complex features you don’t need.
Plus, the platform carefully balances functionality with ease of use.
So, you can get up and running without the massive headache of implementing something new.
With that said, of the main reasons we recommend Kareo is because of the company’s customer service and commitment to your success.
When you sign up, you get free support, training, and onboarding to help you get the most out of your new software without spending weeks overcoming a steep and frustrating learning curve.
This is especially crucial for independent facilities that depend on easy, light-weight systems to do the heavy lifting.
Plus, you don’t have to sacrifice essential functionality for ease of use. And you get a ton of features, including:
- Integrated patient portals
- Simple electronic prescribing
- Digital charting and notes
- Customizable dashboard
- Secure messaging
- ICD-10 ready
- Integrated prescription discounts
They also have solutions for payment collections, insurance reimbursements, HIPAA-compliant telehealth, and more.
So, you get access to everything you need as an independent practitioner, nurse, or therapist to streamline your processes from the inside out.
Additionally, Kareo also accommodates the unique needs of non-physician providers, like therapists, social workers, and nurse practitioners. So, regardless of what you do and who you help, Kareo has you covered.
#3 – CareCloud — The Best For Growing Small Practices
CareCloud is our top pick for smaller growing practices looking to streamline operations with an all-inclusive EMR system that scales alongside their business.
If you feel like your current EMR no longer supports the complex needs of your practice, CareCloud is an excellent and customizable upgrade.
And the best part? You won’t find any cookie-cutter solutions.
With CareCloud, it’s easy to customize your EMR system at the physician level and on the practice management side of your operation as well.
So, you can rest easy knowing you have a solution tailored to your specific business, to each employee, and your overall practice needs. This helps keep things simple for everyone while providing the flexibility you need as your business expands.
CareCloud offers an extensive list of EMR solutions to accommodate the needs of growing healthcare practices, including systems for:
- Electronic health records
- Patient experience
- Advanced billing
- Healthcare analytics
- Revenue cycle management
- Practice management
They provide EMR systems to small practices, large medical groups, and even enterprise-level hospital systems so you don’t have to worry about outgrowing your EMR software in the future.
You may find it difficult to use at first, especially if you’re a very small team. But those growing pains will disappear as you get to know your new solution and your practice grows.
Furthermore, the provider supports 23+ specialties, including:
- Dermatology and Urology
- Podiatry and Rheumatology
- Urgent Care
- Plastic and Reconstructive
- Physical Therapy
- And more
Plus, more than 23,000 users trust the integrated cloud-based solutions provided by CareCloud and use them on a daily basis.
From vital signs to medications, allergies, labs, and more, CareCloud puts everything at your fingertips.
So, you can say goodbye to switching software multiple times a day, saving you tons of time and streamlining your entire operation while providing top-of-the-line patient care as your business grows.
#4 – DrChrono — The Best EMR Mobile App
Most of the best EMR systems on the market today will offer some type of mobile access for physicians, practices, and patients. But DrChono’s mobile app is second to none.
The DrChrono app is much faster and more convenient than managing patient records on a laptop or desktop. The app offers access to EMR, practice management, billing, RCM, patient portals, telehealth, and more.
The app is perfect for customizing medical forms, scheduling, and billing. You can even use the app to streamline your appointment check-in process in the office with patient self-check-in kiosk mode.
17.8+ million patients are being managed using a DrChrono solution. So you know it’s a platform that has been proven to work well at scale.
The only downside of DrChrono is that it’s only available for iOS. So you can’t use it on Android devices. But it’s the best EMR app on the market for iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches.
#5 – Greenway Health — Best For Workflow Automation
Greenway Health provides software and services that give healthcare providers the insights required to offer patient-driven care.
The EHR system from Greenway Health is a bit unique compared to some of the other solutions on our list. All aspects of the software are designed to streamline your practice workflows. You’ll spend less time on labor-intensive and redundant tasks, to ultimately improve your processes and increase revenue opportunities.
Greenway Health has all of the solutions you need to improve your practice with an EMR system. They have tools for things like:
- Patient care
- Profitability and financial performance
- Compliance and reporting
- Data security
- Workflow efficiencies
- Revenue cycle management
- Patient engagement
- Care coordination services
With Greenway, you’ll also benefit from 500+ customizable templates and forms. The software also has 15 different dashboards, 500+ reports, and 5,000+ reportable clinical fields. There are even features for patient communication, like automated instructions for procedures and appointment reminders.
#6 – CureMD — Best EMR System For Medical Billing
If you’re looking for an EMR system with integrated billing solutions, look no further than CureMD.
The billing services offered by CureMD help medical practices minimize errors while maximizing profitability. This end-to-end revenue cycle management tool is built for 32+ unique medical specialties.
Some of the other top EMR system features of CureMD include:
- Electronic prescriptions
- Electronic labs
- Workflow automations
- iPhone and iPad mobile app
CureMD is easy to implement but still offers enterprise-grade functionality. It’s highly customizable and built to meet the needs of different practice types.
While you’re using the CureMD EMR software, their staff can manage your entire billing operation. This includes everything from claim creation to follow-ups and reporting.
#7 – Practice Fusion — Best EMR System for Small Practices that Want to Stay Small
As previously mentioned, EMR systems can be complicated. From the initial implementation to training your staff and leveraging all of the potential features, it can be a bit overwhelming.
Which is why Practice Fusion developed an intuitive EMR system for small teams.
With it, you get everything you need to simplify operations across the entire team without the hassle of navigating through features you’re never going to need as a small practice.
So, if you’re a small practice and plan to stay small, it’s the perfect blend of functionality, ease of use, and affordability.
The cloud-based tool can be accessed from anywhere with Internet access. Plus, it’s HIPAA-compliant and ONC certified Electronic Health Record.
Some of the top features of Practice Fusion include:
- Smart charting
- Custom templates
- Automated favorites list
- Code assistance (so you won’t have to memorize codes)
- Electronic prescriptions
- Quick refills
- Automatically insurance verification
- Appointment management
You’ll also benefit from automatic updates, the ability to chart on any device, and free patient portals.
Practice Fusion also offers tools for scheduling, billing, and total practice management.
It doesn’t have some of the advanced features offered at the enterprise level. But if you plan to stay small, you won’t need those features and advanced capabilities anyway.
#8 – Amazing Charts — Best EMR System For OB/GYN
Amazing Charts is another provider with a wide array of products for medical practices. In addition to EMR systems, they offer billing services, practice management tools, telemedicine solutions, and more.
Lots of EMR systems have software versions and custom options for different practice types. But Amazing Charts is best known for it’s OB/GYN practices.
Overall, Amazing Charts is designed to make charting quick and easy. This gives physicians more time to spend with their patients.
In addition to charting, other top features and benefits of Amazing Charts include:
- Electronic prescriptions
- Messaging system
- Patient portal
- Maintenance and support
Amazing Charts is one of the only EMR systems to list their pricing online. EHR solutions start at $199 per month per clinician. The practice management tools start at $299 per month, with a $1,995 setup fee.
Add-ons for features like MACRA/MIPS start at $125.
The interface of Amazing Charts is a bit dated compared to some of the other platforms we’ve reviewed. But it’s still an excellent choice for OB/GYN practices. Contact Amazing Charts to start your free trial.
Methodology For Choosing The Best EMR System
How can you find the best EMR system for your medical practice? This is the methodology that we used to narrow down the top picks reviewed above. You can follow this buying guide as you’re shopping around and searching for different EMR solutions.
The size of your practice is one of the most important considerations to think about.
Smaller practices don’t need the same bells and whistles that hospitals or large networks need. In fact, they can be distracting and incredibly frustrating.
On the other hand, hospitals and large networks need more advanced capabilities and affordable access for a large number of physicians, nurses, and other medical staff.
Some EMR providers accommodate practices of all sizes.
But it’s always better to steer towards hyper-targeted solutions that fit your needs like a glove.
Stay away from cookie-cutter EMR systems. If something is advertised as “one-size-fits-all”, we don’t recommend it regardless of what it is.
Psychiatrists have different needs than general surgeons. Podiatrists don’t need the same software as a chiropractor. An OB/GYN shouldn’t be using the same software as a plastic surgeon.
So, make sure the software you choose has custom solutions to address the needs that come with your specialty.
EMR (electronic medical records) systems and EHR (electronic health record) systems are not one and the same.
EMR systems store information at clinics, offices, and hospitals. But the charts and data remain at the location where it was initially entered. EHR systems allow practices to share information with other locations, such as a lab, specialist, or hospital.
If you want the capability to share patient data with other practices and locations (which most practices do), make sure the EMR system you choose comes with EHR functionality.
Role-Based Access Management and Everyday Usability
One of the most recurring problems with EMR software is that it’s difficult to manage role-based access for different medical personnel.
Not everyone needs access to every feature, and in some cases, they shouldn’t have access to certain things for privacy. For example, nurses need different tools than doctors, and administrators need to see specific things that doctors don’t.
Allowing everyone to see everything is overwhelming, to say the least.
Customizing access based on user-roles is one of the best ways to ensure your new system is easy to use for everyone at your practice.
So, it’s crucial to choose an EMR system that’s customizable enough to make everyday usability a breeze for everyone on the team. After all, it’s supposed to save time, not make the job more challenging.
The best EMR systems go beyond basic electronic charting and internal-facing features.
As such, we recommend choosing an EMR system that comes with patient portals, electronic prescription requests, e-prescription orders, appointment scheduling, and automated communication.
Another thing to consider is telehealth capabilities. It’s not always as easy as hopping on a Zoom call, especially with HIPAA regulations and security being a top concern.
However, it’s more important now—yep, we’re talking about you, COVID-19— than ever before.
All of these features help streamline day-to-day office operations while providing patients quick access to the information they need. But not all EMR providers offer everything, so don’t forget to think about client-facing features before making your final decision.
What’s the best EMR system on the market today? We recommend NextGen Healthcare.
With that said, there are plenty of other excellent choices to consider. Factors like practice size, specialty, and your specific needs will help dictate the software that’s best for you.
Use the recommendations and methodology described in this guide to find the best EMR system for your medical practice.