Oncology departments are arguably one of the most important parts of any hospital, since they treat some of the most vulnerable populations out there. And, because it is so important to provide outstanding care to cancer patients, this begs the question: What kind of technology is needed to do so? So, today, we’re going to be exploring oncology specific EMR (electronic medical record) systems.
We’ll dig into what an EMR is, which features you should be looking out for, what questions you’ll need to ask during the process, and how an Imaging EMR system can tie all this together. By the end of the article, you’ll have a better idea of oncology EMR systems and how to evaluate them for your department or clinic.
Interested in learning more about other departments? Check out our previous blog post about choosing the right radiology EMR software.
What is an oncology specific EMR?
Oncology specific EMR software is designed to help make medical record-keeping (and plenty of other functions) more efficient for cancer patients. On a basic level, EMR = an electronic medical record, as opposed to a paper medical record.
Why switch to electronic versions of medical records? Well, there are plenty of good reasons, including various incentives enacted by the government to encourage their adoption. They also offer advantages such as increased security, reduced risk of natural disasters, and increased compliance.
Oncology software for the maintenance of EMRs should make the process of maintaining such records far more streamlined, like for radiation oncology EMRs. And, as we’ll discuss later in the article, one new category of such software – Imaging EMR systems – offers the most modernized version out there.
Important features to consider before buying EMR Software for oncology
There are several features you’ll want to consider before purchasing an oncology specific EMR software. Here are some examples:
View, Share and Retrieve Medical Images and Data
You’ll need oncology EMR software that allows everyone in your practice (and even your patients) to seamlessly view, share, and retrieve the necessary medical images and data. In order for your team to do their jobs properly, such a tool is much needed. Discover how OmegaAI can do all this (and more).
Store and Route Medical Images and Data
The storage and routing of medical images and data is another crucial function of your oncology information system software. Your team will need to be able to easily store electronic medical records in their oncology department, along with routing them to the necessary outside facilities.
Oncology Reporting/Business Intelligence
The best oncology software will also offer you reporting and business intelligence features. These will allow your team to effortlessly generate custom reports and gain valuable insights into how your department functions.
Oncology Billing Management
And, of course, you’ll need to be able to bill your patients effectively. A billing management tool for oncology EMR systems will allow for streamlined billing, payment, and insurance coverage determination. OmegaAI offers a comprehensive billing suite for your department or clinic.
In order to get your oncology patients into your department and seeing their appropriate practitioners, you’ll need to start with scheduling. That’s why your oncology information system software should feature a patient scheduling tool that’s easy to navigate for everyone involved: both patients and administrative staff alike.
Crucial for your department’s specialists, you’ll also require dictation support to make reading studies a breeze. When making such life-and-death diagnoses, your specialists need all the tools in their toolkit to make their jobs simpler. Using a dictation support tool (especially the advanced one offer in OmegaAI) allows your specialists to dictate their findings for easy recording within their oncology EMR software.
Another important feature of the best oncology software is that it will be cloud-native. With OmegaAI, this means that it’s completely serverless. This serverless platform allows for expansibility, making it simpler for organizations to scale as they grow. This system – rather than the lengthy migrations and upgrades of the past – allows for instant ROI to customers. It also includes the ability to offer fully customizable environments. Such environments might involve automated workflows and patient engagement, radiologist orchestration, and the central management of multi-facility environments.
Your oncology department also needs a well-functioning patient portal to make the patient experience smooth. This portal should allow patients the ability to view and share their complete medical imaging records with anyone they see fit, along with other features like scheduling their next appointments. OmegaAI offers all this and more with the Blume patient portal within its oncology EMR system.
Automated front desk
Another valuable feature is that of an automated front desk – with capabilities like scheduling appointments, sending appointment confirmations/reminders, offering remote form completion capabilities, sending automated status updates & workflows, and even coordinating a remote check-in process (which is exclusive to OmegaAI). This functionality allows for your administrative staff to spend more time on what really matters – which is delivering faster, empowered care – via their oncology EHR system.
Questions to ask when selecting an EMR software for your oncology department
And when you’re choosing an oncology EMR system, there are also several questions you need to ask a prospective vendor, like:
- Which certificates does your EMR software have?
- Is the software simple to use and user-friendly?
- Can the product scale easily? And what kind of integrations does it have with other systems/applications?
- What are the support options like?
- Where is the software hosted – is it in Cloud? And can you access it from anywhere?
- What is the implementation process like, and how long does it take?
- Does the software have ICD/CPT codes specific to oncology?
- What are the training resources like?
- How does your company/software ensure the privacy and security of patient information?
- What is the pricing structure?
These questions will help you get a broad understanding of how your prospective vendor works and what their oncology information system software includes. Make sure you ask plenty of questions like these throughout the decision-making process to stay informed.
How can your oncology facility benefit from Imaging EMR (OmegaAI)?
Let’s look at how all this fits together in a potential oncology department setting. Our hypothetical hospital, Hospital X, has a long-standing oncology department that has been serving patients and savings lives for over 25 years. However, they’re still using paper-based records for their entire department, which has become cumbersome and inefficient. Let’s look at how oncology EMR software can help change this.
They decide to look into OmegaAI, the world’s first Imaging EMR, to bring their department into the future. As we mentioned, Hospital X first asked the important questions. Here are some of the answers they received from RamSoft when trying to find the best oncology software:
- Our SaaS solutions carry the following certifications: MDSAP, SOC 2 Type II, Surescripts, and ICSA Labs, along with the Canada Medical Device Regulations License, and IHE
- Yes, OmegaAI is very simple to use and user-friendly; the OmegaAI Dial, for example, is an intuitive navigation tool
- Yes, the software scales easily and integrates easily with other systems or applications through the built-in App Marketplace
- Comprehensive support is available from within the software
- Yes, OmegaAI is cloud-native and easily accessible from anywhere
- Depending on the size of the customer and the number of staff requiring training, the implementation process can vary
- Yes, OmegaAI has oncology specific codes, and users can also customize and add their own
- We offer self-directed training per role, but you can purchase more traditional models if needed
- We take security very seriously; our oncology EMR software is compliant with HIPAA and PIPEDA (in addition to the certificates and licenses listed above)
- OmegaAI requires no up-front start-up costs and thereafter follows a volume-based monthly SaaS subscription model
With all of that cleared up, Hospital X moves into the OmegaAI implementation process. Throughout the process, RamSoft makes a point of considering their department’s unique needs, and sets everything up accordingly. In what seems like no time at all, Hospital X’s oncology department leaves their paper-based record-keeping system in the past.
After moving to a cloud-native solution, Hospital X’s oncology department is more streamlined and efficient. They’re now dealing with oncology electronic medical records instead of paper files, and they have the confidence that everything is securely held in Cloud.
But it doesn’t stop there. Basically every part of their department has been simplified: from their new remote check-in process to their online patient scheduling tool. Patients have been loving the new changes, too – even mentioning to clinic staff that they notice how much easier everything has gotten.
For Hospital X, the improvements have been like night and day. Their department is now squarely in the future, utilizing the latest technology to make their patient care more efficient. OmegaAI has helped them transform their patient experience – offering more patient autonomy and a higher level of care.
Furthermore, their oncologists are now able to spend at least 50 hours per week on direct patient care – a massive improvement through switching to electronic health records. And they’re already seeing savings in the form of the following benefits: lower transcription costs, less chart pulling/storage/re-filing costs, prevented medical errors, and more.
For Hospital X, their oncology EMR system has been a true game-changer. Request a demo of OmegaAI to learn how we can do the same for you.