AdvancedMD - Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Review

By
Adam Uzialko
,
business.com writer
|
Sep 26, 2019
Image Credit: Pornpak Khunatorn / Getty Images

Our overall best pick for electronic medical records (EMR) systems is AdvancedMD. It offers flexible implementation packages, a competitive price point and powerful features that you can customize to suit your practice's workflows. The company also has great customer service and makes ongoing training available to practices that want a support partner in the early days after their go-live date.

AdvancedMD EHR

AdvancedMD EHR

The Best Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software for 2020

The Verdict

AdvancedMD is one of the most comprehensive EMR systems we reviewed and our best overall pick. Although it has a bit of a learning curve, it is a feature-rich and relatively cost-effective platform.

AdvancedMD offers a flexible, comprehensive platform at a relatively competitive price. While it can seem overwhelming at first and certainly has a bit of a learning curve, the software is feature-rich and powerful, offering clinical care providers multiple methods of completing their tasks during a patient encounter. This dynamic navigation model makes AdvancedMD adaptable to various physician workflows. Moreover, the software includes customizable templates so you and your staff can further tailor it to your liking.

Implementation of AdvancedMD is available in several packages, allowing practices of different sizes and budgets to choose the one most applicable to their needs. These include self-guided implementation and one-on-one ongoing training packages. In addition, AdvancedMD is highly interoperable with the systems that labs, pharmacies and hospitals commonly use. In the event an integration you need does not exist, the company is willing build a new one for you.

View all our recommendations for electronic medical records systems on our best picks page.

Ease of Use

AdvancedMD has a modern and well-organized user interface that can be overwhelming at times. The sheer number of options in AdvancedMD makes it intimidating software for new users, especially those unfamiliar with EMRs. However, with guided training and time to learn the system, clinical providers and practice staff alike should be able to successfully navigate the system. Most tools are accessible in multiple ways, so each user can develop shortcuts that work best for their role within the practice and personal preferences.

The hardest part of using AdvancedMD seems to be understanding all the available shortcuts and templates. These features seem useful in cutting down the time it takes to fill out a patient's chart, for example, but they are not necessarily intuitive to a first-time user. Taking full advantage of AdvancedMD requires knowledge of how to operate these types of shortcuts, which a one-on-one trainer can demonstrate. AdvancedMD also maintains self-guided educational material on the website to help you better navigate the system.

There's a lot about AdvancedMD that takes some getting used to, but if you're looking for an all-in-one EMR system, it's worth suffering the learning curve. As you become familiar with the options that best suit your personal preferences, you should be able to navigate AdvancedMD with relative ease.

Features

AdvancedMD is particularly feature-rich EMR software with a wide range of tools that you can access in multiple ways. While this makes the learning curve a bit steeper than with some EMRs, AdvancedMD promises a powerful and versatile platform once you understand the basics of the system. Here are some of AdvancedMD's major features.

Dashboard

The AdvancedMD dashboard provides a bird's-eye view of your practice's clinical operations. Using "donut filters," which you can customize based on what information you want to see first, the dashboard displays data about charge slips, clinical notes, prescriptions, documents, images, lab results, pharmacy requests and more. You can also use the dashboard to navigate to your inbox and view any secure messages you've sent or received through the system.

To view more information about a specific area, you just click the donut filter associated with it. The right-hand side of the screen populates with additional details about that area of your practice. For example, the HealthWatcher donut filter reminds staff and providers about patients who need to visit the practice regularly. It allows you to set recurring visits, list the reasons for that visit and automate reminders to patients, all without leaving the dashboard.

Appointment Scheduler

AdvancedMD's scheduler is a customizable, color-coded calendar that you can filter by provider, location, visit type and more. It can also display in a daily, weekly or monthly format to give an overview of how many patients the practice is seeing.

You can set all new appointments directly in the scheduling tool. You simply click on an open time slot and select "set new appointment." A popup box then allows you to select the appointment type (which you can also customize at will). Once the appointment is set, you can send any intake forms to the patient; these include pre-generated forms as well as your practice's own custom forms. Patients will be notified that they have received forms via the secure patient portal, or they can fill them out on an iPad when they arrive for their visit.

You can also check patients in and out with two clicks of the mouse directly in the scheduler. When you're checking a patient in, the left-hand side of the screen will display a rooming feature that allows you to assign them to a specific exam room and notify their provider that they are ready to be seen.

Clinical Notes

With AdvancedMD, you can tie specific note templates to certain appointment types. For example, if a patient is coming in for a consultation, the needed templates can be set to pull up automatically when you select that appointment type. Patient information also displays on the left-hand side of the screen, including date of birth, phone number, insurance and preferred pharmacy.

A quick view of patient cards is available in a left-hand tab on top of the screen. Cards show patient risk factors, the summary of any healthcare plans based on recent patient encounters (which you can double-click for details), problems the patient is experiencing and any medications they currently take. The cards also include educational material that you can send to the patient through the patient portal for them to review on their own time.

A medications tab shows a complete list of all current and previous medications a patient has been prescribed. You can order new prescriptions or refills directly through this screen. Prescriptions can be signed and sent to the pharmacy electronically. AdvancedMD relies on Surescripts to check patient insurance and see which prescriptions have been filled within the past year to generate a historic list of medications. All that information can be downloaded and imported into the EMR, so even if it is the patient's first time at your practice, all their medication history will be available. AdvancedMD also integrates with DrFirst for electronic prescriptions of controlled substances.

Patient Encounter

Once the patient is checked in and placed in a room and a nurse has captured their vitals, you can update their status to "ready for doctor" with a single click on the left-hand side of the screen. Any intake forms that they filled out prior to the visit are available in the EMR. The nurse can add to these intake forms if needed.

The exam tab at the top of the screen allows you to pull up the notes associated with the patient's appointment type. Notes are customizable based on practice workflow. You can add information to notes by typing, dictating through software such as Dragon or MModal, or using acronyms and hotkeys to quickly insert previously programmed information.

You can add ICD-10 diagnosis codes into the note with the help of a "pick list." The full library of ICD-10 codes is also available under the exam tab, so if you don't know it offhand, you can search for the one you need based on the patient's condition. After you fill out and save an exam note, you can export it to AdvancedMD's practice management module for billing.

Also under the exam tab, you can set up favorite medications or lab tests to speed up the process of prescribing new medications or ordering certain tests. If you regularly see patients with similar conditions, for example, you can bookmark their typical treatment plans to expedite the orders of medication or tests.

In addition to its EMR, AdvancedMD offers a fully integrated practice management and billing platform. Medical billing services are also available for practices that want to outsource a portion of their revenue cycle management. [Read our review of AdvancedMD's medical billing service to learn more.]

Pricing

AdvancedMD's pricing plans are unique in their variety. It's not the cheapest system out there, but for what AdvancedMD's EHR brings to the table, it is priced well. You can select one of two pricing models. There is the per-provider, per-month model, which is the standard pricing model across the EMR industry. AdvancedMD also offers an encounter-based program, in which practices only pay per patient encounter. However, you must meet monthly minimums in the encounter-based program.

AdvancedMD does not offer a stand-alone EHR, although the practice management module can either be the company's in-house solution or a third party of your choosing. For a fully integrated AdvancedMD EHR/PM solution, pricing starts at $729 per provider per month. If your practice chooses to outsource the practice management module to a third party, that would change the cost; AdvancedMD maintains relationships with more than 700 billers.

For the encounter-based program, we obtained a quote of $2.18 per encounter, with a $500 monthly minimum. That means a practice that sees at least 229 patients per month could take advantage of AdvancedMD's EHR/PM system for as little as $500 monthly, regardless of its total number of providers. This gives small, low-volume practices access to a powerful EHR system for a manageable cost.

AdvancedMD is somewhat more expensive than some other EMR solutions we reviewed, but it includes an integrated practice management module in the price. It is also one of the only services that offers the encounter-based pricing model. However, there are several add-ons that cost extra, some of which are automatically included with other systems we reviewed:

  • Advanced Patient Pro (patient portal, appointment reminders, etc.)  $150 per provider
  • Advanced insights and benchmarking  $79 per provider
  • Telemedicine  $30 per provider, plus $5 per encounter or $150 per provider unlimited
  • Integrated fax  $29 per provider for 2,000 pages per month
  • Electronic prescriptions for controlled substances (EPCS)  $25 per provider
  • Reputation management  $49 per provider

Implementation

AdvancedMD maintains separate pricing for its implementation packages, allowing practices to select the level of guidance and training they need. For experienced practices, a less expensive option could be suitable, while those that require in-depth, one-on-one training and regular consultation can spend a little more for the helping hand.

  • Tier 1 – Limited ($1,995): This includes application configuration and two hours of product training. Configuration review and project management are incumbent upon the practice. This option is intended for a small practice with experienced staff members who are content to rely on webinar training.
  • Tier 2 – Standard ($2,995): This tier builds on the first by adding two more hours of training and shifting project management and configuration review responsibilities to AdvancedMD. It also includes an integrated training tracker, a comprehensive training video library, help materials, an onboarding webinar series, an implementation phone line, a partner interface collaboration, post-utilization follow-up and a dedicated implementation consultant.
  • Tier 3 – Comprehensive ($3,995): Finally, the Comprehensive package adds full application configuration and review, with 12 hours of product training. This is recommended for practices implementing a fully custom system that need time to learn how to navigate the software and integrate it into their daily operations.

Customer Service

Our customer service experience with AdvancedMD was excellent. Representatives were responsive to all our questions and flexible in setting up a date and time for a demo of the software. They answered all our questions in depth and followed up multiple times with additional resources and to answer our questions about the system. We made clear at the start of our conversation with company representatives that our hypothetical medical practice was only in the research phase of its buying journey, and we didn't feel like they were pushing us to make a buying decision before, during or after the demo.

AdvancedMD's customer support is included in the subscription price. There is a 24/7 help desk so you can contact support anytime something goes wrong with the software, which sets AdvancedMD's customer service apart from many other vendors we reviewed. All customer support is in-house and ongoing after your practice completes the implementation process and training.

Editor's note: Looking for an electronic medical records (EMR) system? Fill out the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you about your needs.

AdvancedMD EHR

AdvancedMD EHR

The Best Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Software for 2020

The Verdict

AdvancedMD is one of the most comprehensive EMR systems we reviewed and our best overall pick. Although it has a bit of a learning curve, it is a feature-rich and relatively cost-effective platform.

Adam Uzialko
Adam Uzialko
Adam C. Uzialko, a New Jersey native, graduated from Rutgers University in 2014 with a degree in political science and journalism and media studies. He reviews healthcare information technology, call centers, document management software and employee monitoring software. In addition to his full-time position at Business News Daily and business.com, Adam freelances for several outlets. An indispensable ally of the feline race, Adam is owned by four lovely cats.