Top 5 Features Your Allergy Practice Should Look For in an EHR

    Posted by Jamicah Chan

    Allergy practices are unique in their need for specialized systems that support their intricate workflows, which include allergy diagnosis, testing, and ongoing treatment management. We understand that with numerous EHR solutions in the market, choosing the right one can be as challenging as diagnosing a rare allergy. 

    To streamline your selection process, we highlight the top five EHR software features that allergy practices should look for. These features are designed to address allergists' specific challenges and ensure a smooth, integrated approach to patient management and care. 

    Understanding the Digital Needs of Allergy Workflows

    Allergy testing on a patient's arm

    Before we list what EHR features we need, we must understand why and how these advancements promise more effective and personalized outcomes, specifically for patients. Let’s go through them one by one: 

    For Efficient Initial Consultations

    EHRs play a vital role in collecting and managing patient information at a patient’s first visit. Choosing an EHR software with integrated scheduling software is crucial to manage appointments and ensure that patients are adequately prepared for their initial consultation based on their medical background, allergy-related symptoms, family history, and lifestyles.

    For a Digitally-Driven Diagnostic Testing

    Allergy-specific software makes organizing and monitoring results from skin pre-tests, including skin prick and blood tests, much more accessible. The seamless integration with laboratory information systems ensures allergists can quickly access precise and reliable test results.

    This optimized diagnostic testing workflow improves efficiency and accuracy in the care process. With immediate access to comprehensive and up-to-date diagnostic information, allergists can make more informed decisions and customize treatment plans. This not only enhances the overall quality of care but also simplifies the process, benefiting both allergists and their patients.

    For Allergy Immunotherapy 

    If specific allergens are identified, the allergist might suggest allergy immunotherapy, which involves allergy shots or sublingual drops to desensitize the patient's immune system gradually.

    Having software to track the patient's progress during these sessions is a game-changer for ensuring effective long-term care. 

    Your EHR software is crucial in monitoring and managing any adverse reactions or necessary adjustments in the immunotherapy plan. A digital tool provides a comprehensive approach to overseeing the patient's journey through allergy immunotherapy, enhancing the overall quality and safety of their care.

    For More Effective Treatment Plans

    When an allergist develops a personalized treatment plan based on the diagnosis, a digital system ensures precise and accurate prescription management, reducing the risk of errors in prescribing medications. 

    Electronic systems can also aid in tracking and assessing the patient's progress over time, allowing allergists to make data-driven decisions during follow-up appointments and adjust treatment plans as necessary.

    For Precise Billing Management

    A streamlined billing function tailored for allergy services ensures accuracy and expedites reimbursements.

    EHR systems with integrated billing functionalities funnel information directly into the patient care documentation process. This minimizes manual data entry errors and ensures billing information is accurate and up-to-date.


    Must-Have Features for Allergy Practices in an EHR

    Doctor looking at lab results on his tablet

    Modern health technologies are intricately woven into every phase of healthcare delivery, seamlessly connecting the dots from the initial consultation to follow-up appointments. Here, we highlight specific features tailored for allergy practices:

    1. Templated Shot Schedules

    When seeking an EHR solution for allergists, prioritize one with a dynamic shot schedule template that simplifies allergy treatment management by creating personalized shot schedules based on individual needs. 

    The system efficiently tracks build-up and maintenance shots, ensuring patients receive immunotherapy in a structured and timely manner. Look for flexibility in modifying shot schedules to adapt to changing patient requirements or treatment plans. The automated setup of patient vaccine doses saves time. It minimizes the risk of errors, providing a streamlined solution for allergy practitioners.

    2. Skin Test, Reaction, and Treatment Trackers

    An ideal EHR should simplify the entire allergy testing process. Look for features that document skin tests, Wheal and Flare reactions, and generate detailed reports for all tested allergens. 

    The system should seamlessly link positive allergens to antigens, facilitating easy vaccine prescription. Visual results should be neatly displayed in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), allowing healthcare providers to monitor and treat allergies efficiently. 

    Including customizable templates for documenting local and systemic reactions and alerts for critical reactions makes it a one-stop shop for allergy testing, monitoring, and treatment. This ensures a clear and efficient path in managing patients' allergies from start to finish.

    3. Vial Monitoring System

    In allergy treatment, allergists must diligently manage the expiration dates of administered shots, often overseeing their in-stock medication inventory. A dedicated module integrates critical validations, alerting healthcare providers to potential issues like expired vials or deviations in shot administrations and maintaining stringent safety standards.

    This feature ensures immediate safety and enhances efficiency with reminders for upcoming tasks, aiding allergy professionals in staying organized. 

    4. Patient Follow-Up System

    The inability to identify patients falling off their immunotherapy schedule can result in suboptimal patient care and financial losses for the practice. 

    Having an automated follow-up system not only helps identify such patients but also facilitates comprehensive follow-up actions. Your staff can document follow-up notes, easily route communications through batch emails and letters, and generate reminders to prompt patients to schedule and attend missed appointments.

    5. Automated Billing Process

    This feature is a streamlined solution for allergy practices, simplifying the billing process for immunotherapy treatments.

    Particularly with Quick Billing, the system should efficiently bill batches of shots and generate superbills for skin testing, shots, and peak flows using customizable billing templates. Look for flexibility in defining billing rules for serums and venoms based on insurance and patient specifics. This includes specifying default CPT codes, modifiers, ICDs, and units for immunotherapy shots and assigning templates to insurance carriers or plans.

     With the ability to update diagnosis codes as needed, this automated billing system enhances accuracy, saves time, and contributes to the overall efficiency of managing immunotherapy billing within allergy practices.


    Don’t Settle For Less. Your EHR Must Have It All

    Doctor using their EHR solution from both laptop and tablet

    Now that you're aware of which key features to look for, your search just got much simpler! Remember that not all EHRs offer everything, and opting for a subpar system can be a hassle when using multiple software tools.

    Luckily, you can cut your search time with AllergyEHR's complete allergy toolkit. From web-based applications to patient apps and portals, it's an all-encompassing system designed to support your allergy practice every step of the way.

    Explore away and make your healthcare journey, as well as your patients', an absolute breeze!

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