Gehrimed advertises that they are “The #1 Long-term Care/ Post-acute Care EHR” and “leading cloud-based, mobile electronic health record (EHR) platform.”
After using the system and trying out others, I must say I agree with them that they are #1 EHR for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They have figured out how to make it easier for medical providers working in the long-term care setting to document their patients.
When I first started working in long-term care, I did all of my visits on paper. We would document on preprinted paper progress notes, which was easy to use. However, these paper notes did very little to capture the data that is needed in healthcare today.
Eventually, when I started my own APRN company providing advanced nurse practitioners to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, I knew I would need a system that could fulfill the needs of the providers without slowing them down.
We tried multiple electronic health records, such as practice fusion, Kareo, and more. All of these EHRs needed workarounds to get the information I needed for our facilities and to the billers. It was apparent that they weren’t created for providers working in nursing homes.
It wasn’t until a friend recommended Gehrimed EHR for our long-term care provider company. At first, when I tried to get reviews on their system, it was apparent it was companies trying to lead you to another EHR that paid them a commission. I couldn’t find an honest review that showed the good, the bad, and ugly.
The first impression of GehriMed
When I first signed up with Gehrimed, I was set up and trained by an implementation specialist from the company. The initial setup was painless because we didn’t transfer date from our other electronic health record except for the necessary demographic information.
I am not sure if Gehrimed has a way to take information other than demographics from other EHRs and transfer into their system. At the time, I didn’t feel it would be worth asking because we wanted to start using their system right away.
We did group training with the other providers in the office with one of their trainers. They offered multiple opportunities to ask questions and try out the system.
We practiced using the system with “test patients” before documenting on “real” patients.
Our implementation specialist was helpful enough to record our training and sent us a video of the training. We saved the video and used it to train APRNs who joined our company at a later date.
Our company developed our own training videos that we felt were needed to fill the gaps. We made these videos, so we didn’t have to sit with each new provider to show them how to use the EHR.
Overall, our first impression of the Gehrimed system was positive. The providers who came into the training with a negative image of electronic health records left feeling pretty good about the system.
Gehrimed EHR usability over time
The more we used the Gehrimed system, the more our advanced nurse practitioners fell in love with it. The functionality and ease of use converted even the most resistant provider into someone who loved the system.
Most of the providers had minimal difficulty learning the system, and it took very little time to get them up to speed.
Almost all medical providers started charting on one to two patients on the first day.
By the end of the week, they were charting in the system more than half the time.
After a few weeks, our medical providers were 100% on board and loving Gehrimed EHR.
The system was easier to use over time as the patients were added to the EHR. As data was added to the system, certain information that didn’t change much carried over to future notes. By having specific nonchanging components carry over, it increased productivity.
The more the providers used the system, the more they became cheerleaders of the system.
Challenges with Gehrimed
There were some difficulties with the system. One of the best but most challenging features was the “dragon dictation” that is built into the system.
When you first start using the system, you need to figure out how to dictate into the EHR. Some laptops have built-in microphones, other people use headsets, and the iPads built-in microphone made it very easy to dictate your notes.
However, there was a learning curve when it came to “teaching it” to recognize your voice and dialect. I found it best to make corrects as I documented my notes.
Often the dragon dictation wouldn’t properly correct vocabulary, and I would be forced to add and train the words in the dictionary manually.
There is also the challenge of internet connectivity and usability of the system along with the dragon dictation. If you have a good internet connection, the system works like a charm. However, if your facility is like many homes with limited connectivity, it can be challenging to dictate or type up your notes.
Luckily, there is a built-in 15-minute delay that saves your notes and turns red when connectivity is an issue. The screen turning red gives you a warning to allows you to find an area with better internet coverage.
Benefits of the Gehrimed system
When you have a good internet connection, the built-in dragon will speed up the completion of your progress notes. The better you train the dragon system to work, the more efficient your charting will become.
There is also the possibility to submit charges automatically to the billing company. They offer the ability to integrate the transmission of your CPT codes and ICD codes to your biller.
There will be charges associated with the HL7 interlink with Gehrimed and other vendors. There is currently a high setup fee and then a monthly charge to setup the HL7 interface. Make sure to look into the rates they will charge before signing up to make sure it isn’t cost-prohibitive.
One of the major pulses of the system is the ease of training new providers in the use of the Gehrimed system. The program is very user-friendly and easy to navigate.
The templates in individual sections of the chart are straightforward to set up and utilize when charting. You will need to do a little research or trial and error to determine which template responses work for you.
Gehrimed is a cloud-based system that can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. Gehrimed has an app that is downloaded onto IOS devices and programs for Windows that you download to access the system. With this easy download, you can easily access and update when available.
The notes are not saved on your device, and the data will carry over wherever you log in. Not only is this convenient when going to multiple facilities, but it also helps protect your company against HIPPA violations.
The progress notes are delivered to the facility via fax after you sign the note. By having your notes faxed once you sign your note, you won’t have to worry about printing them and filing. Gehrimed does all the hard work for you.
Many times, we cut and paste our notes into the facility EHR. Cutting and pasting notes is very easy and quick to accomplish. Many of our facilities are requiring us to transfer our notes into their system.
The notes will also come across in a clear and easy-to-read fashion. Therefore, the facility will be able to file an easy-to-read progress note.
At this point, your progress note will be faxed to the facility. This way, you won’t have to figure out how to get the note to the facility. This system has everything you need when it comes to a long-term EHR.
I have tried multiple systems that never seemed to “get it” They all would handle one problem but not address the other issues. Gehrimed is one of the few systems that can handle the difficulties of long-term care.
When it comes to organizing your day, the system will allow you to track your daily census and determine who needs to follow up.
Gehrimed system will allow you to check to see when you last saw the patient. This way, if the patient hasn’t had a timely follow-up, you can evaluate the resident.
One of the little thought of perks of Gehrimed is how easy it is to install. You can install the program on a desktop, Ipad, and more. Even a rookie can install the program without the use of an IT professional.
Gehirmed recently switched over to Dr. First as their Erx provider. They had used another system electronic prescription program in the past, which had significant limitations.
Their new prescription program is much easier to use with minimal limitations. You will be able to send your prescriptions without difficulty.
For the most part, gEHRiMed is easy to use and navigate. You will use a clean and straightforward interface that makes finding and starting new patient notes a breeze.
The support team is extremely helpful in solving problems immediately or promptly looking for the answer. They take your suggestions seriously and look at the benefit of it for all users.
If you have a medical group with multiple providers, the Gehrimed system allows each provider to have access to the other providers’ notes in real-time.
You will be able to run multiple reports on the visits your providers have completed. The reports should be more than sufficient to keep track of your company metrics.
Downsides of using Gehrimed
There isn’t the ability to integrate labs and studies with the Gehrimed system. This means if you need the ability to order labs or studies directly, you will need to fax orders or call in the orders manually.
If you are looking for a program with a practice management program, then this isn’t the system for you. This system lacks front-end software to manage visits.
The built-in scheduling system is very limited and cumbersome to use. We stopped using it as a company due to the challenges of using it properly.
There are certain administrative tasks that some people feel should be handled by the user, which require a call to Gehrimed or the use of “community” support.
Some people have complained about the length of time it takes to log in to Gehrimed EHR. As someone who runs a post-acute care company, I have grown to appreciate the built-in security features. It may take a bit to log in, but it helps prevent unauthorized logins to the EHR.
Gehrimed recently started offering integrated Efax capabilities with an additional associated cost. The Efax will allow you to fax or take pictures of labs or patient documents and upload them into the patient’s medical record.
You can also review, annotate, and sign the documents and send outgoing faxes when needed. If you don’t wish to use this extra service, you can still upload documents manually or take a picture of your document using your iPad then upload it to the chart.
The price of the Gehrimed system is on the high end. If it were just the cost of the Gehrimed program, it would be fair. Once you include all the extras that you have to pay for the system becomes pricy for the average medical company.
Gehrimed charges for the EHR and extra for everything else, including the integrated Dragon, Eprescribe, integrated billing with their system, MIPS/Macra reporting, and more.
As you can see, the monthly cost when including the above can easily be 400-500 dollars per month per user. Even if you negotiate a reduced rate, you will still have to pay a hefty price to get access to the system.
Even with the high price tag, many people feel it is worth the cost because of the efficiency in charting and ease of use. If you can see more patients in a day because of the ease of use, it may be worth every penny.
If you are a small practice, not seeing a lot of patients each month, they do offer a reduced rate plan. If you go over a set number of patients, you will pay a higher rate.
There is also a charge for the linkup to the facilities, which includes a monthly fee. The monthly fee per setup can become very expensive, depending on the number of facilities you cover.
If linking up via HL7 weren’t so pricey, it would be a great feature that would probably get more people to sign-up with Geherimed. For now, we just pass on this feature due to the high cost of implementation and maintenance costs. HL7 has been around a while and isn’t a “high Tech” propriety item that should cost this much, in our opinion.
We find the price of the system works for our company due to the improved efficiency of our providers. However, we are slowed down because we don’t want to spend the money on the HL7 interlink with a monthly charge.
Training/implementation to use the system
Gehrimed is very user-friendly, and we find most of our providers need very little training to get up and running. When you first start, you will have implementation staff that is very helpful and spends time to train you and the team.
After you have been using the system for a while, and you are no longer in the implementation stage, the hands-on support will be minimal. This is why it is important to ask the trainer to record the online training you receive so that future employees can watch and learn.
You will also want to have certain staff members who become future trainers in the use of the system. The staff at Gehrimed support are accommodating and usually answer questions quickly.
We discussed the pros and cons of the Gehrimed EHR system in hopes of helping you make an educated decision. There are many other EHRs that claim to be great for long-term care medical providers. We have found that Gehrimed is one of the best, if not the best EHR’s for this setting. We have even had success using it in assisted living and residential home visits.
Until there is another more cost-effective system that has many of the features as this system, we will continue using Gehrimed to efficiently document and manage our post-acute patients.