Practice Fusion Review: Most Popular Free EHR
Note: In February 2018, Practice Fusion announced that it will not be free anymore—it will be moving to a paid subscription model in Summer of 2018, where it will cost $100/month.
Practice Fusion is a free web-based EHR that is widely used across the medical industry, especially by smaller, cost-conscious medical practices. The software is endorsed by Dr. Oz, and has gained recognition as one of the premier free EHR systems. Practice Fusion helps perform various tasks like charting, scheduling, billing, and documentation, and many users report that its functionality is comparable to some of the more expensive EHR systems. Since the system is optimized for touchscreens, you can use the software on the go with your iPad or tablet, but you can also use it on a desktop computer if you prefer.
Practice Fusion is used by more than 112,000 medical professionals, and has raised over $150M in venture capital funding, making it a reputable and established company. And, with more than 200 employees, the company has the workforce necessary to stay up to date with any future regulatory changes.
How does Practice Fusion make money?
Although there are many free EHRs in business today, some people remain skeptical of this business model. Practice Fusion is one of the most reputable free EHRs; the company makes money by displaying ads to its users on the UI. The ads are displayed in a way that does not disrupt the workflow. Since Practice Fusion users spend so much time using the system, marketers are interested in targeting this attractive group of people with advertising. In particular, medical equipment vendors and pharmaceutical companies find this to be a lucrative audience to display their ads to -- and they are willing to pay Practice Fusion in order to do so.
In addition, Practice Fusion has raised over $150M in venture capital money, so it is a well-funded company that is likely to stay around for years to come.
As an EHR, charting is one of Practice Fusion's strengths. Each patient's chart contains all of their medical history and past diagnoses.
One way that Practice Fusion streamlines the documentation process is by enabling users to create custom templates. Each template can provide a list of standard information that you want to include for each type of exam. This is great for standardizing each exam, and for making sure that you're not missing any information from your notes. For example, you can create a General Wellness Exam template, which contains a list of questions that should be asked during every wellness exam.
Practice Fusion includes several default templates, but users are also able to upload their own templates and share them with the Practice Fusion community. Since there are more than 112,000 medical professionals using the software across various medical specialties, there are thousands of templates available. If you want to find a template that might be relevant for you, you can search the template library, and filter for templates that contain specific terms, or that are relevant to a certain specialty.
With Practice Fusion, you can quickly generate superbills with proper ICD-10 codes directly from the patient chart. This makes for more accurate claims, and increases the chances of reimbursement. After your claims are generated, you can submit them electronically with one of Practice Fusion's billing partners. Practice Fusion partners with many major medical billers, such as Kareo, AdvancedMD, and CollaborateMD to offer fully integrated billing capabilities.
Practice Fusion makes it easy to add new patients to the system and book appointments. The appointment book is attractive and easy to use -- you can start booking appointments within 5 minutes of registering with Practice Fusion.
The system also has more advanced scheduling features, such as online appointment booking and automatic appointment reminders. If you register your practice on Patient Fusion, then new patients can find you online, book appointments, and fill out questionnaires and other paperwork online. This information will automatically get populated in their patient chart.
Practice Fusion comes with various standardized reports that can help you analyze your data and better understand your practice's performance. You can do things like understand where your referrals are coming from, and search for patients with a particular diagnosis. Below is a sample of the default reports that come with Practice Fusion.
Though Practice Fusion has access to a rich dataset that would be helpful for data analysis, one of the downsides is that it doesn't offer a way to build custom reports, which means that you won't be able to pursue answers the specific questions that are most important to your practice, unless they are already included in the standard reports.
Is Practice Fusion the right software for you?
If you're looking for an EHR system, then we'd strongly recommend checking out Practice Fusion. It's easy to try out the software -- it only takes a few minutes to register and start experimenting with its functionality. We recommend that you create some example patients, and walk through the entire workflow for these patients, from scheduling, all the way to charting and billing, in order to see if the software would suit your needs.
However, if you want to be able to analyze your data and generate custom reports, then you should consider other systems, since Practice Fusion doesn't currently support user-generated custom reports. Also, if your practice focuses on a certain specialty, then you may want to consider specialty-specific software, since it could have richer features that cater to your needs. For many, these issues are more than compensated for by the fact that it's free.
Since the software is free, and is used by more than 112,000 medical professionals, Practice Fusion is a no-brainer to experiment with if you're a smaller, cost-conscious medical practice on the market for an EHR system.