Truth be told, I am not currently a fan of EHRs. In my opinion most don’t live up to their expectations, they are slow clumsy databases that make it difficult for clinicians to find the information they need to take good care of their patients.
So imagine my delight when I opened Inca Clinic for the first time: the default settings made sense, the patient flow matched my work flow, and instead of switching from page to page, I can use a pop-up window to get more detailed information, when I need it.
In an instant my grumbling, irritable mood disappeared as I began playing around inside the program to see what it could do. This is a tool that actually works!
The emphasis on an easy-to-use interface means that the software actually helps, not hinders, your delivery of good care. It starts with a patient-friendly registration process and continues through to completion of the consult.
The whole process from patient registration, transfer into the digital waiting room and then into the medical record is quick and complete. It can be easily tailored to suit your particular work flow.
It is the attention to the user experience that sets Inca Clinic apart from other EHRs that I have used.
Set up is a breeze. When you sign up you get 3 simple emails:
- Managing patient registration
- Doing a consultation
- Managing vaccines.
Within each email you can choose to read the brief summary, watch a video or read a detailed posts about how to complete each task. Once you are comfortable with the basics you can find many ‘how to’ videos about security, administrative dashboards, customization, etc. on YouTube.
The folks at Inca developed this software to meet the needs of both small stand-alone clinics as well as chains of clinics. It could easily be used within a large healthcare system too. It’s not typical for products to address the need of two markets, but Inca pulls it off well—mostly by making the product fully customizable.
For larger clinics you can set up separate billing accounts, manage inventory and supervise your providers.
Set up Required
The downside to the fully customizable interface is that you will need to spend a little time setting things up. I estimate you’ll need to set aside half of a day to get all the presets to your liking. It’s important to note that the program was developed in Ireland. If you prefer CDC or Australian health recommendations, you’ll need to change these with a few simple clicks. There is plenty of self-serve and live support to help you get your program set up right, the first time.
The developer reassured me that the software is HIPAA/HITCH compliant, which is essential to practitioners in the USA. Reportedly this security is baked in to the design, it’s built on the SalesForce platform.
The patient-friendly registration process saves a lot of administrative time. Similar to booking a flight, patients enter demographic data, answer questions about their trip, medication and the like and then select an appointment at your office. It’s the level of convenience people expect nowadays.
Email reminders, preset by you, encourage your clients to show up at the expected time and place. Missing is the ability for text appointment reminders, you’ll have to use stand-alone software for this.
The EHR allows either the individual or the clinic director to set up patient pathways. This ensure that the overall flow of the consultation is uniform within your clinic. ex. Vaccines boosters are scheduled at appropriate intervals and contraindication alerts are generated when appropriate. Administrative dashboards can be developed to allow for monitoring of the quality of providers and clinic sites.
Prescriptions and Lab Slips
Prescriptions are available in written form only, no e-prescribing, nor interface with your local lab. This is not really a deal breaker since patients can easily take the paper prescription to the pharmacy or lab– or your staff can call them in.
The software was developed to grab recommendations from the CDC, NaTHNaC, etc. You can select your preferred source of information to pre-populate pop-up windows for your client’s itinerary. These are broad sweeping recommendations, if you want more granular decision support you will need to subscribe to specialize software reviewed here
Disappointing is the lack of installed patient handouts. You will need to either find or create your own, either as a PDF or weblink. Handouts can be printed at the visit or sent via email. In the USA you will have to link to the Vaccine Information Sheet (VIS) for each immunization too.
My Wish list for the next generation of Inca Clinic:
- Improved telemedicine support. Specifically the ability to conduct video consultation and clip the recording into the existing medical record. At this point in time you can only conduct a phone call with clients and write out the consult as if you were seeing the patient in person.
- Ability to use the software with a tablet. There is nothing more disheartening than being chained to a desktop or laptop, it interferes with patient rapport and the units are expensive. Being able to use one tablet per provider is friendly and affordable. Currently the SalesForce platform runs well on tablets, so this should be rather easy for IncaClinic to do.
- Improved integration with exiting medical EHRs. Currently the record generates a PDF that can be included within the patient’s EHR at their general practitioner. This is much like the way we do consults from a outside specialist. Ideally, once the industry develops transfer protocols, Inca Clinic would fully integrate, adding medications, vaccines, etc. into the general medical record. This should solve the e-prescribing problem and e-lab order problem too.
In summary, Inca Clinic is an excellent travel medicine EHR that suits the needs of travel clinics well. Its single best feature is the intuitive user interface which makes it easy for non-techies to set up and use the product quickly. The software is designed to be friendly to both patients and clinicians.
*please note: I do not have any affiliation with this product. I was able to try it out with the 14-day free trial available to anyone.