4 Best EHR Systems for Medical Practice Start-Ups [Reviewed and Compared]

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Launching a medical practice is a whirlwind – insurance, staffing, and a million tiny decisions. But picking the right Electronic Health Records (EHR) or Electronic Medical Records (EMR)? That’s make-or-break for your long-term success. Don’t get bogged down with software built for huge hospitals when you need something streamlined, cost-effective, and ready to grow with you.

This guide isn’t just another list of features. We’ll dive into:

  • Which EHRs offer intuitive workflows built for budding practices.
  • Head-to-head comparisons between top platforms like AthenaHealth vs. Practice Better.
  • Real-world insights on Kareo vs. Practice Better and which shines where.

Let’s get started.

#1. Practice Better – Built for the Future of Healthcare

Better Practice EHR System 2024

Your practice is more than a business – it’s a vision for better health. But outdated, clunky practice management software can turn that vision into a daily grind. That’s where Practice Better changes the game. From solo practitioners to growing teams, this platform is designed to empower healthcare providers, not overwhelm them.

WhyPractice Better Takes the Top Spot for EHR Systems in 2024

We know the struggle. You’ve got a vision for your practice – a thriving hub of health and wellness, focused on delivering exceptional care. But clunky, bloated software can turn that dream into a nightmare. That’s where the PracticeBetter practice management platform shines. It’s not just an EHR software, it’s the practice management solution designed to support the way health professionals work today.

What Makes Practice Better Stand Out

  • Focus on the User: Their interface has a clean design and intuitive navigation usually reserved for consumer apps. Say goodbye to frustrating training sessions and hello to actually enjoying your software workflow.
  • Features Powering Your Practice: It’s packed with everything you need, including:
    • Smooth appointment scheduling with client self-booking options
    • Customizable, SOAP note-ready clinical documentation
    • Secure telehealth in patient portals for virtual appointments
    • Automated medical billing software and insurance claim submission
    • Powerful reporting and analytics of electronic medical record
    • Patient portal of patient information for engagement & secure communication
  • Built to Scale: Starting small? Their pricing plans are flexible. As your practice grows, Practice Better EHR system has the tools for enterprise-level management.

Practice Management Solutions

  • Scheduling That Works For You: Ditch the phone tag and appointment book chaos. Clients can easily book online, plus you get automated reminders to cut down on no-shows.
  • Integrations Powerhouse: Practice Better plays well with others! Link your favorite tools like calendars, accounting software, Zapier, and more for a truly seamless workflow.
  • Charting That’s Actually Intuitive: Forget clunky templates. These tools are made to mirror your thought process, so notes are fast and accurate. Perfect for busy practitioners.
  • Automations to Save You Time: Set up birthday greetings, onboarding workflows, and appointment confirmations… if it’s routine, Practice Better can probably automate it.
  • Billing Made Simple: Generate invoices, submit claims, and track payments. They even partner with superbills and payment processors for maximum efficiency.
  • Protocols That Build Consistency: Create standardized care plans with ease, ensuring quality across your growing practice.
  • Branding That Reflects You: Add your logo, colors, and personality to everything clients see, strengthening your practice’s identity.
  • Reporting to Guide Growth: Ditch the spreadsheets. Practice Better gives you the data you need to make informed decisions and track your practice’s success.

Client Engagement

  • Client Portal: The Digital Front Door: A secure hub where clients schedule, access paperwork, and message you – reducing admin time and boosting client satisfaction.
  • Group Sessions for Scaled Impact: Offer workshops, classes, or support groups, boosting revenue AND offering more ways to help patients.
  • Telehealth Without the Hassle: Integrated video sessions keep care accessible and convenient, perfect for expanding your reach.
  • Mobile App for On-the-Go Access: Clients can manage appointments, track progress, you name it – straight from their phones.
  • Messaging that’s Compliant: Secure, in-app communication cuts down on phone calls and keeps everything HIPAA-friendly.
  • Journaling for Deeper Insights: Encourage clients to log moods, habits, and more – giving you valuable context for treatment.

Pricing: Refreshingly Transparent

Practice Better Pricing Plans

Practice Better EHR EMR understands that startups need flexibility as they grow. Their tiered pricing plans offer medical professionals powerful features at every level, ensuring you get the support you need without breaking the bank.

  • Starter ($25/month): The perfect launchpad for solo practitioners or those just starting out. Includes:
    • Up to 10 clients
    • Secure telehealth video chat
    • Invoicing, payments, and superbills
    • Client portal and basic messaging
  • Professional ($59/month): Designed as your practice grows. Everything in Starter PLUS:
    • Up to 300 clients
    • Group scheduling and programs
    • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Plus ($89/month): This tier unlocks the full potential of Practice Better for established practices. It includes everything in Professional PLUS:
    • Unlimited clients
    • Multiple admin users for team management
    • Evergreen enrollment for programs

Additional Notes for Startups

  • Free Trial: Test drive Practice Better with no risk and see how it transforms your workflow.
  • Add-Ons for Customization: Need more practitioners on your team? SMS reminders for clients? Add these features as needed.
  • Cost Savings: Say goodbye to high upfront costs and tangled contracts typical of some enterprise EHRs. Practice Better is a transparent and scalable investment.

Practice Better offers the perfect balance of features and ease-of-use, making it a smart investment for both budding startups and established practices seeking an upgrade.

#2. AthenaHealth

Athena Health EHR System

AthenaHealth has been in the healthcare game for a long time, and their reputation for robust, comprehensive solutions is well-earned. They offer an expansive suite of services beyond just the EHR, making them a powerhouse option for medical practices with big plans and complex needs.

What Sets AthenaHealth Apart

  • athenaOne: The Core Offering: This all-in-one platform bundles their EHR, revenue cycle management (RCM), and patient engagement tools.
  • Solutions Built for Every Area: Let’s break it down:
    • Electronic Health Record: Designed for connectivity and physician experience.
    • Revenue Cycle Management: Streamline billing, collections, and claim submission
    • Patient Engagement: Tools to keep patients informed, involved, and loyal.
    • Beyond the Basics: Explore offerings like payer solutions, performance consulting, and their marketplace program to fully customize your experience.
  • The Network Effect: They boast a vast network of providers, payers, labs, and more. This translates to seamless data exchange and potential efficiency gains.
  • Focus on Revenue Cycle Management (RCM): If maximizing revenue and optimizing complex billing is your top priority, AthenaHealth’s RCM services could be a major asset.

Considerations for Startups

  • Steeper Learning Curve: AthenaHealth’s sheer scope can make it less intuitive for smaller teams, requiring more training investment.
  • Potential for Overkill: Startups might not need all the bells and whistles, leading to paying for unused features.
  • Cost: AthenaHealth’s pricing is generally less transparent, with custom quotes often necessary. Startups on a tight budget should proceed cautiously.

AthenaHealth is a serious contender if you’re envisioning rapid growth, need enterprise-level features, and have the resources to fully leverage their platform.

#3. Kareo

Kareo EHR System

Kareo, previously known as PatientPop, positions itself as the cloud-based platform for independent practices, offering a mix of practice management, patient engagement, and a strong emphasis on billing. Kareo is not the strongest of EHR tools, but still has a suite of tools that are good for small clinics.

Kareo’s Toolkit

  • Kareo Clinical: The EHR Backbone: This forms the foundation, with tools for charting, e-prescribing, and all your clinical documentation needs.
  • Kareo Billing: Mastering the Money: Simplify billing, claims management, and streamline your revenue cycle.
  • Kareo Engage: Building Patient Connections: Features like online appointment booking, marketing tools, and patient messaging help boost engagement.
  • Kareo for Billing Companies: A Niche Play: Designed specifically for medical billing companies, with tools for multi-practice management.
  • Beyond the Core:
    • Managed Billing: Outsource your billing headaches to their experts.
    • Telehealth: Secure video visits integrated into your workflow.
    • Payment Processing: Simplify patient payments and statement generation.
    • Analytics: Get actionable insights to drive practice decisions.
    • Marketplace: Explore partner apps for additional functionality.

Considerations for Startups

  • Modular Approach = Flexibility: Kareo lets you pick and choose the tools you need, potentially controlling costs early on.
  • Billing Expertise: If reliable revenue cycle management is a major pain point, Kareo’s focus in this area could be beneficial.
  • Potential for Add-on Complexity: The modular system can become fragmented if you aren’t strategic about which modules to use.

Kareo is an okay contender for independent practices that want streamlined operations with some robust billing tools. We would suggest other tools over Kareo.

#4. Cerbo


Cerbo stands out with a focus on creating an EHR that’s not only powerful, but also intuitive. They market themselves heavily to functional and direct-pay practices, which could make them well-suited for wellness-centered startups.

What You’ll Find with Cerbo

  • EHR Features – The Essentials & More: Let’s break it down…
    • Simply Better Charting: Aimed at reducing documentation headaches.
    • Labs, Pharmacies, and Specialists: Smooth connectivity for better care coordination.
    • Supplement Management: A handy tool if your practice is integrative-focused.
    • Integrations and Partners: Play nicely with other platforms you might use.
    • Prescription Management: Streamlined e-prescribing and tracking.
  • Features – Practice Management: Tools to keep operations humming:
    • Scheduling: Intuitive appointment booking that clients can use too.
    • Integrated Billing: No need for clunky separate billing software.
    • Robust Reporting: Insights to guide your growth.
    • Inventory Management: Track supplements or other retail items you sell.
    • Task Management: Keep your team coordinated on daily operations.
  • Onboarding and Experience – They’ve Got Your Back:
    • World Class Support: They emphasize being friendly and responsive.
    • Make it Yours: Personalized onboarding to get you up and running fast.

Considerations for Startups

  • Ease of Use: Cerbo’s focus on a great user experience might shorten your team’s learning curve.
  • Niche Features: The supplement management is a plus if that aligns with your practice model.
  • Focus on Support: Great for start-ups who might need more guidance on the software side of things.

Cerbo is worth a close look if you’re launching a practice focused on patient experience, wellness, or direct-pay models. Their emphasis on user-friendliness and support could be a lifesaver for busy start-ups.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Why Practice Better Outshines the Competition

Choosing an EHR is a big decision, so let’s break down how Practice Better stacks up against other top players:

Practice Better vs AthenaHealth

Doc Digital SEM - Better Practice VS AthenaHealth Comparison Chart
  • Ease of Use: Practice Better wins with a clean, user-friendly interface ideal for busy startups. AthenaHealth can feel complex, requiring more training.
  • Cost: Practice Better offers transparent pricing perfect for budgeting. AthenaHealth’s custom quotes can lead to unexpected costs.
  • Growth Potential: Both offer scaling, but Practice Better balances features and simplicity even as you grow.

Practice Better vs Kareo

Doc Digital SEM - Better Practice VS AthenaHealth Comparison Chart
  • Feature Focus: Practice Better offers a greater focus on client engagement tools. Kareo leans heavily on billing capabilities.
  • Customization: Kareo’s modular approach can be a double-edged sword – more flexibility, but also more potential for complexity.
  • Practice Fit: Practice Better excels for wellness-focused startups, while Kareo may be better for heavy billing needs.

Practice Better vs Cerbo

Doc Digital SEM - Better Practice VS Cerbo Comparison Chart
  • Ease of Adoption: Both boast user-friendly design, but Practice Better’s larger user base may mean more accessible support resources.
  • Niche Alignment: Cerbo’s supplement focus is unique. Practice Better’s adaptability makes it suitable for a wider range of practices.
  • Broader Features: Practice Better offers slightly more practice management tools beyond core EHR features.

Important Note:This is a simplified comparison! Your ideal fit depends on your practice’s unique priorities.

Wrapping Up: Time to Transform Your Practice.

Choosing the right EHR sets you up for startup success. You’ve dug into the options, and weighed the pros and cons, and now you’re equipped to make an informed decision.

Remember, the best EHR will:

  • Streamline your workflow, not add to it.
  • Support your practice’s unique needs.
  • Grow with you, not hold you back.
  • Make your clients (and you!) feel good about the technology.

With its intuitive design, startup-friendly pricing, and powerful features, Practice Better consistently earns high marks across the board. If you’re ready to ditch the clunky software and focus on delivering exceptional patient care, they’re definitely worth a closer look.

Hire Doc Digital SEM to Guide You on Choosing your EHR System, Setting Up, & Managing All Your Marketing Needs!

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Contact the medical marketing experts at Doc Digital SEM to get a free digital marketing analysis! We would love to help take your medical practice to the next level!

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