With all the financial worries and woes, it is clear that acquiring and/or switching Electronic Health Record (EHR) software has become the buzz word of 2013. I say switching because of the high number of practices not satisfied with either the performance of the current EHR or with the support of that system or because implementing has been a nightmare. It is amazing that there are so many practices still operating on paper and have not made the leap to EHRs. Some of those practices are in negotiation with other practices or hospitals, hoping that the financial commitment needed to purchase and implement new software will not be borne by the practice. Some don’t have the resources to make a good decision and others are simply procrastinating.
There are 3 things to consider when considering purchasing an EHR:
- How large of a system do you need?
- What are the basic must haves?
- Do you know what will be needed to support Affordable Healthcare in the years to come?
Having the answers to these questions clearly and thoughtfully considered will help you make the right decision for your practice not only in the short run…..but for years to come.
If you need help finding these answers, hire a consultant that will help walk you through the decision making process and ensure a decision you won’t regret tomorrow. I know….I know….consultants are expensive and can I afford them? The bigger question is can you afford not to get tried expertise on a time and dollar commitment that will require the entire practices attention and time?
The acquisition and implementation of an EHR is the single largest purchase your practice will have to make. Living with the choice you make may in some cases be the difference between a successful practice or a failing one. And there are so many choices out there…..all touting to be the best thing to come along since canned beer. Of course, that simply isn’t true. Doing your homework on what system will give you the flexibility you need…….the portability required….and the growth potential you have strategically planned for takes lots of time and planning. Do you have the resources in house today to do that due diligence …….knows and understands the goals of the practice and has the technical savvy to understand what EHR products can deliver to you your practice what you need?
Before changing products…..make sure the issue is not a user problem. I have seen many practices want to make an expensive change because they didn’t anticipate how difficult implementation was going to be…..how much work flow needs to be changed to accommodate product or how much time and thought went into being a successful EHR driven practice. And trust me on this…….your practice will become an EHR driven practice…….embrace it!