12 Crucial Questions to Ask EHR References

In your search for the best EHR for your practice, you’ve already asked the 10 Key Questions to Ask EHR Vendors; now it’s time to see if their responses live up to your expectations. However, you can’t rely entirely on vendor promises—the only way to get a clear and truthful picture of whether an EHR vendor can deliver what it promises is by speaking with its current and past clients.

Collecting EHR reference feedback is one of the most critical steps in the EHR search process, and it is most easily and effectively managed when split among practice employees. If each employee makes a few calls, the interview process will not require a large time commitment from any one of them. Further, both administrative staff and physicians should call so they speak to their peers at the reference sites, and your practice should speak with several physicians and staff members at each facility to collect different perspectives and opinions. Finally, don’t just call the references provided by the vendors—find other practices using the EHRs you are considering by joining listservs such as MGMA, AAOE, and other professional societies.

12 Crucial Questions to Ask EHR ReferencesAfter you have 10 references from each EHR vendor of practices with a similar size and specialty—along with a few practices that weren’t provided by the vendors—ask each reference these 12 crucial questions:

  1. When did you install your EHR?
  2. How long was the installation/implementation process?
  3. How would you describe the installation/implementation process?
  4. What percentage of your exam notes are fully templated using your EHR?
  5. Was the system as easy to use as it appeared to be when the salesperson demonstrated the software?
  6. How many patients per day did you (and your partners) see before the installation/implementation of your EHR, and how many did you see after?
  7. Approximately how much more time do you devote to entering exam data into your EHR now compared to how you documented exams before you began using an EHR?
  8. How has your patient volume per hour changed since you installed your EHR?
  9. How do you like the quality of the EHR-generated exam note compared to your exam notes before you went live on your EHR?
  10. Have you had to hire scribes to enter data for you? If so, how many and what is their annual cost?
  11. Has your EHR completely eliminated the paper charts in your practice?
  12. Given your practice’s experience with your EHR, would you recommend it to a similar practice?

Asking these questions will give you a clear indication of whether or not a specific vendor will be able to deliver the success you expect from your EHR implementation.

Keep this “cheat sheet” of reference questions handy throughout your EHR search process. It will prove invaluable and provide you with the information you need to save yourself from a potential mistake.

Related posts:

  1. EHR: Where’s the References?
  2. Finding the Best EHR for Your Medical Practice: 10 Key Questions to Ask EHR Vendors

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