Modifications in the Stark law have allowed hospitals to offer EHR-implementation subsidies to physicians. Although this incentive may seem appealing, many questions have been raised—all of them boiling down to the same basic concern: Will this system truly meet practice needs?
The following are some questions you and your physicians should discuss before deciding if a hospital-subsidized EHR is the best choice for your practice:
- Does the hospital EHR have a proven track record in your specialty?
- Will the hospital EHR workflow be compatible with your practice specialty?
- Will your physicians be required to exchange data with the sponsoring hospital?
- Is the system interoperable with other, neighboring hospital systems?
- Will learning, training, and use of the hospital system interfere with your practice’s productivity?
- How will support be handled after initial implementation, and who pays for it?
- Will the hospital’s EHR vendor assist you and your physicians with creating customizable templates?
- Will the system aid—or obstruct—your ability to qualify for government incentives?
- If there are problems, will the hospital’s EHR vendor ensure that the system is compatible with pursuing meaningful use?
- Who will own your data?
Think carefully when considering a hospital-subsidized EHR and make sure the EHR you choose supports your unique and specific needs.