Holiday Treat: The 12 EHR Recommendations

It’s that time of year again! We’re back with 12 holiday recommendations that are sure to keep on giving!

Whether your practice is looking to buy your first EHR or replace your current system, we hope these valuable insights help you through difficulties you might have.

Here are our 12 recommendations:

1. Technical Training: Encourage your administration, medical staff, and physicians to step in, adapt to, and test the EHR. This will allow each division to experience the EHR as they would on a daily basis.
2. Workflow Analysis: Ask the EHR vendor to do a personalized workflow analysis specifically for your practice’s specialty. Some will do it for free! Also, this is a great way to test the vendor’s knowledge of specialty–based workflows.
3. Proposal Review: Many times, vendors include additional or hidden costs in a final proposal, such as training, hardware, or more. These costs can really add up. To save yourself from future billing hassles, make sure you understand the upfront and ongoing costs before purchasing an EHR. Gifts should be a surprise; fees shouldn’t.
4. Site Visit: If possible, do a site visit with a practice already using the EHR you are considering. Try to choose a practice with a similar number of staff and providers, and in a similar specialty. Observing an environment comparable to your own practice is a great preview of how your practice will run on the same system.
5. Support & Implementation: Will the promised implementation and training be adequate for your staff? What about support? These are questions you should ask and follow up on with your EHR vendor. You will need a clear “yes” across the board if you want your practice to run successfully.
6. Demo: Investigate the entire workflow of the EHR. Don’t settle for just the note documentation. Involve all staff members in the demo so each individual can address his or her concerns.
7. Goals: Take into account the short– and long–term impact on your practice. How will the EHR improve your productivity and efficiencies, and will this improve your practice’s bottom line?
8. References: Make 5–10 reference calls with practices similar in size and specialty. Speak to existing clients and ask about their implementation, training, support experience, and how quickly their vendor responds. No feedback is more powerful than the opinions of actual system users.
9. Interoperability: Interoperability will be a key player with Stage 2 meaningful use, which moves the focus from just collecting information to sharing it. Make sure your prospective vendor has a solid and attainable plan for Stage 2, with the proper investment and staffing needed to make it a reality. Systems that have proprietary and overly complex data–capture models will struggle to meet the standards. These systems may require time–consuming programming changes in order to fulfill Stage 2 requirements.
10. Meaningful Use: Make sure you select a system that supports the critical administrative and clinical workflows of your practice. A system that cannot meet your unique specialty needs will severely diminish productivity and will offset the potential gains from meaningful use incentives.
11. Data: Make sure the systems you evaluate collect and manage data on your terms and with the least staff/physician interaction possible. Rigid, linear, point–and–click systems require far too many clicks and capture extraneous data that is not germane to the visit.
12. De-Install: As EHR adoption increases, so do EHR failures. Systems that were initially attractive may have been combined with a PM offering, or were “free” if a practice took on a company for Revenue Cycle Management (RCM). Many high–volume specialists compare these systems to running a marathon in wing–tips—they may be shoes but they are certainly not fit for running. In fact, they’re painful! Select a system that is easily adaptable, and therefore adoptable—you and your physicians will be happier because of it!

Related posts:

  1. Holiday Treat: 12 Reps of EHR and What They Recommend
  2. EMR: Don’t Settle for Less
  3. EHR Test: Is Your EHR Vendor Treating You Right?
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