Two weeks ago, we hosted our clients at our biggest and most successful annual User Summit yet! It was a wonderful learning and networking experience for everyone involved—both our clients and the SRS staff.
After reading our clients’ rave testimonials and User Summit surveys, and reflecting on all the conversations had, we thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to share our Top 13 Favorite User Summit feedback responses…directly from the voices of our clients:
Thank you to all our clients who attended this year’s User Summit. We’re so proud we’ve had such a positive impact in your lives, and we look forward to many more years of partnership.
It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since our last annual client conference! But not to worry, although our Insights staff is currently managing our event—we wouldn’t dare leave you without some light entertainment.
Enjoy our annual EHR word search!
M Z V I E L I G I B I L I T Y E U R
G E W M R F P A R R A O I I S E V D
C R W E A Z A I O U V N I K E L I W
O A K A T H T J F O E S X Q V B E S
L W C N T J I N K N B M P A I A G Y
J T Y I E H E O N P E E F L T R H U
Y F A N S F N I O S M H D C N E J T
L O Q G T H T T I H G C R D E P J Y
H S J F A F E P T R Q K C I C O L G
S J Y U T P N I A C C W G S N R E O
T K B L I M G R R X E K S C I E X L
M B S U O E A C G G L R K G R T C O
B E T S N P G S E Z A B T P H N H N
N E U E V C E N T J N U Y I E I A H
C F A P B P M A N P M Q U D F R N C
V F E T U Q E R I E P C Y K N I G E
B E U K A F N T X Q S F B S H D E T
H G J R A D T B U V Y L A T R O P D
This Word Search was created using the
Online Puzzle-Maker at
Variety Games, Inc.
In our quest to provide you with insightful EHR information, we will be featuring guest bloggers from time to time. This week, we’re excited to host our first guest blogger, Gregory Nizich, Healthcare Technology Account Manager at Custom Computer Specialists, Inc. in Hauppauge, NY. We hope you find the information he provides helpful and useful.
With the emergence of EHR, many practice administrators are finding themselves faced with not only deciding which solution best fits their practice, but also how best to support the solution. Practices need PCs and servers to run the EHR software, and a network that connects everything. Unfortunately, many practice administrators aren’t familiar enough with technology to know whether or not they are making the right decisions.
One of the biggest decisions facing practice administrators is computer and network purchases, which can involve tens of thousands of dollars. My goal is to demystify that technology, using plain language, so you can make better decisions. Today’s blog explains why two computers that come in similar casings (a PC and a server) can vary in price significantly.
The answer to this mystery lies in what the “guts” of each box are designed to do. Here is an explanation of the 3 key areas of difference:
A primary goal of the PC is to provide an impressive sensory experience to the user—video images, sounds, and a wide selection of accessories such as cameras, printers, and scanners that add to the joy of using the PC. All these user experiences are addressed by a couple of inexpensive components inside the PC, which is why PCs can cost so little.
A server, on the other hand, is not really interested in the user’s sensory experience—it is focused on receiving, storing, and delivering information to dozens of computers and users. This requires many more robust and sophisticated internal components, which translates into higher cost.
PCs are designed to be used intermittently by the user, while a server is built to run 24 hours a day for 3 to 5 years. You can imagine how important it is for the components of a server to run at lower temperatures, and consume less power, than those of a PC. In addition, because a server needs to manage the high volume of incoming and outgoing user data, it requires more processing power and more short-term memory than a PC. The fact that it stores data for each user means that it needs to have a much greater hard drive capacity, too. These functional differences contribute to the higher price of the server.
One of the biggest differences between a PC and server is the fact that when a PC fails, only one user is affected. When a server fails, many users are affected. Because the server is so critical to the day-to-day operation of the business, it has to keep running even if a key element fails. Basically, the server has to have a “Plan B” for many of its components—if the fan stops working, a second one needs to kick in so the server doesn’t overheat.
More significantly, servers have to have permanent memory configurations that protect data in the event of a hard drive breakdown, unlike a PC where, if the hard drive fails, the data is lost. You may have heard the term RAID thrown around by your IT vendor—RAID stands for “redundant array of independent disks,” which is a hard drive configuration that may consist of 5 or more drives. A few of those drives can go bad and the data is still accessible from the remaining drives. There are several versions of the RAID strategy, with varying levels of protection. The more protection (physical drives) you demand, the higher will be the cost of the server.
I hope this has given you some new insight as to why servers are necessary to run the programs on which the practice relies, and why PCs are great for workstations but cannot be used as servers. Check out my next blog to learn why the best choice may be a virtual server.
Healthcare Account Manager
Custom Computer Specialists
You’ve had your EHR for some time and your practice isn’t benefiting as you had hoped and were promised. You notice there’s a lack of product flexibility and functionality, customer service isn’t responsive, and you’ve heard unsettling complaints from other practices using the same system. Is it time to replace your failing EHR?
Here’s a short quiz to test the strength of your EHR vendor:
|A.||Your call is answered by a friendly employee who immediately directs you to the support team, and you receive the assistance you need.|
|B.||You’re greeted with an automated voicemail system, and are then trapped in a continuous loop of confusing options with no hope of talking to an actual person. You leave a message that goes unanswered indefinitely.|
|C.||You reach a disgruntled operator, only to be accidentally hung up on or forwarded to the wrong department.|
|A.||“No worries! We have dedicated and knowledgeable specialists who are more than happy to walk you through the proper steps. And if you ever have additional questions, you can easily get in touch with our support team via e-mail or phone!”|
|B.||“We can connect you with a member of our team to help with additional support and training of your staff, but it will come at an additional cost.”|
|C.||“Good luck with that. Just keep trying things out. We’re sure if one person can understand, then the rest of your practice will figure it out eventually.”|
|A.||Productivity has increased practice-wide, patient satisfaction is at an all-time high, your practice performance is unmatched, and your ROI has exceeded projections.|
|B.||You’ve been struggling since day 1 of implementation and your staff workflow is profoundly disrupted. You’ve had to cut back on patient visits to keep up with manual data entry, and you’re forced to take additional training at extra costs.|
|C.||Productivity has decreased to the point where you’ve given up and reverted back to paper charts—or now maintain both paper and incomplete digital charts—which is necessary due to your overly-complex EHR.|
Let’s face it—if your EHR vendor did not score straight A’s, then it’s time to start considering other options. It doesn’t have to be this hard! The right EHR vendor will make promises it can keep: increased productivity, greater efficiency, reduced costs, enhanced patient care, and improved quality of life.
Although more and more healthcare practices are adopting EHRs, and the government is providing incentives for successful completion of meaningful use requirements, many doctors still question whether EHRs really improve patient care. If you’re still in doubt, consider the following:
In a study published in 2011 by the University of Pennsylvania, evidence showed that EHRs made a positive impact on healthcare disparities among medical practices. Research findings revealed that practices with EHRs had:
In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation conducted a study of diabetic patients in Cleveland, finding:
Rick Weinhaus, M.D., and writer of the column EHR Design Talk with Dr. Rick on HIStalk.com, argues that a “User-Centered Design” (UCD) is the key to EHR usability issues. According to Weinhaus, a well-designed, productivity-oriented EHR that integrates with and works around your doctor’s current workflow offers a better environment for your patients.
If you are considering the two sides of the EHR debate, keep in mind the benefits of a quality, user-centric EHR. Physicians provide their patients with quality care and strengthen and grow their practices, while patients enjoy a more positive personal experience with their healthcare providers.