Choosing an EHR for your Practice

Choosing which EHR to invest in is a big decision.

It cost money in terms of dollars as well as the time it takes to master the software. It can affect your practice and your workload. And if you don’t like the one you started with, it’s not exactly a walk in the park to switch to another one.

In this episode of the NP Business Matters podcast, I talk about the criteria the Institute of Medicine published for EHRs. In addition, I talk about CMS and the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rules.

It’s important to understand first and foremost there is no perfect EHR! It does not exist.

Instead, there are things you can consider when choosing an EHR that will fit your practice and the way that you work.

After doing your own assessment of what you are currently using (as outlined in the podcast), you’ll want to determine what is it you want.

Consider these features:

  • How easy is it for you to input data? Templates, typing, voice?
  • How do you want patients to interact with the system? Schedule their appointments, upload their own payment information, fill out their intake paperwork, sign their consents?
  • Does the system connect with labs and diagnostic testing you use?
  • Does it allow for electronic prescribing?
  • How about telehealth?
  • Does it offer support for utilizing mobile devices, or use with a mobile practice?
  • Does it intergrate with practice mangement? (Billing, statements, AR)
  • What is the cost? Is it additonal for staff, collaborating physician, billers? Will they all be able to access records if needed?
  • What about customer support? Is there a charge for CS, training? When is support availble to you and is in your time zone?
  • What else is important to you?

In the podcast, I recommend making a list, with three columns that include the essentials, the nice-to-haves, and the deal-breakers. Utilize that list as you evaluate different systems.

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Your Turn

How is your search for your ideal electronic health care going? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions about this episode in the comments below.

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