If you’re considering changing EMRs the lists below may help you decide which EMR is right for you. Changing EMRs is a big step and you should have a written plan in place to address each of the following items:
- Billing: Does the new EMR you are considering work with your current Clearinghouse or will you need to change that too?
- Setup: How many hours will the new EMR require to setup? Who do you plan to have help you with this step?
- Internal IT help: Do you have an IT team available to help the EMR software company if they are unable to install the software and need to speak with tech support for your machine?
- Go live date: Will the new EMR software guarantee that you will have no interruption to your billing? Most EMR’s have a team in place to ensure you do not lose any billing revenue during the transition period.
Please also review the following list below provided by Healthit.gov to help you make your decision:
- Understand if and how a vendor’s product will accomplish the key goals of the practice. Essentially, a test drive of your specific needs with the vendor’s product. Provide the vendor with patient and office scenarios that they may use to customize their product demonstration.
- Clarify start-up pricing before selecting an EHR system (hardware, software, maintenance and upgrade costs, option of phased payments, interfaces for labs and pharmacies, cost to connect to health information exchange (HIE), customized quality reports).
- Define implementation support (amount, schedule, information on trainer(s) such as their communication efficiency and experience with product and company).
- Clarify roles, responsibilities, and costs for data migration strategy, if desired. Sometimes, being selective with which data or how much data to migrate can influence the ease of transition.
- Server options (e.g., client server, application service provider (ASP), software as a service (SAS)).
- Ability to integrate with other products (e.g., practice management software, billing systems, and public health interfaces).
- Privacy and security capabilities and back-up planning.
- Linking payments and EHR incentive rewards to implementation milestones and performance goals.
- Vendor’s stability and/or market presence in the region.
- Cost to connect to HIE.
- Consider costs of using legal counsel for contract review verses open sources through medical associations.
As always, consulting a qualified credentialing company or practice consultant is the best way to ensure you are on track to succeed in your practice and in your decision to change EMR vendors.
Cynthia Young, the former CEO of STAT, is a national billing, credentialing and practice management consultant. STAT is a U.S.-based, national provider of credentialing, payor enrollment, rate negotiation, and other credentialing related services.