Arm Yourself with the Proper Tools When Choosing an EHR

Correct Tools for EMRYou have made the decision to include an EHR implementation in your annual budget, you have sent RFP's to several vendors, and the bids are coming in for evaluation.  All your candidates promise that their EHR solution is the best for increased productivity, user friendly, cost effective, etc.; your decision maker's challenge is to separate the truth from barrage of information coming at you and select the system that results in optimal EHR implementation.

Make sure you test drive the system during the presentation. Remember, the sales person demonstrates this EHR platform every day. Beware of the phrase "See how easily I navigate through this system"; try it yourself to see if it is truly user friendly for your practice. Inquire about the training program and support once EHR implementation has occurred.

Evaluate the EHR system's speed and efficiency to determine potential for improved productivity: In order to generate increased revenue for your practice your EHR system needs both speed and efficiency. Physician productivity is significantly improved by allowing more efficient access to information.  

Determine if the EHR implementation will adapt to your practice's workflow: Every practice has needs that are unique and won't fit into a "one size fits all" EHR system. Your system needs to be easily customizable to adapt to both a wide range of data needs and design preferences of individual physicians, allowing each doctor in your practice to customize their own system.

How robust is the functionality? It isn't enough for your EHR system to deliver a full range of functionalities, i.e. meaningful use, e-prescribing, data capture, lab management, order management and chart access. Robust means a cross functional system that integrates all the applications through one seamless user interface, giving busy physicians the capability to access all information with one click.  

At the end of the day, your EHR's mission should be to improve your practice's efficiency and workflow with a system that delivers and manages information quickly, efficiently, and accurately, both now and in the future

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Photo courtesy of scottabbott