According to Clinician Today, in 2017, there were more than 1,000 EHR vendors offering systems to medical practices. With so many options, it can be confusing and exhausting trying to find the one that’s right for you.
You may not have even started your search for EHR companies and already feel overwhelmed.
While this process will take some time and effort, and there are some tips and advice to help you find the right record system for your practice.
Read on to discover how to select an EHR provider.
What Is an EHR System?
Knowing exactly what an EHR system is can help you find the right one. There is a difference between an EHR (electronic health record) system and EMRs (electronic medical records).
Essentially, EMRs are paper charts that have been digitized and are used solely within your practice. They provide you with important patient data that has been collected by your staff.
An EHR system, on the other hand, not only replaces paper charts, but it can also streamline critical functions within your practice. These include billing, communicating with patients, ordering or refilling prescriptions, and managing your practice, among others.
In addition, an EHR system can contain a patient’s entire medical history. If they see more than one doctor, all of this data will be stored in the EHR system and can be accessed by any professional.
Having all of this data in one place can make it easier for doctors to ensure that they are providing the best care for their patients.
Being able to access a patient’s entire history and current information also reduces the chances of ordering tests that may have been done previously or prescribing medication that might interact with medications that the patient is already taking.
Finding the Best EHR Companies
As medical record technology continues to advance and the world becomes more interconnected, having an EHR system will no longer be an option, it will be required. Thus, you’ll need to take the time to find the best EHR software provider.
Here are ways to vet EHR providers to find the best one for your practice.
Determine Your Goals
When it comes to finding the record system that is right for your practice, the first thing you need to do is determine what you need it to do.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself include the following:
- What limitations or inefficiencies does your practice have?
- How much time do you spend looking for charts?
- Does your staff have difficulty getting in touch with patients on the phone?
- Can you read notes supplied by other providers?
- How long does it take lab reports to get added to patient charts?
- Do you want to be able to communicate electronically with patients or send them pertinent information?
- How long does it take patients to receive and pay their medical bills from your practice?
These and other questions will help you find the EHR system that is right for you. Once you have an idea of what you need the system to do, you can then go out and look for a company that can provide exactly what you’re looking for.
Ask About Training and Implementation
Once you have put together an electronic health records systems list of potential providers, you then need to ask them about training and implementation.
Having a team that is dedicated to implementing the system into your practice and ensuring that everyone knows how to use it is essential.
The company should have a dedicated team that will be there to guide, support, and advise you and your staff every step of the way. This includes being present when it comes to planning and configuring the EHR system. They also need to be there when the system goes live and after it has been launched to ensure it’s running optimally.
If the provider can’t be there during any of these steps or doesn’t have a support system to help with issues in the future, then you’ll want to take them off your list.
Look into the Company’s Background
Finding the right EHR software for your company means that it will adapt to your practice—you shouldn’t have to adapt to the EHR.
Looking into the company’s background and finding out about how the software was created and if it can be customized is in your best interest. You don’t want to get stuck having to adhere to inflexible rules that don’t apply to or fit with your practice.
If the company can’t provide you with exactly what you’re looking for or expects you to change to use their software, you need to look for another vendor.
Ask for and Call References
One of the best ways to determine if the EHR company will work for your practice is to ask for and contact their references.
Look for practices that are similar to yours and ask them the following:
- How well has the software worked for them?
- Has the system made life easier?
- What features would they change?
- What is it like to work with the EHR software company?
- Would you buy from them in the future?
The answers to these questions will give you an idea of how much support the practice needed, if the company provided it, and how quickly they responded to problems and got them resolved.
This can help you narrow down which companies are worth working with and which ones won’t provide you with what you need.
Look Into Pricing
One of the biggest factors that will probably impact which EHR vendor you go with will be pricing.
Your practice doesn’t have an unlimited budget, so you’ll need to find someone who can provide you with what you need at a price you can afford.
You’ll want to ask if the company charges additional fees, including those for billing and coding, automated appointment reminders, online prescriptions, or other features.
Knowing what is included in the initial price of the software and what is extra is another way to help you narrow down your EHR selection and find the company with the software that will work for your practice.
Create a Partnership
When it comes to finding the right EHR software company for your practice, you want to work with someone who wants to see you succeed. The company’s main focus shouldn’t be on selling you software. It should be about making your business run smoother and making life easier for you and your staff.
Working with EHR companies who are passionate about what they do will ensure you are working with a software provider that truly cares about the success of your practice.
Do What’s Right for You
Finding the right EHR software company will take some time and effort. However, it’s important to take your time to ensure you are getting the software that works for your practice and fits into your budget.
For more advice on finding the right providers or keeping your practice financially stable, check out more articles from thefreefinancialadvisor.com.