Monday, March 1, 2010

Would you pick a different EHR if you had to start over?

I meet many physicians who are unhappy with their current electronic health record (EHR) solution. Some were early adopters and they chose a system that was relatively inexpensive. Others are using systems that are simply too complicated or cumbersome to use. Is the grass greener on the other side if you switch to a new EHR platform?  Or, will you simply get confronted with a different set of headaches or frustrations?
  • Is your current EHR certified by the CCHIT? 
  • Do you qualify for financial assistance through the HITECH Act? 
  • Do you have a specific EHR system that you'd like to get?
  • Are you willing to use a free EHR?
  • If you work in different offices, how many different EHRs are you currently using?
I'm sure that many physicians wish they could simply start over. Once you invest time, money, and energy into an EHR, it's very difficult to make a change.  However, maybe it makes sense to switch if you're going to qualify for some of the financial incentives tied to the HITECH Act if you can demonstrate "meaningful use" and also leverage e-prescribing.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to add that perhaps the most overlooked aspect of choosing an EMR is not realizing how it can help you, oftentimes because physicians don't know that an EMR is capable of doing. For example, in my practice as an ophthalmologist sub-specialized in glaucoma, it is key that my EMR can take the data I entered into the patient's history and physical and have it generate the letter back to the referring doctor, attaching results from tests performed in my office and have the letter gone within 2 minutes of the patient encounter concluding.

    So, first and foremost, you need to know in advance what you want an EMR to do for you. If you are not sure, then check with colleagues who are already on an EMR that they are happy with or get a consultant to help you realize what they may be capable of doing for you that you might not even be aware of.