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5 things you need to consider when changing your EHR

If your current EHR is no longer meeting your needs, you might consider changing it. Finding the EHR that fits your business best is key to running your medical practice efficiently while still taking care of your patients.

Your EHR drives your medical practice. Having the right EHR for your medical practice can help you avoid complications in your business workflows.

As the healthcare industry continues to grow exponentially, it can be challenging to keep up with your business while ensuring quality patient care.

Switching your EHR can seem like a daunting decision, but it can help your practice in the long term. Simplifying the clinical side of your business can help you reduce the administrative burden and focus on what matters the most: your patients.

Here are some things you might want to consider when changing your EHR:

1. Assess your business needs

Consider what your medical practice needs and how the potential EHR can support your practice´s goals.

When choosing your EHR, you need to ensure it will be a good, long-term fit. When selecting a new EHR, you want to consider not only the software, but also the EHR vendor´s customer service rating and business stability.

Below are some questions to ask prospective vendors:

  • Do you have experience and clinical content for my medical specialty?
  • Do you offer online video training, live remote training, or on-site training?
  • What is the payment model for the software? Per user or per provider?
  • Is the software web browser based or client-server based? 
  • Do you offer practice management software or RCM
  • What third party integrations do you offer? What are the added costs? 

2. Investigate your EHR options

There are multiple EHR systems in the industry. However, not everyone will meet your needs. The task of choosing your new EHR can seem challenging at first.

Some things you can evaluate to know which is the right EHR for your practice are:

  • Consider if the EHR suits your specialty

One size does not fit all. Look for a system with built-in specialty knowledge available. Matching the EHR to your practice´s is really important. There are many different specialty EHRs out there that can cater to your specialty depending on your needs.

  • Set up demos

Investigate the EHR platforms that catch your interest. Schedule demos -either in-person or web-based- with different vendors. Evaluate the pros and cons of each system and compare them to your current system. This will help you make a more informed decision.

  • Analyze each vendor´s services proposal

Keep in mind functionalities on each EHR and which one fits your practice best. What are the differences in the features that they offer? How important is the functionality of that particular feature for your medical practice?

  • Ask for references

Hear directly from current clients from that EHR vendor how do they feel about their service. Knowing directly from your colleagues will help you answer some of your questions and might spark new ones.

  • Assess Training & Support Options and Needs

Do the potential vendors offer training and support for your staff? How quick will they react when you have an issue? Having access to a skilled team is invaluable. Make sure the vendor you choose offers robust training and support options every step of the way – from onboarding to years down the road-.

3. Consider timing & resources

Do you have qualified staff and enough funds to make the transition from your current EHR vendor to the new one?

Consider budget, resource availability, and other office logistics before determining the timing of switching to a new EHR vendor.

Keep in mind that this EHR switch could interrupt your business´s workflow and revenue. It is also important to consider how much are you willing to spend. Realize it’s a long-term investment that should benefit your practice’s financial and operational health for years to come.

Not utilizing the right software or going with the “cheapest” option just for pricing may cost you more in the long run.

4. Choose a cloud-based EHR system

Choosing a true cloud-based EHR or software-as-a-service (SAAS) EHR is much more scalable than a server-based model. Cloud based is where the healthcare industry and most others are heading, so making the change now will secure the longevity of your investment.

This type of EHR will give you mobility and freedom allowing you to manage your practice from virtually anywhere and at any time as long as you have a secure internet connection.

A cloud-based EHR can eliminate the need to purchase additional servers for your facility, pay for regular updates and hire additional IT staff to help you maintain that system.

If you opt for a non-cloud EHR system, it can give you complications in the long term and additional costs that can be avoided.

5. Evaluate your data transfer/migration options

You might have some doubts about how to transfer your data from your current EHR to the new one. Many EHR systems will only allow certain CCDA data to be transferred. Data transfer and retention occur often. Look for a vendor that can provide options.

A full conversion of data may seem ideal, but it may be the least cost-effective or necessary.

Keep in mind that as a medical professional, you need to have access to the EHR records at least for 7 years by law.

Realize that once you move past any data challenges, you will have moved on to a better EHR system for your needs. The benefits should outweigh your initial concerns around data transfer.

At Health Prime, we are EHR agnostic. We partner with customers no matter the EHR system they use. Our holistic approach will help you reduce your administrative burden, while allowing you to focus on what matters most: patients.

If you want to know more about how you can improve your medical practice, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]. Set up a meeting with us and discuss how we can help you get your practice back in its prime. 

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