- Identify the issue(s).
- Measure the problem.
- Evaluate new vendors and software.
- Select the best fit.
- Move forward with confidence.
Identify The Issues(s)
EHRs fail practices for a variety of reasons...
- The software was never the right fit.
- Changes to the software no longer work for the practice.
- Quality measures cannot achieved with the current software.
- Poor training and installation.
It's important to pinpoint where and when it went wrong with the current software, so the mistakes aren't repeated. Once your practice has identified the issues the hard questions can start being asked...
- What can be improved?
- What or when did it go wrong?
- When did it stop functioning as we had hoped?
- Did we as a practice engage in the implementation and take full advantage of the vendors education?
- What do we like about what we are doing with the current software?
Measure the Impact of The Problem
Practices are complex operations with both front and back office needs. Finding where the problem lies is the key to success with a new EHR.
Each issue you pinpoint has a financial cost to your practice. Is the issue financial or functional? Properly measuring the true impact of the problem will help steer the practice in the right direction when choosing a new EHR.
Evaluating Vendors and Software
There are thousands of EHR choices. But, according to the ONC only 684 health IT developers supplied certified EHRs to the market in 2016. Having certified technology helps insure that the vendor is looking for long-term partnerships and not just quick sales at inexpensive prices. When you're looking at new vendors keep in mind the following...
- Does the vendor have good customer references to call?
- Do they commit to new and ongoing training?
- What does after the sales training and service look like?
- Is the staff helpful?
- If locality is important to you, do they have local staff?
A good place to start looking for EHR vendors that meet your needs is KLAS. KLAS provides research on healthcare IT that is market driven by clinician and front office staff that use EHR technology daily. You can join for free and filter data by your practices size and software needs. If you are looking for a local reseller, let the vendor know you are interested in working with a local company. They should be willing to put you in touch with a local partner. ECFS is a local Aprima partner in Oklahoma.
Look for vendors that will show you customized demos and can show you customized demos and can show you how their product can help your practice achieve its goals.
Moving Forward With Confidence
Being clear about what needs to be accomplished by changing EHRs will help your practice move forward and accomplish its goals in the future. Simply changing EHRs and not having a defined path will lead to the same issues.
- Commit to the changes that need to happen.
- Require your staff to commit to training and ongoing education.
- Empower your users and let them have impact on parts of the software they use daily.
- Set goals for implementation timelines and training.
A good vendor will continually be enhancing their product to meet the changing needs of healthcare professionals. Make sure the vendor you choose has ongoing training programs that will help your practice stay informed and educated.