What you need to know before purchasing your EHR system

March 6th, 2015

Electronic health record systems represent a significant step forward for the healthcare industry. However, even as record-keeping technology improves, the installation of a new system can still be a difficult task.

Knowing which electronic health/medical records system (EHR or EMR) to purchase isn’t easy, but with the right guidance you can find the best system for your business.

Use our short checklist below to help you get started.

    1. Ensure that you will have all the necessary integrations. Your new record system will need to link to pharmacies, labs, and imaging systems. To establish such connectivity, your vendor may have to develop a proprietary interface, which could result in additional costs. If the vendor doesn’t have (or won’t write) an interface, you may have to rely on printed documents that you fax to pharmacies, labs, etc…Determine if this cost is wise, and if you require it for your office. Proprietary or not, connectivity is key, so make sure that everything is talking to your record system the way it needs to.
    2. Conduct a workflow assessment before you purchase your system. Conducting a workflow study after purchasing your EHR is an inefficient way to discover your workflow changes. Understand exactly how your workflow will change before you purchase and install your new record system. It’s almost always a bigger change than you expect.
    3. Understand the EHR system’s hardware requirements. The EHR system you select will provide hardware requirements. Make sure that you meet the recommended hardware requirements (or exceed them) for the best performance. You should also plan for a support lifecycle of 3 to 5 years for hardware (servers, printers, computers). Be aware of the cost and pros/cons of cloud offerings. Most vendors are pushing their cloud offerings because they’re the most profitable for the vendor. This doesn’t always mean that it’s right for you.

Get help with your EHR system

  1. Get feedback from others. Reach out to peer groups in similar industries and positions who might be farther along in the process than you and get their feedback and advice. Find other users of the system you are considering and ask them for pointers and tips on system requirements and interactions with the vendor. Make sure you ALWAYS ask for and check references before you make a purchase.

Switching to an electronic health record system is a great decision, but many businesses waste time and money before they purchase their system (or after they realize that they’ve purchased the wrong system). Don’t let this happen to you.

For more information on what you need to know before purchasing your electronic health record system, get in touch with us!

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