Many providers are bewildered when searching for an Electronic Health Record (EHR). With over 1,100 certified products, it can certainly be a daunting task. However, the process doesn’t have to be arduous. Following these five simple steps can cut down your frustration and speed up your search.
First, figure out the problems you are trying to solve. Are there work flow issues you want to improve? Are you spending too much time chasing paper? Do you simply want to cash in on Meaningful Use? Once you identify the problem, create a list of needs and wants that will provide the solution.
Additionally, develop a realistic budget. You may have to edit your list of wants and needs based on your budget. Prices fluctuate, but understand that most certified EHR systems will be in the neighborhood of $200 - $500 per month depending on feature set and whether or not they include billing. Client-server systems are generally more cost effective in the long run, but they should be competitive with web-based systems in terms of monthly payments if you finance.
Second, make a short list of products that meet your needs. This in itself may be time consuming, so it helps to consult a third party like Software Advice. EHR search consultants like Software Advice know many products and can help you zero in on four or five that will best fit your practice. Again, consider your budget. Ask for a general ballpark price early on. If a product is not in your general ballpark, strike it from your list.
Third, view demonstrations of your chosen products. Be sure to have your list of needs and wants from step one handy. Many demonstrations are scripted, so be sure to chime in with questions or comments. You may need to schedule a second demonstration, or even ask for references.
Fourth, evaluate the products you’ve demoed based on your criteria. No product is perfect, and all have their strengths and weaknesses. It is tempting to fixate on price, but this can be a big mistake. The low-cost vendor isn’t always a good idea; instead focus on the product that incorporates as many of your needs and wants as possible.
Finally, select one or two and solicit proposals. Understand that most vendors have some wiggle room in their prices. The biggest mistake you can make is to walk away from an otherwise great product just because of the price. If you like the software, make a counter offer on price, or otherwise negotiate. Don’t hesitate to use a competing quote as leverage.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions about EHR shopping. We also recommend that you consult with software advice and review this short video. We look forward to hearing from you.