Choosing the right electronic health record (EHR) can be a bit challenging. Making a decision this crucial can be stressful because it impacts the bottom line of your independent practice, and drastically affects your staff, vendors and patients.
With so many moving parts, it’s important to know when you need to make the change and how to go about it.
Is It Time to Switch?
There are many different reasons for changing EHR providers. Your current system may not possess the modern features required to increase productivity and engagement or aid in billing. Maybe it doesn't meet meaningful use regulations or you’re unhappy with added fees or less than stellar customer service when a problem arises.
Regardless of the reason behind your switch, these simple tips are sure to aid you in making the best decision for your practice.
How to Choose a New EHR
The first step to selecting a new EHR is knowing what your practice needs. According to HealthIT.gov, you need to first set key goals when looking for a new EHR. Once your goals are created, it's only a matter of looking for a vendor that can support them. Here are few things to consider when creating your goals.
It’s important that your EHR can exchange patient data with other EHR systems. Not only is this required under MACRA, but it plays a huge role in improving patient care.
Look for a system that interfaces with your pharmacy, laboratory and other ancillary services. It is essential that the vendor is Meaningful Use Stage 2 certified to ensure confidentiality and secure sharing of information.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is one of the most important considerations when choosing a new EHR. A system that is cumbersome and difficult to learn will slow your workflow processes down to a crawl and, in turn, decrease productivity. Choose a vendor that offers a comprehensive product that improves your billing and clinical workflows.
Once you narrow down the possible vendors, request a demo or free trial so that you can get a feel for the flow of the product.
Choosing a system that makes all staff members happy may not be possible, but you do want to get input from all areas of your team. A system that works well for clinicians, but slows up billing won’t be much use in the long run. You can avoid these issues ahead of time by asking a few members of your staff from different departments to review the system with you and provide feedback.
Server vs. Cloud-Based Systems
When choosing a new EHR, you can choose from a cloud-based or server-based system. Cloud-based systems offer several benefits; notably, costs are kept to a minimum and, since there are no servers or hardware to maintain and physically secure on-site. The only equipment needed to implement cloud-based systems, such as Kareo Clinical, is a computer with a recent web browser and high-speed internet connection.
Finding a Vendor Partner
With hundreds of systems on the market, make sure to choose the right one. You want a vendor that will partner with you and aid in your success every step of the way. For example, Kareo provides you with a free success coach who will give you all the training and support you need to be successful with your new EHR.
While healthcare is an act of service to humanity, it’s also a business. This means making decisions based on your return-on-investment (ROI) is critical to your practice and your patients. Costs can vary greatly based on the vendor you choose, number of providers, total users, and services you purchase. Some EHRs have additional costs for certain features, so remember to assess possible future fees as well before you sign on the dotted line.
Reach out to a Kareo Solutions Consultant today to schedule your demo and to learn how easy it is to switch!