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Evaluating EMR Vendors

Learn How to Select EMR Vendors Wisely

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Don’t wait

Selecting and implementing electronic medical records (EMR) doesn’t happen in a day. Take the time, well before being ready to implement a new EMR, to select the EMR vendors to include on a short list to evaluate. With 580 ONC-ATCB 2014 Edition Certified complete EMR products on the market, it’s hard to know what to look for. Build time for decision making into the implementation timeline. Realistically, a successful implementation of EMR-only could take up to 2 months. Implementation of both PM + EMR could be up to 3 months. Keep in mind that an implementation launch is dependent on mutual availability of resources of the EMR software vendor and the organization seeking to go live on the EMR.

Determine the organization’s needs prior to EMR vendor selection

Determine what the organization wants out of an EMR including features, ease of use, additional services and support. Determine what level of EMR is needed. Does the organization need every bell and whistle than an enterprise-wide EMR offers? Does the EMR need voice recognition functionality? Are pre-built encounter templates needed for the specialty? Does the EMR need to integrate with a strong Practice Management (PM) software or medical devices? Do background research on the short list of EMR vendors.

Do background research

Check EMR vendor websites. Request information. Call to ask questions. Some items to evaluate include:

  • ONC-ATCB certification: Providers are required to meaningfully use a certified EMR in order to secure CMS incentive program reimbursements or avoid Medicare penalty adjustments
  • Ease of use: EMR should be simple yet powerful, not rocket science. While enterprise-wide systems have the bells and whistles built in for large hospitals and healthcare systems, those bells and whistles may prove to be overkill for physician practices, with the result of confusing users with unnecessary functionality
  • Commitment to meaningful use evolution across all the stages: Vendors not only need to make the commitment to certification for Stages 1 and 2 of Meaningful Use, but also for the upcoming Stage 3.
  • Offers one stop shopping: For software, training, services, support, hardware, financing, medical supplies and devices and other productivity enhancing items. Save time and money by shopping with a single source like the family of companies under the Henry Schein umbrella.
  • Stable, long-term presence in the market: Henry Schein MicroMD products have been in the market long before the push for medicine to go electronic
  • Has specialty-specific functionality and content: Has features, products and services to meet unique specialty needs
  • Interoperability: Offers the connection with HIEs, state immunization registries, as well as other EMRs, including affiliated hospital EMRs
  • Customized implementation project management and training: Works with the organization to plan a successful implementation that addresses the needs of the organization, providers and staff
  • EMR Vendor Comparison & Satisfaction rankings: Ranks up there with the competition in objective user survey tools, such as Black Book Rankings
  • Has an integrated PM product: Select an EMR with a strong, stable Practice Management (PM) product that connects at least demographics and financials to ensure seamless transition between appointments, check in, patient encounter, coding and billing

Click here to request information on MicroMD PM + EMR solutions.

Schedule demos

Once needs are determined and initial research is completed to narrow the search, schedule EMR vendor demos with selected vendors. During the EMR demos, take the time to ask questions and interact with the EMR sales contact to share the organization’s goals, hot buttons, unique workflows and other needs. If you are looking to replace your current EMR software, pay special attention to comparing each EMR demo to your current software; decide what features are better than what you currently have and what features are worse. After the EMR demo, compare each of the EMR vendors. Determine which one is a best fit for the organization. Work with the EMR vendor to develop a price quote. Keep in mind that price quote may vary widely from vendor to vendor. Your needs will help you determine what will be your best value. Does the EMR vendor offer good financing terms? What level of EMR training and service is offered? What is the vendor’s reputation? Do they offer free upgrades? Do they offer the additional services and integrations needed? Do you know what you can expect through the life of the partnership with the EMR vendor?

Inking the deal

Once confident in a selected EMR vendor, ink the deal. Provide all the paperwork and information required by the vendor in a timely manner. Then work together to plan the implementation and begin the journey of EMR implementation and use.

Click here to download our FREE EMR Implementation White Paper to help you plan a successful launch, adoption and meaningful use of EMR.

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