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An OD's Guide to EHR Software Shopping

Posted by Robert Fallon on Jun 6, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Adopting an EHR system can be a big investment for a practice. This investment can be much more costly if EHR softwarethe wrong system is selected. EHR software requires investments of time and money, and they bring with them a fundamental change to a practice's overall workflow, efficiency, and business processes.

When selection time comes, it’s important to do your research and to follow a structured approach to stay on target and ultimately understand if a system meets the needs of a practice. Optometry’s Meeting is coming up at the end of this month in Seattle, and is the perfect opportunity to find out everything about current EHR systems and the vendors who provide the software. Industry-leading companies will be exhibiting the latest technology in eye and vision care and we will be there too! Come say hi at Booth #2635 to talk with us about our practice management and EHR system, Uprise.

Deciding Which EHR Software is Right for Your Practice

Focus on the Features

One of the quickest ways to be disappointed with your EHR system is the lack of certain features that your practice needs. That’s why many experts recommend that the very first step ODs should take when looking for a new system is to make a list of all the necessary features needed, as well as the features that would be nice to have. After prioritizing the list you can improve the EHR selection process by eliminating systems that don’t meet your specific requirements. Also remember, when making the list it’s important to get input from every employee in your office who will be affected by the new system so that you don't overlook any important functionality.

Create Goals

When going through and deciding which features you would like, you'll begin to recognize the inefficiencies and limitations you currently have in your practice. Once you decide which features you want, you can begin to create goals you want to accomplish with these features. Want to eliminate your paper charts? Tired of constantly playing phone tag with patients because they don’t have access to information online? Do product ordering and claims submission take more time than necessary to process? These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself when establishing what goals you want to accomplish with your new system.

Have the Correct Hardware

Practice management and EHR solutions are complex systems that can require even more confusing hardware resources. If your practice is considering the purchase of a client-server system, hardware is something you’ll have to understand and think about. Some systems have specific needs for the hardware and system requirements that allow the system to work properly. A more simple approach is turning to cloud-based EHR systems, which don’t require the software to be installed on the practice’s personal network and devices. Also, all updates are done securely online, and all of the EHR tools are synced together for a streamlined process. Again, evaluate which type of system will benefit and enhance your workflow the most.

Smart Partnerships

When shopping around for EHR systems people can get overwhelmed with the barrage of information thrown at them. When potential vendors are pinned down, a smart approach to adopt is to prepare a calculated list of questions to ask that are relevenat to your practice's unique situation.

EHR software checklist

Here are 8 potential questions to ask vendors when shopping:

  • Will I have to upgrade my current hardware?
  • Is training provided with the purchase of the system?
  • How much will the product cost, including hardware, software, support, etc.?
  • What support will I receive during and after implementation?
  • If I have an issue, how will you help me resolve it?
  • Is this EHR certified for Meaningful Use? Does it have complete or modular certification?
  • What programs can I participate in with this EHR?
  • Is the software HIPAA compliant?

The EHR selection process is time consuming, but for a decision as important as this one, it's necessary. With Optometry’s Meeting just around the corner, it is the perfect opportunity to learn more about finding the right system for your practice. This meeting and other resources make the decision simpler, but doing the personal research and evaluation of your practice is the most valuable information you can have when making the final decision on your EHR system. Good luck in your EHR shopping!

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Topics: EHR Software, Cloud-Based EHR, Optometrist

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