Did you know that the majority of EHRs purchased this year will be replacement systems? That’s right—providers were unhappy with the first system they bought and now must start the process all over again. Anywhere from 35 to 75 percent of users will be replacing their EHR this year, causing experts to call 2014 “The Year of the EHR Replacement.”
That’s why it’s important to review your options carefully and choose the system that’s right for you—you don’t want to be among the many physicians who have experienced EHR buyer’s remorse.
How do you avoid EHR software buyer’s remorse?
It may not be possible to ensure that you are making the right choice 100% of the time, but there are some proven methods you can use to conduct your due diligence. Here are a few we recommend:
- Make sure the software is ready for prime time.
First of all, you can eliminate the EHR software that definitely will not meet your needs. One way to do this is to look at whether the software meets 2014 standards. These requirements are non-negotiable, as failure to meet them will result in loss of revenue for your practice. They include:
- 2014 Stage 2 Meaningful Use Certification – Your EHR must be 2014 Meaningful Use certified in order for you to attest for Meaningful Use this year, whether Stage 1 or Stage 2. In addition, you want your EHR to be certified as early as possible so that you can attest when you choose, not when your EHR is finally ready. MediTouch was certified in June 2013, one of the first ambulatory EHRs to do so, and is designed to make attestation easier.
- ICD-10 Ready – CMS has stated that the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for conversion to the ICD-10 code set will not be delayed, which means that your EHR and medical billing software must be ready. And don’t settle for software that’s ready on Sept. 30—you need time to test and learn the new code set, and ideally, do some dual coding. MediTouch EHR is ICD-10 ready now and allows side-by-side coding with both ICD-9 and ICD-10 so your staff can learn the codes during their normal work processes.
- Surescripts Award-winner – ePrescribing is such a key part of your EHR needs, you want to make sure your e-prescribing experience is as smooth and safe as possible. Surescripts awards their White Coat of Quality to those systems that meet the highest level of clinical quality. HealthFusion is proud to be among the select few multi-year winners, as well as a Surescripts EHR partner and Certified Solution Provider.
- Get the functionality you need.
The functionality of your EHR is, of course, of primary importance. Does your EHR work the way you need it to, or does it require you to adjust to the way it works? Make sure your EHR offers you the customization options you need, so you don’t have to work with rigid templates. MediTouch’s wizard type customization tools make customizing easy for you and your team.
Also, make sure the EHR is designed for the exam room and won’t interfere with patient interaction. You don’t want your patient to feel like you’re spending all your time typing and not making eye contact. That’s why MediTouch is designed to provide full functionality on the iPad and allows you to chart with just a few clicks and/or dictation.
- Don’t buy on price alone – the future of your practice depends on your EHR choice.
A bargain is only a bargain if you get what you need. Don’t buy on price (or lack of price) alone—buy on value so that you don’t regret it later. No amount of incentive will replace the value of your patient interaction. You could spend thousands of dollars and be locked into a long-term contract, or on the other hand, sign up with a free EHR, and either could turn out not to be a good value.
Beware particularly of free EHRs that don’t have an integrated practice management system; the time wasted in dealing with integration issues could cost you more than the price of a good, integrated, cloud-based EHR/PM. While you certainly want an affordable EHR (and that is possible), don’t let price be the ruling factor in your decision. If the EHR implementation goes poorly, eats up your staff’s time—and yours—and worst of all, you end up having to start over, then it wasn’t a bargain.
We want you to get the EHR that you need for your practice. We believe MediTouch is the best choice for many practices, but it’s most important that you find the right EHR for your particular needs.
Find out more about the factors you should consider when buying or replacing an EHR; get our free 12 “Must Have” checklist for choosing an EHR.