Selecting an E M R/e H R

By: T. Jones

Selecting an EMR/EHR can be challenging and costly. There are numerous vendors professing to meet your needs. How do you tell them apart? How do you know which ones will match your practice? How do you evaluate the contents of a vendor's product? Which ones are successful or have failed? How much does it cost? Will the vendor help with the set-up of my specialty?

The EMR/EHR industry is moving towards initiatives that will take many of the concerns and problems out of the picture. There are national goals being developed to set standards, guidelines and laws to protect patient information yet allow communication technologies to work. Recognized certification organizations are being created and their mission is to accelerate the adoption of health information technology by creating a product certification program.

The initiatives that are necessary to protect your investment and clinical requirements will take time to be put in place. They will drive many of the vendors out of business and force the remaining vendors to be credible and provide robust features for all types of practice management.

With the future unknown, you may have decided to wait to purchase a new practice management system while the EMR/EHR standards are developed and implemented. In the meantime, your practice management system is not meeting your front office and back office requirements. Patients are frustrated with outdated scheduling and your A/R and cash flow are suffering because of a deficient billing and collections system.

An ASP, also known as a hosted or web-based, solution may be the cost-effective answer to your interim requirements for scheduling, billing and collections.

The cost of a hosted solution is minimal. Most hosted solutions offer practice management software for a minimal monthly subscription fee. Only a workstation and access to the internet is required, no costly servers, database or system software,and no need to hire technical staff!

A good hosted solution provides HIPAA compliant software, ensures your data is secure in a separate database so only you can access your data. Backups are provided. They should be done daily, and preferably, your data is replicated, meaning your data is stored in multiple places. If one disk fails the other one is automatically used.

Selecting a hosted solution is critical to making the interim solution a success. Be sure it allows you to cancel with a 30-day notice, own your data, and provides you with a download all patient, insurance, balances and schedules, ready for input to a new system.

In summary, a hosted solution can make your business efficient while you wait for EMR/EHR's to be standardized and cost effective. With the new standards, the solution you select, will be able to offer integration with a variety of EMR/EHR's. On the other hand, if your hosted solution does not link to the EMR/EHR you prefer, you will have minimal investment in your practice management system; you can move quickly to a new solution.

Computers
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Computers