More healthcare organizations are thinking about replacing old filing systems with an electronic health records (EHR) system. This helps organize important patient files, schedule patient appointments and medical procedures, track which providers are booked at a specific time, and manage your billing cycle.
Your patients deserve the best when it comes to healthcare, and your staff deserves the best tools to provide it. Here are some important considerations for choosing the best EHR solution for your practice.
Smart user interface (UI)
One of the most common reasons why some doctors are reluctant to migrate their practice to a digital platform is the difficulty in using a software program or an application. To counter this objection, choose an EHR system with a smart and intuitive UI. That is, the UI is:
- easy to navigate;
- easy to maintain; and
Your staff will be using the program for several hours a day, so test the software before implementing it. Include each staff member in the testing process so that all the bugs that would hinder them from working smoothly are discovered.
For smaller healthcare organizations that are operating on a limited budget, an ideal EHR system should have a minimum startup and data migration cost. An EHR service usually ranges from as low as $80 to as high as $800 per user per month, depending on your company’s needs, the features you select, and the size and scope of your practice.
Work out your service agreement by listing down the features you need and agree with your vendor on the cost of the software. Without a clear agreement, you might end up paying additional fees or paying for a feature that’s not essential for your practice.
You also need to consider the long-term costs associated with the EHR. Certain systems require specific networking hardware, proprietary software licenses, training, and support resources that will cost you money on top of the startup and migration costs. Consider all of these costs against the profits you conservatively project to gain because you’ll treat and process more patients than when you were still on paper-based systems. Your provider can help you derive an ROI that’s both realistic and desirable for your business.
High level of customization
The ability to change the workflow of your EHR program is often crucial for success, as every practice has different procedures and needs. You must be able to customize it to suit your preferences, without compromising your security standards.
The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) suggests to bring real but anonymized patient scenarios to a system demonstration and to ask your prospective EHR service provider how their software can be adapted to optimize productivity.
Aligned with your business goals
AHIMA suggests that businesses define their EHR system specifications according to their business objectives. The latter includes solving issues regarding coding, optimizing their medication management, improving the quality of healthcare, and increasing patient satisfaction.
Managed by a reliable vendor
Migrating to an EHR platform is easier when you partner up with a reliable vendor. You can trust a service provider if:
- your software will be continually updated according to EHR incentive program requirements and federal regulations;
- the vendor is always available to resolve any technical problems during and after your EHR implementation; and
- they have a reputation for being responsive to issues as these arise and being accountable for their mistakes.
Never rush into an EHR implementation, as it requires considerable research, time, and strategic planning. On average, it takes 12 to 18 months to fully adopt a new health IT system. If you have more questions about EHR and cloud solutions, call Netcom Solutions now.
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