Healthcare industry in the US has advanced so much over the years. With new policies, public options, and technologies, practitioners can now do tasks that used to require hours, in just minutes. That’s where Electronic Health Records (EHR) come in. Although you might find hundreds of EHR vendors, choosing the right one is a tough job. Why? Because not every EHR solution is capable of managing the needs of every medical practice. Here I’ll be talking about a step-by-step guide that you can use to choose the ideal EHR solution.
These steps include:
- Research the Market
- Highlight Your Requirements
- Make a Tentative List of EHR Vendors
- View Live Demonstrations
- Pick the Top Three
- Compare the Finalists
One of the common mistakes practitioners make at this stage is going after the big players like eClinicalWorks or AdvancedMD without doing their homework first. Here’s how you can avoid that mistake:
Research the Market
The first step in starting your research is your own staff. Gather your top practitioners, nurses and other staff and add their opinion into the mix. The reason you need to include diverse staff is to understand various aspects of finding your EHR. Suppose your practitioners only require an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solution, but your administrative staff also requires a Practice Management (PM) solution. So you’ll need to begin your research by looking into EHR solutions that offer EMR and PM services.
Then you can start looking at market trends and popular EHR brands like Athenahealth EHR. You can also look into various reviews of EHR solutions by practitioners and learn about their experiences. Ideally, you should try to get the opinions of practitioners that have the same medical specialty as you.
Highlight Your Requirements
Always know what you’re going to buy before you buy it. The same rule applies here as well when you’re finding the right EHR for your practice. The first you need to consider is the type of EHR. There are four basic types of EHR solutions.
Cloud-Based EHR: A cloud-based EHR stores, organizes, and manages patient information in a cloud storage. This way you can access it anytime you want.
Web-Based EHR: A web-based EHR works as a browser. You can access any patient’s information as long as you have the internet.
SaaS EHR: In SaaS, you pay your EHR vendor for their services and the responsibility of storing patient information and managing security rests completely on your vendor.
On-Premise EHR: An on-premise EHR is installed in your practice’s server and all of the patient information is only accessible through your practice’s server.
The second thing you would need to list down is the ‘Must Have’ features in your EHR. These typically include:
- Patient Scheduling
- Reporting and Analytics
- Patient Records Management
- Patient Profile Management
- Pre-Installed Templates (Specific to your specialty)
- Integration with Labs and Pharmacies
EHR software like Athena Medical Software comes equipped with essential features like these and so much more.
After that, you would need to assess your cost requirements. If you have a small-scale practice, implementing a budget-friendly EHR solution is necessary.
Make a Tentative List of EHR Vendors
Now comes the time where you start looking for EHR software that might fit your needs. You should have enough EHR vendors in your list that it would provide you with a variety to choose from. However, don’t add more than 15-20 because going over their live demonstrations would become tiring.
You can also check out their overall ranking to know if you should add them to your list. In addition, you can also view their functionality, expenses, and support ratings to know where you’ll stand with them.
View Live Demonstrations
A live demonstration usually ranges from 60-90 minutes and goes over all of the features that they offer. Here you can make sure that the EHR software is offering all of the services and features that you require for your medical practices. You can also take a walkthrough of the modules they use to understand the software better.
Take special note of the features you like and more importantly, the ones you dislike. You can even ask whether they offer customizations to their modules or not.
Pick the Top Three
After watching the live demonstrations of all the EHR in your list, you can now choose the top three that you liked. Keeping in mind the initial list of features that you write down, you can now choose which EHR solutions you want to pursue further.
After you’ve made the decision, contact the three EHR service providers again and request a more in-depth demonstration of the software.
Compare the Finalists
The last step is to compare the pros and cons of the final three EHR solutions that you’ve picked. You can even compare them on features, price, scalability etc. As long as they’re offering you all of the services, you can choose either one of them.
If you’d ask me, I’d say Athenahealth EHR Demo is your best bet in times like these. With the pandemic, you might not be able to get much footfall in your medical practice. That’s where Athenahealth app comes in with a complete suite of telehealth features to help you stay connected with your patients. However, the decision ultimately comes down to you, whether it’s Athenahealth EHR or not, make sure to follow the step-by-step guide to find the perfect EHR for your practice.