Questions to Ask When You Are Planning on Switching Your EHR System

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Questions to Ask When You Are Planning on Switching Your EHR System

When switching your EHR software, it’s important to evaluate the features of the new EHR, and to identify how the new system will affect your workflow. Create a plan that identifies your practice’s specific requirements and goals, and select the EHR that works best for you.

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Where To Begin Selecting a New EHR?

Choosing a new EHR system for your practice is a pivotal decision that requires considerable research and planning. There are a variety of options for how to evaluate a new system that will help make the final decision. Many practices begin by defining their specific requirements and develop a set of criteria by which to make their selection. Other practices begin with a specific EHR system in mind and evaluate its capabilities. The best approach is to identify your practice’s unique goals and requirements, look for EHRs that meet those requirements, and plan their selection process from there.

What to Look For When Selecting a New EHR System

Once the practice has established its objectives and considered how switching to a new EHR software will affect its workflows, the leadership team can begin to evaluate the EHRs. The following considerations, provided by HealthIT.gov, will be useful to any practice considering switching its EHR:

  • EHR Software Demo: This is essentially a test drive of the EHR to check your unique requirements with the vendor’s offering. It helps you to understand how the system will help your practice accomplish its key goals. Make sure to provide the vendor with specific patient and/or office scenarios in order to customize the product demo.
  • Pricing: Make sure that pricing is clear early on, before making your selection. Find out the costs of the hardware, the software, maintenance of the system, as well as upgrade costs. Verify costs for additional services such as interfaces to connect to labs, pharmacies, and health information exchanges (HIEs).
  • Implementation: Request that the vendor define their implementation support: the amount of support, the implementation schedule, and any relevant information about training.
  • Data Migration: Clarify all the different roles, responsibilities, and costs of data migration. Carefully selecting which data and how much data to be migrated often makes the transition to a new EHR much easier.
  • Additional Products: Vendors will commonly provide practice management software or medical billing services along with the EHR.

In addition to the above, you will want to find out the vendor’s privacy and security capabilities, as well as data backups. With the above criteria, you should have a good jumping off point to looking at the various EHR offerings on the market, and weighing your options to transitioning to a new EHR that will improve your practice’s workflow.