What Are the Costs of Setting Up EMR Software?

September 1st, 2012 - By Chris Ferguson

There are many factors to take into consideration when selecting an EMR software such as training costs, setup expenses, and template options. Knowing what your practice needs and how quickly will be paramount to your successful transition.

Electronic Medical Records Costs

The costs of setting up Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software is typically a major pain point for physicians. Every new software system needs attention to detail in the beginning stages of use. A complex EMR Software is no exception. While the Graphic User Interface (GUI) make the medical software appear easy to use by the medical practice staff, the software code and “behind the scenes” calculations are complex and very logically structured.

Setup expenses are based on a variety of factors. The term “No Free Lunch” applies to EMR as well. There are some different EMR software systems on the market that have a zero charge for set-up. The set-up charge is designed to provide the medical practice with a robust content of clinical data and applications in place. These tried and proven data bases structures are more than a matrix to be completed by the end user. The idea of having a free training and set-up offer is a good one. If you are willing to take the time and invest your knowledge and create your own EMR. Why reinvent the wheel? The time spend on template creation and content management and maintenance can be more than bargained for. The time spent in this task of EMR template creation can be better spent seeing patients of leisure activities. The ongoing maintenance and updates are up to the practice. A nominal set-up fee can be money well spent.

Training costs are based on the level of tech savvy at the provider and staffing levels. Appropriate levels of training in the beginning can deliver a tremendous return. Paying a fee can be another well justified cost. The training can show the provider and staff the most efficient and effective way to maneuver through the system. Some people are tech savvy and can pick up the system usage quickly, while others take more time and resources to get up to speed on the software. Trying to “figure it out on your own” can be a difficult decision to go back and correct. The investment in time and money can get you miles ahead. Applying what you have learned as a beginning user can lead you to more advanced training and superior documentation in a more expedited manor. The learning curve can be lessened, and faster, high documentation levels can be achieved.

The cost of setup and training can be recouped fast and with a higher return on investment than a shrink wrap out of the box EMR Software. This is your practice and keeping it a successful practice along with patient care are very important.

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