Questions to ask before switching Your EHR system?

July 19th, 2021 /
Andrew Fearnley
/ 7 Min Read
Switching EHR software
Physician planning to replace her EHR

Is your clinic prepared to seamlessly and successfully switch EHR vendors?

If so, you probably have many questions. This post lists some of the most frequently asked Questions of EHR vendors. Consider asking your potential new vendor the following questions because a thorough investigation will provide you with the information you need to ensure your EHR system is the best choice for your clinic, staff, and patients.

What is the most common rationale for changing EHR vendor platforms?

According to AHIMA, cost and system functionality are the deciding factors most often behind switching EHR vendor platforms. Additionally, many clinics have changed vendors due to Physician Quality Reporting System Standards and Meaningful Use, which require a high level of system functionality.

5 Important Considerations when Choosing EHR Systems

  1. Software Design

When choosing an EHR system, start by first thoroughly examining the EHR software. Ensure the user interface is easy to navigate and intuitive. Then, test out the software you are considering and a couple of your other considerations.

Ensure the look and utility of the information aligns with your clinic’s needs. Having a seamless and easy-to-understand workflow is a great place to start your journey to find the best EHR platform for your clinic.

2. EHR and Associated Costs

In addition to the clinic’s initial investment, evaluate long-term costs when choosing an EHR. There are often specific requirements that enable the EHR to function correctly. For instance, does the EHR you are considering require a particular interface, network, or hardware?

Do not forget the cost of training and support. Are you planning to connect to a health information network? Be precise and gain an accurate vision of the actual cost associated with the new EHR.

Remember that this is an investment. After considering the initial dip in productivity during implementation, your clinic’s incentive program benefits, and the time until you reach a return on investment, do you expect the EHR to enhance clinic efficiency? If not, consider testing a different EHR to ensure your clinic will not have significant setbacks, such as improperly handled claims.

3. EHR Vendor Reputation

top ratings by our vendors
Reputation EHR Vendor

Your EHR software is responsible for sensitive information, so choosing an EHR software vendor should include investigating the vendor’s reputation.

Tap into your professional network and find out which software your colleagues are using. Ask them how they feel about their vendor and the software.

Throughout your investigation, reach out to the vendor to ensure the software is updated, per EHR incentive program regulations and federal law, regularly.

Inquire about the EHR software’s technical support, so you can trust that they will be ready to help your staff as necessary- especially during the initial implementation of your new EHR.

4. EHR Software Customization

Ask the EHR vendor how they can tailor the workflow of the EHR to suit the needs of your practice. Your clinic and the clinic down the street probably have different requirements regarding EHR software, so ensure your new EHR aligns with the needs of your clinic.

5. Clinic Goals

Another primary consideration when choosing an EHR is your clinic’s long-term goals. Experts recommend using your clinic’s goals as an outline for your EHR requirements.

Your clinic’s future should be a deciding factor for any software in which you invest. You might emphasize quality of care, medication management, or joining accountable care organizations- whatever aligns with your goals.

Understanding the Implementation Process

By its very nature, implementation involves executing a plan, standard, or policy. However, implementation requires proper planning. You and your staff should implement your new Electronic Health Records (EHR) system after all parties involved have had their questions answered and have prepared for the switch.

One way to ensure everyone is ready for implementation is to invite your staff to create a list of questions regarding the software. Then, take your list of questions with you when you meet with potential EHR vendors. If you are unsure where to start, consider the following list of common EHR FAQ questions as a starting point.

Then, have a meeting before implementation to allow your staff to get their questions answered. You can also use the meeting as an opportunity to boost your staff’s technological confidence. Remind them that they were once new to their career, but they practiced the necessary skills and are now competent, confident members of your staff. Compared to that, learning to use a new EHR system takes far less time to learn.

FAQ when Implementing a New EHR

Software FAQ

Question to ask EHR vendors

  • When was your organization established?
  • What are your primary organizational goals?
  • How is your organization’s relationship with regulatory agencies?
  • Do you have a specific type of clinic that you serve more than others?
  • How many clinics like mine do you serve?
  • How active is your product development team?
  • How responsive is your customer support team?
  • How do you keep data secure?
  • Who owns the data in the EHR system?
  • Why should I choose your company?
  • How do you partner with us to ensure operational efficiencies?
  • Do you offer other products and services, in addition to EHR services, from which my clinic would benefit?
  • How are you different from your biggest competitor?

Ask About Software Performance

  • Is your EHR software compatible with my existing hardware?
  • Are there specialties that your software supports?
  • How successful has your software been with external integrations?
  • In what ways does your software improve patient flow?
  • Does your EHR enhance patient engagement?

Ask About Implementation and Migration

  • How long after signing up before implementation?
  • Do you provide training before implementation?
  • Will, you assign a dedicated implementation representative to our clinic to assist us during implementation?
  • Do you switch implementation styles, depending on what a clinic needs?
  • What does follow-up look like for the following implementation?
  • What is the typical timeframe for your EHR’s implementation?
  • Will, you migrate my data into the new system?
  • Does practice size affect implementation timing?

Ask About Training and Support

  • What type of training does your organization provide?
  • Will my team be trained all at once?
  • Are your training seminars specific to roles? For example, office manager or receptionist?
  • On average, how long will my clinic wait for a support request response?
  • Is there an online community for your platform’s users?
  • What is your support team’s average timing for resolving support requests?
  • Is support outsourced?
  • Where is the base for your customer support team?

Ask About EHR Cost

  • Do you offer a trial subscription?
  • What features does the subscription include?
  • What is the fee for data migration?
  • How much does training cost?
  • What is the fee for tech support?
  • Are there additional fees or upgrades of which I should be aware?

Ask PrognoCIS Your Questions

Do you have questions for us? At PrognoCIS, we offer certified EHR software in a cloud-based platform that streamlines workflows for Ambulatory Medical Practices of all sizes and specialties. We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you might have.

The key takeaway is, no matter why you are considering switching EHR vendors, arm yourself with questions that will aid you and your staff in deciding upon the EHR vendor which is most aligned with your clinic’s goals.

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