Selecting an EHR

Where does one begin when selecting an EHR for their practice? The says there are “7 critical factors when purchasing the right EMR software”. It will take time and you must plan accordingly. Do your research, set attainable goals, everyone needs a positive attitude, know your ROI, discuss technical competency, and select the right hardware. reports that the 2009 MGMA survey reveals the top three medical practice challenges have not changed from 2008.

  •  Dealing with operating costs that are rising more rapidly than revenues;
  •  Maintaining physician compensation levels in an environment of declining reimbursement; and
  •  Selecting and implementing a new electronic health record.

EHR adoption is still really slow. Vince Kuraitis calls it “The Penguin Problem”, no one moves unless everyone moves, so no one moves. But Vince is “optimistic that the recommended definitions of ‘meaningful use’ and ‘certification’ will work toward overcoming the penguin problem of EHR adoption.”

Mark Leavitt, chairman of CCHIT addressed the AHIMA members at their annual conference. Leavitt urges any practice or hospital that has not begun EHR implementation will be at a “high risk” of failing to achieve “meaningful use” and qualify for incentives. And referring specifically to hospitals he said “You’re dreaming if you think you can achieve it in less than a year.” He believes it will take 18 to 24 months to achieve meaningful use of an EHR system.

The EMR & EHR Blog for Physicians says some of the EMR implementation best practices include pre-implementation workflow analysis and re-design, adequate amount of training, customized training depending on roles, responsibilities and user profile, conducting go-live immediately after EMR training to name a few.

There is plenty of peer advice out there on preparing, selecting, and implementing EHR systems. Visit our MD-to-MD page. Download our EHR checklist with six pages of software features you should be comparing when researching an EHR purchase. Talk to independent consultants to help you narrow your search.