Having effective electronic health records (EHR) software is essential for well-managed, reputable, and organized medical practices, but there are some important questions that need to be answered before implementing a new EHR system for your practice.
The first thing you want to ask is what are the system requirements. Is it hardware-driven where your current devices, computers and other hardware will need to be replaced? Hardware-driven EHRs can be difficult for existing and established practices to use as all technology equipment will need to be replaced prior to using the program. If it is not hardware-driven but rather a software EHR, find out if the EHR in consideration is an application integration software or web-based. Application-based software can have limitations based on the operating device or may not be tablet or mobile-friendly. In addition, the apps often require routine updates which can occur at inconvenient times when the EHR is needed but is out of operation due to application updates based on your device.
One of the biggest headaches when it comes to implementing a new EHR is the training, transition, integration, and conversion of your current records into the new EHR system. Asking about available training for staff is vital, including whether the cost of training is included in the price or an additional fee. You will also want to find out specifics regarding training for your staff. Find out if it is offered virtually or on-site and if on-site, how many days. The most forgotten question, however, is support. What does support and additional training look like once you go live and the use of the EHR is in your hands.
Not all EHR programs are created equal and not all EHRs have the same features and functionalities. Make sure you not only use an EHR that has everything you need but features you MIGHT need down the road too. Just because you don't need it now, doesn't mean that down the road you might not. It's easier to not use a feature that is already there than to find a new EHR in a few years and start the switch all over again. Some key features to consider are workflows, e-prescribe options, patient resources, clinical care reporting, notation capabilities and most of all security.
Data security and patient record safety are some of the most important features to consider when considering a new EHR. Make sure to ask if the system is encrypted and make sure it is HIPAA compliant. If you wouldn't feel comfortable storing your own personal information in their system based on their answers, then don't trust it for your patients.
The last question you should ask is the price. The implementation, integration, and hardware requirements of the EHR, the data security, and features are far more important to consider than price alone. When your staff and practice have a functional and easy-to-use EHR platform, your patients receive better care. At the end of the day, patient care should be your number one focus.
You have options when it comes to EHR software for your practice, but it's important to have all the facts before making a decision. Consider all features, safety and security protocols, pricing options, integration ease, and user-friendly features. You want to choose an EHR that will last your practice for years and be available when you need it most.
At TriMed, we take your practice's unique needs into consideration to ensure your decision to move to a new EHR is one that you will never regret and wish you'd done sooner. Curious about more features and benefits of TriMed Complete EHR? Contact us for a live demonstration of our EHR platform today.