EHR Nightmare

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Throughout the past two years, I have rotated mainly through one system. To my dismay, it had been one of the worst as far as electronic health records (EHR) are concerned. Most days I observed the workflow, thinking “If they just did this, they would cut the duration of morning rounds in half.” Let us look past the point that I was usually bored out of my mind!
There was just so much wasted time in dealing with documentation and communication. We are in the digital age. It really shouldn’t be this complicated. I cannot imagine how frustrated the residents and attending physicians must have gotten during this nonsense. This part of the job, which is non-medical, has likely been the direct cause of many doctors’ burnout statuses.
Since I have limited exposure to other systems, I am curious to know if this was a well-below average situation or a fairly normal one (feel free to comment below).

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Shopping for an EMR: Who can I exclude?

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So you’ve decided to join the EMR revolution.  Welcome!  But where to begin?  The field is booming- new companies are springing up every day.  With so many to choose from, how do you know who to trust?  What should you be looking for in an EMR solution provider?  Here are a few guidelines:

1.  Make sure they have a good general reputation.  Ask for references and follow up.  Search the internet for feedback from their customers.  Have they delivered on their promises?  Check with watchdog and consumer protection groups.   Have they been accused of unscrupulous practices? 

2.  Read the contract.  Look for hidden fees.  What will they charge for product support?  Do they offer a maintenance plan?  Is there a warranty?

3. Find out how they handle version upgrades.  Are upgrades free?  If not, do they intend to support older versions of their product?  For how long? 

4.  Are they prepared to customize?  Will you have to change your business model to fit the needs of their product?  Do they expect you to pay for features you don’t want?*

*Very few EMR providers offer totally customizable products.  Click <a href=”” target=”_blank”>here</a> to read more about customization.

Most EMR providers are legitimate and reliable, but there are exceptions.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If what you learn makes you feel uneasy, or if the provider won’t give you straight answers, move on and don’t look back.   More on shopping in future articles!