Posted By Amanda Girard On August 4, 2021
When shopping for an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, evaluate EHR solutions for the following to ensure you find one that can best fit your needs.
EHR certification programs are designed so that healthcare agencies can verify they are investing in secure Electronic Health Record (EHR) solutions. Certified solutions would have been rigorously inspected by independent organizations. Systems that are ONC certified can qualify providers to collect Meaningful Use incentive funding. Evaluate EHR solutions for certifications to ensure they are reputable, vetted and can satisfy any funding requirements.
Usability is a term that references whether a user can accomplish their goal within an EHR system. An EHR that is easy-to-use requires less effort for staff and less impact on a practice’s day-to-day operations. EHRs with good user interface design should integrate smoothly into a practice’s workflow, feel intuitive and be at least somewhat easy-to-learn. Usability also concerns itself with whether changes can be made independently in the system or if custom programming would be required and whether or not the system shifts responsibility away from ancillary staff onto clinicians. Evaluate EHR solutions to ensure they improve your workflow.
Cost/ value comparisons must include any additional costs associated with training, support and staff overtime beyond the upfront costs of owning a solution. There may be extra fees associated with things like a clearinghouse or e-prescription service. There might also be programs or discounts available from vendors or time-saving solutions like bulk-uploads for data migration. After all of these costs and savings are considered, the best value product will fit in the middle range of budget on price while still meeting all the needs in an EHR solution.
Adequate and effective EHR training for staff members is essential. Poor training is one of the top reasons that EHR implementations fail. A combination of on-site training and flexible, virtual training times will maximize success. Evaluate EHR solutions for the training provided by your vendor in the short and long term.
Evaluate how EHR vendors are prepared to offer support after go-live. Will they support through implementation or will staff be mostly alone through implementation? What is their reputation for customer service and responsiveness to user inquiries? Find out if they support hardware, software or both. Find out if they provide local support, phone support or both. Find out what hours support is available. Evaluate EHR solutions for reliable, timely support for any technical issues that may arise.
Evaluate EHR solutions for reliability by finding out if vendors provide best practices, if they are built on reliable technologies and if their company is committed to the healthcare IT market in the long-term.
By evaluating EHR solutions in all of these areas your healthcare agency should be able to make a choice with a vendor and solution that is right for you.