Essential Guide to Selecting an EHR System for Your Healthcare Practice

Essential Guide to Selecting an EHR System for Your Healthcare Practice

As the healthcare industry continues to grow, so does the pool of Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors to select from. Finding the right EHR software to meetyour practice’s needs is no longer an easy task. EHR systems have increased in complexity and functionality, which can make it difficult to know which one is best suited for your practice’s population, clinicians, and business needs.

Questions to Ask EHR Vendors:

Selecting the ideal system for your practice depends on a variety of factors: practice size, patient mix, number of daily users, data collection, patient access to health information, and integrations. Make a prioritized and detailed list of EHR requirements for your organization. This should include categories such as “must-have”, “should have,” and “nice to have.” Below are questions to consider asking EHR vendors to ensure you are selecting the best fit for your practice.

Cost:

  • What is the base price for the EHR software?
  • Are there additional costs associated with it, such asadditional modules like practice management, billing, patient engagement, etc?
  • How do you determine costs of support fees or licensing?
  • How is training priced?

EHR Software Usability:

  • Is the EHR software intuitive?
  • How will this impact workflow for clinicians?
  • How will it impact daily users such as physicians, nurses, or other clinical staff members?
  • Is the EHR ONC-certified?

Patient Engagement:

  • Can patients view lab results, medication lists, and appointments?
  • Can patients easily communicate with their healthcare team?
  • Can patientsrefill prescriptions without having to call the pharmacy?
  • How much control do they have over their personal information?

Implementation, Training, and Customer Service:

  • How long is the implementation period?
  • Are there training videos or webinars available for clinicians and users to learn more about the software before we go live?
  • How much support is available after you go live?
  • How responsiveisthe customer service team?
  • How easy is it to escalate issues?

Integration:

  • Can the EHR software integrate with other hospital systems such as your billing provider, lab, and radiology?
  • Are there any known issues with the software’s integration?
  • What is the process for resolving any conflicts that may arise during the integration process?

Cloud-Based Software:

  • Is this EHR softwarecloud-based?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of having a cloud-based EHR system?
  • Does the EHR also offer an on-premise alternative?

Backup and Data Security:

  • Do you have a backup plan in the event of an emergency or disaster, like ransomware attacks?
  • How quickly can data be recovered should an issue arise?
  • What happens to patient records during data recovery?

After determining the vital EHR features for you organization and compiling a list of questions to ask vendors, it’s time to initiate the evaluation and selection process.

Determine the Decision Committee:

Determine the people who shouldbe involved in selecting the EHR system. Committees of 10 to 20 clinicians may seem large, but it promotes representation across the organization.

Evaluate EHR Options and Create a Scoring Matrix:

Narrow down the EHR systems starting with those that have good customer ratings online or those you have received references for. There is an abundance of EHRs available; take time with the evaluation process, assessing each product thoroughly. What are the specific needs of your hospital and how do they align with what each EHR vendor offers? How does each potential vendor meet your requirements head-to-head against competing products?

Related Article: Ensuring a Successful Electronic Health Record (EHR) Implementation

A scoring matrix will help compare each software side-by-side. Compare features such as implementation time and constancy, support services offered, cost of implementation and maintenance.

Shortlist Vendors and Demo Products:

Once each vendor is evaluated, select the EHR systems that are best suited to fit your organizational needs. We recommend identifying at least three finalists for reference checks, demos, and pricing negotiations.

Schedule demos with each finalist; this is a great opportunity to meticulously evaluate each option and ask the vendor your questions. Pay particular attention to the items important to your practice needs, such as usability, navigation, and customization.

The EHR vendor selection process can be a daunting task. It’s important to do thorough research and consider the options available to ensure a compatible system. For more tips on how to choose an EHR system for your practice, contact our experts and learn more about our vendor selection process.

iPatientCare experts are available to answer all your inquiries about our robust, customizable EHR system. With over 20 years of experience, iPatientCare is one of the leading EHR vendors in the market and offers a comprehensive EHR system that is designed to meet the needs of clinics of all sizes. Schedule a demo today to see how we can help.

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