Choosing an EMR: The checklist – Part 1

Although Electronic Medical Records (EMR) has been available in the market for quite some time, some physicians still find it hard to choose the right EMR solution for their practices. The plethora of EMR vendors have exposed physicians to a lot of options to choose from, but unfortunately, it is either a lack of homework on part of physicians or a clear vision that hampers their decision making while selecting the appropriate EMR for their practice.

“While buying any product, it is always better to have a wide range of options so that one can pick up the best fit. However, since EMR is a long term investment that physicians make, it is highly essential that physicians should be clear about what they require”, says a New York based health IT consultant.

According to surveys, the most important thing that causes a problem for some physicians while choosing EMR is that they barely concentrate on asking the vendor about the product details. Along with various other things, they fail to comprehend their needs and requirements which ultimately affect their choices. Hence, I thought I would write a blog on what major queries should be answered before choosing a particular EMR.

Starting from one of the major concerns, that is vendor reputation. If your EMR vendor is a trusted name in the market then go for it. Number of users of a particular product could be one of the proxies to gauge vendor reputation. It could be established that the number of users is directly proportional to the vendor image. EMR usability is also an important question. Since physicians are not trained IT professionals they should always look for an EMR that is easy to use. EMR that is user friendly would not only result in reducing the hassles but also in saving a lot of time that could have been wasted in learning an intricate system. It is always suggested to choose a cloud based EMR system. These solutions not only eliminate the trouble related with conventionally hosted servers, but also reduce the overheads of support, maintenance, and upgrades etc. Moreover, storing, retrieving, and accessing information is much easier in cloud EMRs as compared to the conventional ones.

It is recommended that instead of choosing EMR that is not incorporated with a practice management system and patient portal, physicians should opt for an all-in-one solution. Doing so would allow them to manage both clinical and non-clinical operations from a single platform along with ensuring better patient engagement.

This surely is an extensive topic and one could come up with a lot of other important key points. However, I choose to conclude this blog here and write more on the same topic, covering all-in-one solutions and various other aspects in the next part.

 

About Frank Quinn

Over the past twenty years, Frank Quinn has contributed significantly on standardizing, interconnecting and institutionalizing care delivery through health IT, helping eliminate barriers to accessibility, quality and adoption. EMR, practice management, eRx, patient portal, medical billing, compliance, privacy and security are his areas of expertise. For more information, please contact Frank at frank.quinn@curemd.com
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One Response to Choosing an EMR: The checklist – Part 1

  1. Thomas says:

    You really have a point that medical equipment should be user friendly but that is far from reality in many of the computerized medical equipment on the market. I look forward to more information from you both for technical aspects as well as practical use. Thank you.

    Regards,

    Thomas

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