How to tell if you need a new EHR system?

According to Black Book Rankings survey 2013, nearly 80% of US physicians are dissatisfied with their current Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. The reasons for their dissatisfaction include the systems being clunky, difficult to use, boring, not interoperable, not compliant to regulatory requirements and the like. But can the physicians do something to make their current systems work? Is replacing the current EHR systems the only viable solution? Can the current EHR vendor upgrade or improve the system?

Let’s give you a few tips through which the need for a new EHR system or otherwise can be gauged.

Interoperability

Interoperability is the future of healthcare industry. If the current EHR software is not able to meaningfully connect with other entities in the healthcare delivery model, the current vendor needs to be questioned about their ability to make it work. If the vendor is not able to make the required changes in the software or cannot provide interoperability, then it is time to move on.

Regulatory changes

The government is regularly updating the regulatory requirements for the healthcare IT industry. The implementations of ICD-10 and Meaningful Use 2 are two very important changes that are taking place for the users. In case the current vendor is unable to upgrade its system to meet the regulatory requirements for the practice, then it may be time to look for alternatives.

Data security

Complete security of patient data is of crucial importance for any EHR user. Recently, there have been many data security lapses as far as patient data is concerned. The government and HIPAA are also frequently addressing the loopholes in the legislation in order to impose stricter fines and penalties on those EHR vendors who are unable to guarantee complete security. It must be made sure that the EHR vendor constantly improves the security protocols related to safety of patient data.

Cost to change

If the cost to change EHR vendors exceeds the future benefits, then it may not be a wise move to make a switch. However, if the current EHR system is hampering productivity, then practices might consider switching to better, robust solutions. Remember, it is always better to partner with a small EHR vendor with a better innovation plan rather than a big EHR vendor with no vision for future.

Patient portal

Patient portals are going to revolutionize the healthcare delivery model by increasing patient engagement to levels where they are able to self-schedule and increase shared decision making. In case the current EHR vendor is unable to equip its product with Patient Portals, then it may be a good decision to move on.

These are some of the important areas which a practice can rely on before deciding if a new EHR system is required.

 

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