When opening a medical practice the need for Electronic Medical Records is front and center. However, how to find the right system is another matter. The best way to find out what works for you is to look at comparison sites and review the comments left but other clinicians in the same situation. Small practices have far different needs than large practices who have different needs than hospitals. Specialty practices also have their own set of unique needs so there are a myriad of variables that you have to compare, price and support being cross cutting.
There are five things necessary to meeting the EMR standards.
- Integration: Ability to integrate into a system, which will meet prescription writing, billing, charting, interface with other medical providers and insurances.
- Time Saver: Ability to save time and therefore money within the office.
- HIPAA and Technical Security: Security and therefore patient confidence.
- Care Teams: Ability to interact with other physicians, patients and hospitals in the area.
- Implementation: Quick set-up and easy to get operational.
There are many systems to choose from and there are many different levels of service. Gone are the days of having a system which only does medical billing or green screen technologies that transactionally allow you to complete tasks. Today it is a critical factor that any EMR you purchase meet the new Meaningful Use requirements around interoperability, patient engagement and quality metrics. You can no longer afford not to be connected electronically with the community. This is a good time to transform your practice into a digital operations…and receive the government ARRA funding for doing it.
A temporary hire (six months to 1 year) of an EMR implementation project manager may be the best move you will make. This person will be able to search through the systems; look at where your practice is headed and make a quality recommendation. You may want to spend a couple hours examining and reflecting on information at http://www.emr-matrix.org. This one site can help you with not only finding the right match, but suggest the questions to ask.
On the site you can ask questions from other providers about the systems they chose to use and what are the “gotchas” that you may not see on their website. The best shortcut is to look at the user ratings on EMR Matrix since they are pulled from the EMR “Hot or Not” which is voted on by clinicians. In terms of interoperability, knowing that the system will communicate with the labs and radiology facilities will be very high on your list of needs. While looking at your own practice, there will be a need to communicate with other physician to which you might refer a patient; thereby moving interfacing the top five needs.
EMR-Matric.org is up to date with the top EMR systems for small to large practices (not focusing on hospitals) so safe to assume those EMR’s probably will fit your needs. The site keeps abreast of new and fledgling systems as well as older systems which have produced for physicians in the past. With the new legislation, now is the time to find the system which will bring you into the new world of medicine. Searching for the cutting edge of these systems and know what the strengths and weakness are is why you want EMR-Matrix in your corner.
This one site can give you and/or your project manager the necessary information to look more closely at the best system for you. You will know if tech support is part of the package or training of staff is part of the purchase. Because this is a nuance in the medical community there is just not enough known about what is out there and how to select for your practice. The help you receive at emr-matrix.org is designed to save you money, time and frustration.
This is an expensive prospect for your business. The knowledge gained and the ability to produce quality material for the local community can make or break your practice. Most physician’s see this as a journey of endless perils and missteps. Having EMR-Matrix walking along with you and opening the doors needed to make your practice a budding business is the only way to assure yourself of finding the answers in one place and knowing the quality. You will have the peace of mind that you have done the very best you can to protect your patient’s and yourself.