10 tips on what is the right EHR for your Optometry office?
Introduction: You know you need an EMR. The days of paper charts and billing are long gone, and if you want to stay afloat in today’s competitive healthcare landscape, you need to join the 21st century. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one for your practice? Read on to find out.
- Decide what features you need
The first step in choosing an EMR is understanding what features you need. Do you need an EMR that’s integrated with your practice management software? Do you need e-prescribing? Do you need patient portals? Make a list of the features that are important to you and use it as a starting point for your search.
- Consider ease of use
Some EMRs are notoriously difficult to use, which can lead to frustrated clinicians and staff members who aren’t using the system to its full potential. When you’re considering different EMRs, pay attention to user reviews and take advantage of free demos or trials so you can get a feel for how easy (or difficult) the system is to use.
- Consider cost
Of course, cost is always a consideration when making a major purchase for your practice. But beware of low-cost EMRs – in many cases, you get what you pay for. When evaluating cost, be sure to consider not just the initial purchase price but also ongoing costs like maintenance, support, and upgrades.
4.Think about interoperability
Interoperability is the ability of different systems and devices to work together. It’s important to consider interoperability when choosing an EMR because if your EMR isn’t compatible with other systems in your office (like your scheduling software), it can cause major headaches down the road.
- Make sure it meets meaningful use requirements
In order for your EHR system to qualify for federal incentive programs like Meaningful Use, it must meet certain criteria set forth by CMS. Before making a purchase, be sure that the system you’re considering meets all of the necessary requirements.
6 Get input from your team
Your team will be using this system every day, so it’s important to get their input before making a final decision. Ask them what features are most important to them and what they would like to see in an EHR system.
7 Compare apples to apples
You might be tempted to choose the first EHR system you come across because it seems like a good deal. But resist the temptation! Be sure to shop around and compare different options side-by-side before making a final decision.
8 Educate yourself on upcoming changes
Healthcare is constantly changing, and those changes can have a big impact on your EHR system. For example, ICD-10 was scheduled to go into effect in October 2014 , but that date was pushed back until October 2015 . If your EHR system wasn’t prepared for ICD-10 , that could have caused big problems for your practice . So before making a purchase, educate yourself on any upcoming changes in healthcare so you can be sure your chosen system will be able to meet those changes.
9 Understand what you’re signing up for
When you sign a contract for an EHR system, you’re typically signing up for a long-term commitment. In some cases, you might even be signing up for a lease instead of an outright purchase, which means you could be stuck with that system even if it’s not working well for your practice. Before signing any contract, be sure you understand all the terms and conditions so there are no surprises down the road.
10 Don’t forget about training
Training is essential when implementing any new technology in your office, but it’s especially important with something as complex as an EHR system. Be sure to factor training into both the cost and timeline of your project so there are no delays or setbacks once go-live day arrives.
Conclusion: The bottom line is this: there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to choosing an electronic medical record (EMR) system. The best way to ensure that you’re choosing the right EMR for your practice is by taking the time to do your research upfront and involving key stakeholders in the decision-making process.
When evaluating different options, keep these 10 tips in mind so you can choose an EMR that will meet the specific needs of your practice now – and well into the future.
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