A Guide on How to Select the Right Electronic Health Record

Sanjeev Dahiwadkar
Sanjeev Dahiwadkar

Guest post by Sanjeev Dahiwadkar, CEO, RxOffice.

No one will argue that there are not benefits to EHRs (electronic health records). They eliminate paper, enable providers to track data efficiently over a period of time, create a clearinghouse of patient health information in one place, just to name a few. Some argue EHRs improve the overall quality of patient care and business management. However, with so many EHRs on the market, hospitals and doctors’ offices face the daunting task of selecting the right system. Like the general population, most healthcare professionals’ exposure to technology has been limited to that of a consumer, making the selection of the right EHR system a process out of their comfort zone. Then getting trained on how to efficiently use the system while maintaining a high level of patient care comes into play. This has proven to be frustrating, ineffective and possibly dangerous in extreme cases when information is incorrect and/or cannot be accessed. This situation has put healthcare providers in a challenging position, to say the least.

Since 2009 when the federal government rolled out the $30 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as an incentive program for the healthcare industry to go digital with its records, the landscape has changed. One of the first things that happened was the huge influx of technology vendors who decided to make their foray into the healthcare space. Unfortunately, most of these companies did not understand how the industry operated, no pun intended. In fact, the average vendor just launched its first product to the industry in the last year so that does not provide a lot of industry longevity/credibility. Many vendors were focused on getting the peace of $30 billion pie at the cost of their client not getting what the system they needed. Established technology vendors, who shifted their focus on solving the industry’s problems, were outnumbered by the new players who entered the market chasing government grants. The availability of these grants actually created an EHR technology bubble in very short period of time. To make matter worse, well-intended government rules only focused on the end users’ ability to implement technology correctly instead of the technology producers.

With the overwhelming amount of information out there about EHR technology and the providers, healthcare professionals must do thorough due diligence to find the best system that fits their needs. This will take both a time and resource commitment. Let’s look using a metaphor that most people understand or at least have had some experience with, dating. The same principles used in dating can apply when selecting the right EHR technology. Here are four simple rules that can help any healthcare provider make a good business decision when looking for an EHR solution.

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Three Essentials for Selecting Your Next EHR, According to KLAS?

KLAS EnterprisesAccording to a new KLAS blog post, there are three essentials for selecting your next EHR. The post is pithy at best, and designed for the company to gain more physician leads, but I thought I’d feature some of the information here.

Why?

Perhaps it’s for no other reason than to be snarky. Readers of this site know that I am suspicious, at best, of KLAS, its reports and its centralist, self-centered approach. Fact is, the numbers of respondents of KLAS’ surveys just don’t add up for the claims that they make.

I know this because I’ve worked with an EHR vendor that often was the subject of the “research firm’s” multiple sales attempts.

As part of my role with the company, I worked with a legitimate research department and based on their reviews of the KLAS data, there’s simply no way the data presented by KLAS – for the price of a king’s ransom to vendors – is legit. For example, 48 physician responses (or 52 or 46 or two dozen) to its surveys does not accurately reflect the thoughts of several hundred thousand physicians across the market.

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Critical Steps for Selecting an Electronic Health Record, and Things to Consider for Your New System

Even given the news that the majority of practices and hospitals have made the change to EHR, this continues to be a tumultuous time in the land of electronic health records. In fact, several entities have proclaimed 2013 the year of the great EHR switch.

With that, and because I am not brand loyal, I think it’s a great idea to keep an open mind and acquire as much information as possible in the event a change is needed or you’re one of the few practices to not make the transition to electronic records.

There are no shortage of quality sources with excellent tips and information available, but I think there’s always room for more. I recently came across a white paper from Tech Target that intrigued me. The topic: 10 Critical Steps for Selecting an EHR.

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