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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.


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.

But, the firm is a capitalist venture and they have the corner on the market. Firms like Black Book are making inroads, but for now, docs think KLAS is the only game in town, unfortunately. And, with clever marketing and its “Best in KLAS” rankings, the company has hit sales gold.

But I digress, again. Back to the original point of this piece:  three essentials for selecting your next EHR.

According to KLAS, those in the market for a new electronic health record, the hundreds of companies in this space causes obvious problems, such as how do they choose a model.

There are several questions to contemplate: “How can you identify which company and EMR will be the right match for your organization? What are the key factors you should be taking into consideration when approaching these companies?

Let’s talk about a few things to consider:

What does KLAS think is the first thing you should look at? Yourself.

Look in the Mirror

“Knowing and understanding your staff and how your practice operates is the critical first step. How large is your organization and are you owned by or affiliated with a health system or hospital? What is your medical specialty or are you a multispecialty clinic? Do you prefer having your billing staff complete your financial operations or are you comfortable outsourcing those to another company? Taking a good look in the mirror and intricately understanding how you operate is key to finding the right EHR system and company.”

Secondly, think about a partnership, not just a product.

“Another crucial thing to understand is that an EMR system is not simply something that is dropped off at your doorstep. It brings with it a partnership between your organization and the EHR vendor. This partnership begins with your initial communication with the vendor and will continue for years to come through the purchase, implementation and installation, training, product upgrades, and continued maintenance and support. Take the time to get to know the company’s staff and culture and ensure that you are comfortable establishing a long-term partnership. Remember, you will be acquiring a partnership, not just a product.”

Finally, understand the technology.

Getting to the point, ask questions about workflow adaptability, template customization and content. “Take the appropriate time to see the system in use and to talk with other practices that have it.” All of these things I have said before. Nothing new here; just common sense. KLAS goes on to say that you should consider whether you want an on-site or hosted solution and be comfortable with whatever one you select. Also, pretty common practice.

KLAS warns that: “The quest for the right EHR can be tedious and grueling. But the investment of time and energy on the front end to understanding the market, companies, and EHRs can pay large dividends in the long run.”

Yes, we understand that. No surprise. That’s something practices who are switching knew when they implemented the first system, let alone a second.

But, this is nothing more than a sales pitch, after all. A “blog” entry originally published by KLAS, the king of marketers, trying to sell more reports, and give away their “data” free to docs while trying to collect more leads to provide vendor “evaluations.”

That’s essential to their bottom line.

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