Making the decision to switch EHR software is big for any office. This switch represents learning curves, new processes, employee training, and even growing pains. Begin your search by making a list of potential EHRs and schedule out demos.
Here are some questions to ask when you're on the call:
1. Current and Future EHR Needs
Develop a list of must have and nice to haves, such as the ability to send texts and email reminders to patients. Reflect back on what you like about you existing software and what you wish it had.
- Is it ICD-10 ready and have PQRS capabilities?
- Does it help attest to Meaningful Use Stage 1 and 2?
- Is it HIPAA compliant?
- Does it integrate with other software such as practice management and billing?
- What is the process for ensuring the security and backup of your files?
- What integrations does your software have?
The price for EHRs vary widely. Some have a high initial cost, others may be free but are missing features you need, or there may be a fee to upgrade to certain features.
- What functions does the EHR come with? What does it not include?
- What are the costs for features not included?
- Is there a cost for upgrades?
- If I want to add multiple locations, is there additional costs?
- Will I need to purchase any licenses? If so how much would that cost and how often will I need to renew?
- Is there a limit to how many accounts can be created? If so how much would that be?
3. Transition and Implementation
A big part of EHR success is adoption by your staff and doctors. Making the decision to switch EHRs is a big change and affects how the office is run, thus getting your team up to speed quickly and smoothly is key.
- Will there be training available?
- Will there be support available to answer questions and troubleshoot if needed?
- What options do I have to transition my existing files to the new software?
- How long does it take for a typical practice to complete the transition?
4. Ongoing support
Even if the software is easy to use, getting the most out of your EHR can mean needing some customer service support. Members of your staff may be some extra guidance or help using new features.
- Will support be available post implementation?
- Is there a cost for this support?
- What options for support do I have?
- What does the turnaround time look like?
5. Certified EHR
To qualify for incentive payment, you must use certified EHR software that meets the requirements of CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) specifically for the EHR Incentive Programs.
Certified EHR gives the assurance that the software offers the necessary technological capabilities, functionalities, and security to meet Meaningful Use criteria.
- Has this EHR software been certified for Meaningful Use Stage 1 and 2?
- What programs can I participate in with this EHR?