Is it time to change EMR’s? If you are like most practices, a few years ago you spent quite a bit of money on a new EMR. The government was giving out good incentives, bandwidth was sufficient, and of course the other doctors were moving that way and you really needed to keep up, You didn’t want to become the “archaic” practice, or “the doctor who was afraid of technology.” Let’s fast forward 3-4 years, and see where we are.
You have been using your EMR to the max. Now you know all of it’s faults and benefits. The best part is that you have gotten used to seeing patients without a paper chart. You may even appreciate some of the benefits, like being able to access your patients records from anywhere in the world, or being able to share patient information with other doctors. However…you may have noticed what you dislike about the EMR. Is it slow? Can you move around quickly? Are their features the EMR company says will be in the “next release”, but haven’t delivered? Are you starting to think you might want something a little different?
How to Switch EMR’s
That is always the major question. How do you switch after you have invested an enormous amount of time and money on a product and is the main mission critical application in your practice? The thought of switching enters your mind, and quickly exits. You think “no way can I do this”. Actually, that is a very legitimate thought. Switching EMR’s is a daunting task, and to do it, you have to really dislike what you are using now, and in come cases, find it unusable.
So how do you switch? Currently, the EMR’s put most of their money in research and development (R&D) to get you to buy their product, and to keep up with the market. They are constantly looking for that edge so that you choose their product over another. Not much R&D money goes into helping you leave their product. Why would they? In my opinion, you will need to start over. Don’t take that as a bad thing. Sometimes starting over is good. Very few times do you get a chance to clean our your system, and make sure you have accurate data. Don’t forget…garbage in, garbage out.
Is it Worth it?
Depends. Some things from your current EMR you will be able to export, and possibly import into your new EMR. I am certain the demographics can be transferred, but BP, BMI, height, weight, etc., may be a bit more challenging. Scanned images could most likely be moved over. If you have a compelling reason to switch, it may be worth it. If you want to switch to save a few bucks…it may not be. The main thing I like to stress…is don’t be afraid. Keeping your practice up on new technology is a good thing. The last thing you want to do is keep an old system that you don’t feel you are getting a lot out of. Work with a new vendor. They will do everything possible to help you make the switch. It’s not as impossible as you think.
Is it Time to Change EMR’s?
Let’s ask the question again. Is it time to change EMR’s? After reading this article, you have given it some thought. What do you think?
Sheryl Cherico, CEO