EMR / EHR - The "Switch" is On

This is one of the most relevant topics today. I see an ever increasing number of ‘switchers’. John Lynn talked about EMR switching and notes three drivers of this phenomenon. But there are more.

Besides the ones that join a hospital or merge with larger groups, the rest of them are from the following camps.

1. Those that were skeptical about EMR initially, did not want to spend money and went with the Free EMR systems. They got their first year’s Incentive money, and realized they need to ‘grow up’, because the free emr just did not cut it and meet their needs. So, they start looking for something better.

2. Switchers from ‘older technologies’. Under this umbrella, you have those that are a) moving from old client server technology to Cloud EMR, because their IT costs are going up, their servers are aging, and so is the EMR system itself. Even if the software is certified, they want a Cloud system for various reasons – access, not having to deal with vpn, remote access, speed, etc.

3. Switchers because of ‘service and support’ issues. I see this also forming a large group. The reason is, market pressures are showing on Vendors. Costs rising, competition rising, it is becoming difficult to continue providing the same level of support as they did when they had fewer clients.

4. And, finally, Provides are Maturing. They are more knowledgeable. When they bought their first system, very few providers knew what they really wanted and what to expect. Having used technology for some time, they have a better understanding of their needs. So, if their current system can’t do it, they start looking for something that matches their needs.

Once you've decided to switch, then comes another hurdle which John and Sean talk about here – very important and relevant topics of contract, data conversion costs.