Getting a new EMR system is a tedious process to put it mildly. A lot has been written about 'how to select EMR systems'. Some of it is sponsored by vendors, some written by consultants. Most of the advice is about picking the system with right system for your needs. The big concern always is, do you really know what your needs are? I don't mean to say you don't know what you are doing, but rather, EMR is a paradigm shift and therefore, you may not realize the effect it will have on your practice in terms of productivity and workflow.
Even if you are impressed with a system that you have seen and you have done your 'due diligence' ( checked references - read my earlier blog on this ). All seems well.
Yet, I see this happening over and over. Something goes wrong, and within 6 months, I see so many practices looking to switch EMRs or change their EMR vendor and EMR system.
Why do Practices want to switch EMR Systems when they did all the right things in the beginning to select the system?
If there is a single factor that contributes to this, it is service and support. It starts with your salesperson. Does the salesperson consummate the sale and move on? Of course there are many factors, but a very prominent indicator shown by surveys has been that if the salesperson stays engaged and in touch, approachable to you for help after sales, it has a better chance of success.
How do you find out if that is indeed the case?
Here is one simple thing you need to do.
Ask your salesperson for References of clients that this salesperson has sold to. When you call, ask the following questions:
- Was this sales person honest?
- Did he/she make any 'claims' about the EMR system that were not true?
- Was the salesperson available and accessible post sales - say, after 3 months, if you had some questions or concerns, you called the salesperson, did he/she pick up your phone or return your call immediately and help you get your concern resolved?
- Does your salesperson call on you to check how things are?
If the answers to these questions are positive, it is an indication of how the entire organization works and that they care about you.