Similarities between Handyman and EMR Customized Templates

"I was able to customize my EMR to the exact way that I practice" Almost every EMR company that publishes testimonials from their clients has a version of the above statement. Not only that, when you talk to referrals, almost everyone asks - how easy is it to customize.

Few years ago when I bought my new home in NY, my neighbor told me something I still remember - 'when you buy a house, you're either a handyman or you have money...'

Customizing EMR is not too different from working in your house fixing things, doing small repairs, additions, etc.

You are a trained physician, you are good at treating patients, that's what you excel at. While Practice systems, EMR etc. may be flexible and designed to be customized, that is not how you would want to spend your time. Of course, for some of us like being 'handy' around the house, that's a different story.

How many of us have tried to be handy to 'save money', mess up and then call the handyman to not only undo our work, but pay more to get it done right? (Nagging can be an added bonus :-))

Don't be penny wise and pound foolish

Unless you have time, and are an expert at technology, don't try to customize your templates and application yourself. If you have a staff member that is smart and tech saavy, have him/her do it. If not, get the vendor do the customization for you. In the long run, it is not about saving money, it is about using all resources wisely. However, if you attempt to do your own work, make sure you're properly trained to do so (that may cost money too).

Don't get me wrong - I'm not implying that EMR software are not good at customizing templates - they're pretty good - I mean some of them are really good at the ease and simplicity of allowing customization.

It all boils down to you, and the cost benefit of doing your own customization.