Web based EMR and EHR - Same Features, Similar Pricing, But...

Show me one Web EMR that is so dramatically different that you will scream - "Wow - I've never seen that anywhere before". I'm not talking about bells and whistles or small features, I'm talking about game changing solution. Do this - make a list of 'features' of these Web EMR systems. Write them all out in Column A of an excel spreadsheet. In columns B, C, D, ... write the names of vendors/products.

blank excel
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I guarantee most Web EMR systems will have most of the features you list out.

How do I Choose the EMR System?

So here are some basic do's and don'ts. First thing - Don't focus on features, unless there are one or two features that you believe are critical to you, but then that can be done in 2 minutes, or during the presentation you can ask that the vendor show you.

Show Me

Here's how to determine if a system is good for you and if you can see yourself using it.

Make a list of routine activities and desired outcome. For example, a provider's desired outcome can be -

  1. A good final note that is not bloated with unwanted information so that you don't have to sift through paragraphs of text to find the real assessment and details of an exam including abnormals.
  2. How to chart during the encounter in front of the patient and what will it do to the patient perception?
  3. What does it take to 'finish' the encounter after the visit? Can you finish portions of the encounter afterwards and if so, what are the exact steps involved?

A front desk person's desired outcomes can be -

  1. How quickly can you check-in a patient.
  2. How to handle interruptions; someone calls for an appointment when you are talking to a patient that just walked in for an appointment?
  3. How to handle co-pays, as well as past payments due from a patient that just walked in?

A back office or billing person's desired outcomes can be -

  1. What are the actual steps for working an aging report?
  2. How to address claim rejections?
  3. How to create claims and reconcile with provider's notes and superbill?

Don't just ask 'can you do this', ask 'How' and 'Show Me'.

Again, before you are able to ask the appropriate questions, you should do your home work. Step back and look at your day to day tasks and try to write them down along with your desired outcome.

This will help you find a system that you will want to live with for a long time.