There are hundreds of EHR systems in the market today. Many of these have been around for about 10 years or more. Thousands of medical offices search online for systems.
This search may be initiated either because they are starting a new practice and need a system in place, or they are not happy with their current vendor and system. Although most providers don’t rely only on Internet search, meaning that they reach out to their network of other providers to ask them what they use and how happy they are. I’m sure in that process they get a variety of responses.
The most intriguing thing to me is that every product and vendor has their fans and detractors. I have seen providers switching from product A to product B and vice-versa.
Practice / Provider A —-> System A
Practice / Provider B —-> System B
Question: Which system is the best? A or B?
Answer: Both A and B / Neither A, Nor B
Do you see the dichotomy here?
I see providers making the wrong choice all the time. It is not necessarily their fault. Vendors of EHR systems must take it upon themselves to do a thorough analysis of the providers practice and business processes. This would help them determine if there product is a good fit for their needs or not. Even if they desire to do this analysis, most providers have come to the wrong conclusion that EHR systems are a commodity and they’re all the same.
Many providers start a conversation with the vendor by asking how much does it cost? Whenever the first question is about pricing, the perception in our minds is that I’m buying a commodity. Nothing can be further from the truth.
EHR systems are not just medical documentation tools but business systems that help run the entire business of a medical practice efficiently.
What is the solution?
First, vendors must insist on an analysis before a demonstration to determine if there product is a good fit for the practice and the providers expectations.
Second, providers must insist on cooperating with the vendor and providing as much information about their practice workflow as possible up front before seeing the demonstration.
Finally, depending on the size of the practice, practices and vendors must meet virtually or in person at least 3 times before a decision is made. This will increase the likelihood of a successful EHR implementation.
A system that matches the needs of your practice, and workflow, is the best for your practice.