Did you know that there are over 400 EHR products and systems? Many clinics and physicians are surprised to find out there are that many. What’s even more surprising is that many of these EHR products were started or developed by physicians, simply because they were frustrated with the products currently available in the market.
With all these choices, it’s easy for physicians, clinics and hospitals to make the wrong decision during the selection process.
Here are 3 common mistakes you need to be wary of, or avoid entirely, when you’re deciding on an EHR system.
1. Low Installations
We all know that companies have to start somewhere. There always has to be someone who makes the first sale, and does a first installation. However, that person doesn’t have to be you.
Be wary of vendors who have a small installation base with their EHR system. It could be that they’re primarily a PMS vendor, and they’ve “added on” EHR to appeal to a wider market or increase their revenue base. It could be that the vendor has created a new EHR system, and they’re trying to market it to clinics, hoping to get it off the ground.
Whatever the reason, be wary of vendors who don’t have a lot of experience installing EHR. If you do decide to go with a vendor without a lot of experience, make sure your contract protects you in the long run, should the system fail or not work out for your needs.
2. Developing a New System
If your clinic has gone through the mill looking for a good EHR system, and you still can’t find anything, you might be tempted to partner with a vendor or software developer to create a customized system. Again, this is why there are now over 400 EHR products, and growing.
However, developing a customized EHR system will likely eat up an enormous amount of time and resources. And, at the end, you might not end up with a product you can sell to other clinics to recoup your costs.
3. Customizing for Your Clinic’s Specialty
Many EHR systems are functional for most primary care clinics. However, perhaps they haven’t yet been implemented into a specialty clinic like yours.
When this happens, your practice might be expected, or contractually-bound, to provide clinical content that addresses the specialty area. The vendor will use the information to customize your system, as well as increasing their marketability to other specialty clinics like yours.
You might also be bound to support the testing of the clinical content you provide. Even more, your clinic might be expected to support the marketing of the new system to other specialty clinics. Your clinic would likely be compensated based on sales, of course, but your clinic’s name will be used in conjunction with the system.
Customization is often necessary for specialized clinics, but it can be fraught with complications. Make sure, before you agree to enhance any content on an EHR system, that the results will be worth your time and investment.