Considerations for a New EMR

Dec 11, 2023 at 09:30 am by steve


By Bailey Rousse and Georgina Perry

 

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and other healthcare technology has been a constant over the last decade, and we rely heavily on these technologies every day. While it may be daunting to consider changing something that is such a big part of your practice, sometimes it is necessary to switch to another EMR software program.

In order to consider whether or not to make a change, you should start by assessing the problems you are currently having within your practice and consider whether they are EMR-related or a result of something else. Would a new EMR really fix those problems? Or would it be best to simply purchase a software upgrade or implement a peripheral software alongside your existing EMR. If it turns out that your system is outdated and doesn’t have the capabilities needed to solve your problems, then it may be time to make a transition. Once you have determined a new EMR is in your future, you should begin to build a relationship with the vendor rep and training team. It is vital that they provide you with an implementation timeline and training schedule. Be sure to ask questions about down-time, duration of training and onsite support available when you go live.

As an existing EMR user, you will have to consider the data in your current system and what you will do with it when you move to a new system. Part of this transition process may include the data migration of your old system into your new system. When communicating with your EMR representative about the data migration be certain that you are aware of what is happening and when. Will the migration interrupt daily services? How long will you have to work in two systems? Make sure that you have access to medical records and billing information in a back-up, and any remaining balances have been transitioned to the new system once the old EMR contract has expired.

When considering switching EMR systems, it is important to ensure that you have the resources to do so. Resources can be financial as a new EMR is not cheap and requires new investments. Consider the training resources as well. An EMR system providing proper training and support during the transition period is a necessity to ensure that everyone learns the new software properly, and that support is available as problems arise. For any online training that must be completed, training videos and modules need to be available before implementation and after for continuous training as needed. Ask your EMR representative what the onsite training looks like. Will they have staff there for the go live date? Also, find out what support is provided after implementation is completed. Ensure they are readily available when you encounter problems later on. Resources also include having dedicated staff and blocks of time to learn the new software and understand what it has to offer.

Change is inevitable in the healthcare world and implementing a new system can be overwhelming. Preparing for the change can help to prevent future problems and inefficiencies, and improve the health of your practice.

Georgina Perry, CPA, CMPE serves as the Director of Physician Services at Carr, Riggs & Ingram.

Bailey Rousse, MHCA is a healthcare advisor with Carr, Riggs & Ingram.

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