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10 Point Checklist When Buying Electronic Healthcare Record

Date Added: May 13, 2012 03:29:30 PM
Author: Jeremy Cruz
Category: Business & Economy

1. Influencing the Influencers Before undertaking an EHR/EMR project, the key decision makers must be on board and fully supportive of the project. The resources, time and overall impact on the practice will be dramatic and long-lasting. As a result, there must be buy-in at the top levels of the practice for team-wide compliance. 2. Implementing the Project A successful launch requires an implementation team that can make decisions as well as delegate action items. This cross-disciplinary team (including physicians) must establish clear deadlines, practice expectations, and a clear understanding of the vendor/client responsibilities. 3 Examining the Practice Take a comprehensive look at all levels of your facility. List your needs and expectations for an EMR system. At the same time, you need a clear picture of how transitioning to an EMR system will impact your processes, people and patients. 4. Facing the Challenges Throughout the process you should keep a running list of challenges that the practice will face as a result of this transition. You’ll face financial challenges, staff challenges, legal challenges, technology challenges, and overall practice challenges. Other practices have faced similar challenges and may be able to offer practical tips. 5. Finding a Vendor Ask the vendors questions. How long have they been providing EMR solutions? Can you speak to their clients to hear first-hand accounts of working with the vendor? Is the vendor involved in any litigation with customers? What is the vendor’s track record in system rollouts and responding to service issues? 6. Testing Software Find out how potential software will integrate with your current technologies and what specific infrastructure upgrades will be required. Will your practice have opportunities to test the software before purchasing? Does the purchasing agreement include software updates? Are all the costs documented? How is the software licensed? What are the contingency plans for system fail? What is the warranty? 7. Preparing the Infrastructure Based on the software system requirements, begin developing a clear plan and cost provision for infrastructure upgrades. Also, who will service and maintain your technologies, making sure the system works and is secure? 8. Tracking the Data The heart of your EMR system is data. How will your existing data be converted into the new system? Where will the data reside whether in the practice, in a secured data center, or an ASP/SaaS model)? You must also make sure you retain legal ownership of data and have an agreement listing all people who have access to data. 9. Training the Staff You need a clear plan for training. How much training is the vendor prepared to offer and how often? What types of training do you need (from software to new processes and workflows)? How often will staff receive training refreshers to help minimize mistakes? You must develop and maintain a clear line of communication throughout process. 10. Verifying the System Testing, retesting and testing yet again is an essential part of secure implementations. So you need a plan for verifying quality, accuracy and performance on a consistent basis. For more info visit