Upgrading Your EHR? Here are Five Important Things to Consider

dr_EHR / February 4, 2016

No matter how comprehensive and feature-rich a medical practice’s EHR may be, there will come a point in which the system will have to be upgraded or replaced. According to industry experts, a substantial number of medical practices are currently operating with EHR systems that are outdated and functioning at an unsatisfactory level, and a recent survey conducted by Software Advice confirms this assertion. These practices are currently looking for EHR solutions that are capable of facilitating the growing need for accurate and efficient management of their patient’s records.

The vast majority of healthcare organizations that are in the market for EHR solutions are looking to improve on a current system that they have in place, whether this means upgrading the current system or completely replacing it, will depend on the system that is in place and the specific needs of the practice.

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When it is time to upgrade an EHR system, there are certain things that should be considered in order to ensure that the end result will be a more efficient record management system. The following are five things that every ENT practice should consider when preparing to upgrade their EHR.

Give Attention to Key Features

According to the survey conducted by Software Advice, the number one reason that health care organizations and medical practices are not satisfied with their current EHR is the fact that the systems are lacking in the area of functionality and features that are applicable to the specific practice.

The importance of functionality is why the majority of industry experts suggest that the first thing that medical practices should consider when upgrading their electronic health record system is to ensure that the software that is being considered possesses the necessary features to provide the functionality that is needed.

Place Substantial Emphasis on Ease of Use

When it comes to any type of software, one of the major complaints is that the system is too complicated to operate. Ease of use has become a focal point for software purchases over the last five years, and based on a recent report released by the American College of Physicians, ease of use is at the top of the list among complaints and concerns. Medical practices should ensure that the system has a clean, intuitive and easy to navigate user interface.

Test Hardware Compatibility

EHR systems can be highly complex, and when a practice is upgrading systems, they will need to consider their current hardware when choosing an updated system. Not all software will be compatible with the hardware that is in place, especially if the hardware that is in place has been in place for a while. There may be a need to update hardware in some cases.

Match EHR to the Practice

Due to the fact that the EHR market has grown substantially, there are more vendors offering more services on a number of different platforms. These services have the specificity to cater to different types of practices, so it will be imperative to choose a system that fits the practice.

Ensure that the Vender is a Match

It is also important to choose a vendor that is a good match for the practice. Because it is likely that the practice will be working with the vendor on an ongoing basis, it will be essential that the vendor is one that will be a good fit for a long-term relationship.

Although there are a number of other elements of EHR functionality that should be considered, these are the key issues that should have the most impact on choosing the right EHR.

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