Five Signs It’s Time You Upgraded or Replaced Your EHR System
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Healthcare reforms in the US are moving at an accelerated pace. All these changes must be absorbed by healthcare providers, particularly as the government is moving solidly in the direction of pay-for-performance and away from pay-for-service. In addition, medical practice management as a whole is becoming more technologically complex.
Doctors now have to embrace technology to plug the gap between where they are and where there practice might be going. Health IT systems such as EHR platforms are at the forefront of this technological renaissance. But many platforms are being left behind all the same. In this post we’ll outline five signs that it’s time you upgraded or replaced your EHR system.
Does Not Meet Certification Requirements
With programs such as Meaningful Use and ICD-10 in play you cannot afford to have an EHR system that keeps you from meeting these reporting requirements. This is often the case when the system has legacy features that were built to support previous standards. In such an event, the platform can act as a huge hindrance when you attempt to qualify for these programs and meet the deadlines.
Insufficient Training Materials
A great EHR system also comes with a wealth of easily accessible training resources available to you free of charge. With the complexities coming into healthcare and thus into health practice management platforms you really don’t want to be facing a formidable challenge in the form of understanding a practice management system without the training resources to get you there. If your EHR and practice management vendor does not offer such training materials, it’s time you started shopping around for a replacement.
Complex User Interface
This is a big one. If you spend a lot of your time navigating from one area of the EHR system to another and half of the time find that you are searching for certain buttons or features you regularly use, then that’s an unfriendly user interface you are dealing with. A user-friendly interface is intuitive and has all the features you use regularly always within easy reach. It also evolves with your usage, allowing you to customize it to your exact needs over time.
Isn’t Specialty Specific
Gone are the days when EHR systems were generic and you needed to customize everything to suite your practice. In today’s healthcare landscape, you cannot afford to be using a generic EHR for your specialty practice. If you do you may miss out on important changes and advances in your specialty that a specialty-EHR vendor would otherwise pass on to you. So if you are using a generic EHR system, you may need to consider upgrading or replacing your system altogether with one that is built for your practice.
Fifteen to twenty years ago, there was nothing like cloud-based EHR systems. That meant most doctors automated their practices using local server-based solutions that were expensive, cumbersome and challenging to use and maintain. If this is still you, then you need to step into the 21st century. Today, doctors all over the country are throwing out their servers and ditching expensive maintenance contracts for simplified cloud solutions that attract only a nominal monthly or annual fee.
Remember that technology is an enabler and if what you have isn’t enabling you to keep up with the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, then it’s time you considered replacing your technology.