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Three Reasons Why Doctors are Replacing and Upgrading their EHR Systems

 

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Someone once said if the future is tomorrow, why do we have to adapt to it today? That’s a question many doctors are asking themselves when it comes to reforms in the healthcare sector. The government is on a tear to bring the medical industry into the 21st century - and the fallout has been significant.

Many doctors, especially those running small practices and unable to keep up with the changes, are opting to operate on a cash-only basis to avoid these complications. For those audacious enough to take on the government requirements there’s a lot to swallow. Case in point: EHR software.

Back when software entrepreneurs first started building and selling practice management software, it was the Wild West. There were limited regulations in place and the government wasn’t paying that much attention. Now doctors have to replace or upgrade their software systems as the government tightens its control on the use of electronic systems to automate and streamline medical care.

To give you a better perspective, here are three primary reasons why doctors are replacing or upgrading their EHR systems.

Government Regulations

This is obviously the biggest driver. As the government introduces and emphasizes programs such as Meaningful Use, there is no way doctors can continue using outdated or poorly optimized EHR software if they hope to meet the measures laid out in these programs. In addition, the government is moving to more tightly integrate the entire medical care value chain through technology so that practices will have to have fully integrated systems to be able to comply with government requirements.

More Complex Medical Landscape

With the medical landscape increasingly becoming more complex, it’s becoming more difficult for doctors to manage everything without administrative software. In the same way technology came to help doctors diagnose and treat illnesses more effectively and efficiently, it is now becoming apparent that there is no escaping the future of the business of medicine, which is a technological one. Doctors who want to remain competitive and increase their efficiency are embracing more sophisticated and better equipped software systems.

Competition

As the number of doctors increases and the use of social media by patients continues to increase, the ability for doctors to differentiate themselves in a leveled playing field will only get harder. To regain that edge, doctors must increase their social media footprint and make their practice more interactive for patients. This has become apparent as the government pushes Meaningful Use, compelling doctors to reduce the gap between doctors and patients through technology. Doctors who fall behind in this may be leapfrogged by those who chose advanced health IT systems that differentiate them in the eyes of their patients.

The need to upgrade or replace dated EHR systems is a pressing issue. If doctors are to bring their practices into the 21st century, they need to embrace the latest healthcare technology.

 

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