Electronic health record is the 1st step towards a paperless record. Everything under your health systems are automatically streamlined into a single database. EHR is the next-generation electronic record that allows the same record to be applied across all care delivery settings in the region. EHR has improved a lot of lives and there are evidences where this record has made a huge difference for patients. But before you dig into it, its imperative to seek guidance from your physician. Here are some important questions to ask your prospective Electronic Health Record (EHR) Vendor.
Interoperability and Certification
The Certification Commission for Health-care Information Technology (CCHIT), is a public-private partnership that was developed for EHR certification. The main objective of this Commission is to certify electronic records systems for a certain level of interoperability. It’s a way of future proving that what you’re buying is going to not only inter-operate with other systems, but should be good to go for many years to come. There is a long list of vendors now that are CCHIT certified, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they offer good products. You have to choose a vendor who has a proven track record, and who’s qualified enough. That can be hard to define since a lot of these companies are new to the industry and they don’t have that long track record. This is why you need to ask your vendor if he/she is fully certified.
Are They Trustworthy?
Some vendors tend to promise you anything in order to get your money. Others will even go to an extend of showing you how their systems work just to draw attention, but later you come to realise that those conversations were just false promises. Make sure that you take what your vendors say/promise to a practice and see if it really works as they had promised. You have to make sure that what they tell you works when put into practice. Ensure that their system fits your practice. There are some specialty specific EHRs that may work differently depending on the needs of practice. You need to ask you vendors if they have any proven track record and all the necessary infrastructure to handle any problem that might come-up.
How Well is Their User Interface and Data Input?
Its important to review your vendor’s User interface design and how intuitive is it. Go for applications that are very web like since you want an electronic record system that works. One of the barriers to clinical adoption of IT, is data input. We know that computers and software are great for helping us access and search through volumes of patient data, but at the end of the day, you have to document, and update it into that computer. This is why it is important to know what type of software your vendor is using and if it can handle the different types of data input.
I hope that’s helpful in getting you to start thinking about a solution for your practice. If you haven’t gone digital, time is running out as you’ll need to go digital in the next
couple of years. Keep these tips in line and if you have any further questions, kindly visit your physician for further clarification and guidance.