2013 and 2014 were known as switching-to-EHR years in all quarters of the medical industry. Those who did not make a move toward embracing EHR were not so willing for many reasons. Of them, the need for dealing with the demand of CMS Programs Compliance, preparing for ICD-10 (which delayed for one more year and is all set to implement on October 1, 2015; however, there are still many practices coping to achieve compliance), training the staff, lack of approval from decision makers, and budgeting are a few to name. Many who did adopt the new EHR software are still not completely convinced of their decision. CMS Incentive Programs caused the creation of an artificial market for lots of fully matured EHR products. Many EHR systems were certified for Stage 1 but could not achieve or were not able to complete Stage 2 on time for their clients.
As of today, a high number of medical practices are still looking to reinvest in their existing EHR systems.
The following are some of the questions to consider asking when choosing your next EHR vendor:
How long has it been for you into the business of providing EHR system and services to physician practices?
Is it a cloud-based solution or client server application? How much will it require me spending?
Does your system provide an anytime–anywhere access?
Does an authorized certification body endorse your EHR product?
Are you committed to updating your system in order to achieve new, meaningful-use requirements?
Is your system set for ICD-10? How will you provide support for the transition to ICD-10?
Is your software approved for prescribing controlled drugs electronically?
Will you assist us in customizing the workflow based on every practice’s need?
Is your system open and capable of secured bi-directional HIE Interoperability?
Is the software an integrated solution, one like EHR with PMS or simply EHR?
If it is an integrated software (EHR with PMS), does it go with making bilateral transactions with major clearinghouses?
Do you provide billing, consultation, and other such services based on modern needs of practice or when they may arise in future?
Will you be able to guide us in migrating data from our existing EHR? Is it liable to be charged?
What is your implementation process? Will you be working with us closely to understand our setup and workflow system?
How will you go about training our practice users on the system? Will you provide comprehensive training to identified super user(s)?
How often do you release software updates? How will you inform us about the new updates? Will those updates be free for clients or is there any extra cost involved?
How do you go about offering technical support? Do you charge any fee for technical support?
What are the different pricing models you offer for the system and other related services? Is it clear enough to understand and make a decision?
Who will own the data stored within the system? Practice? Patients? You?
Can we expect the safety of our patient’s records?
Where do you aim to see your organization in the next three to five years from now?
In today’s stuffed market of EHR vendors; where everyone claims to be the best, it becomes a tiresome process for you to boil down the options and choose a right system for your practice. If you are clearly able to define your specific functionalities and features which are critical to your practice, then it will help you make a correct decision. Keep communication channel as transparent as possible with your EHR vendor to get all answers for your questions.
Be a stakeholder with your EHR vendor, not another just client. Because having that relationship is as important as the system you choose for your practice.
By: Divan Dave and Daxesh Jani
Divan Dave – CEO of OmniMD
Divan Dave is the CEO of OmniMD. OmniMD is the best-in-market provider of brilliant Cloud EHR, Practice Management, and Medical Billing solutions and services that help in transforming both the operational and clinical workflows of healthcare practices of any size. The company is listed among the top fastest growing INC. 500:5000 private companies for two years successively. Today more than 12,000 health care providers have enhanced their clinical operations, patient care and collections in association with OmniMD leveraging OmniMD solutions. OmniMD is a subsidiary of Integrated Systems Management Inc. (ISM), also established by Dave in 1989. Both are the global companies with clients situated in the United States, India, and the Middle East, expecting rapid expansion.
Dave’s single-minded approach to excellence is mirrored to his education. He relocated to the United States, from India, with two Master’s Degrees (one in Organic Chemistry and other in Computer Science) and earned yet another Master’s in Computer Science from the City University of New York in 1986. Dave spent a few initial years post education with Thomson Financial Group where he managed an executive leadership role in a mission-critical application, previous to launching ISM.
Dave’s belief in the 360-degree career, spiritual, financial, and physical growth of his staff– is born his personal devotion to always feeling satisfied in every phase of life. Being an enthusiastic Yogi, he offers free Yoga classes to his entire staff as a part of an OmniMD’s enrichment program which also provides language teaching, career development seminars, art and music classes, among others.