Treat Your Practice Like a Patient – Diagnose The Health of Your EMR & EHR Systems
Posted January 8, 2016
When a practice opens, there is a mandatory checklist of items and products that need to be purchased. The best intention of every doctor is to take care of their patients, and most of their available resources are moved, sorted and aligned to address this priority. One critical item that is often missed (or avoided) is the practice’s electronic medical record (EMR) and electronic health records (EHR) software. (Pat yourself on the back if you have addressed this issue effectively!) Many practices simply fail to diagnose their own needs when trying to identify and select the right systems.
As a practice management software provider, we work with hundreds of doctors and medical professionals to help determine the best solution for their business. Practices struggle with choosing software, often because of inexperience or poor experience with a current/previous solution. We’ve found that one of the greatest contributing factors in misdiagnosing EMR/EHR is the personality of the decision maker.
Check Your Personality At the Door
There are a multitude of factors to consider when selecting EMR/EHR software. Don’t let these personality types get in the way:
The Procrastinator: Most procrastinators know who they are, but their reasons are often varied. Some doctors don't want to deal with the basics of office management, while others just want a cheap solution for a process they feel should be routine. In either case, the Procrastinator typically waits until the last minute and attempts to fill a gap with an inferior product. "Just give me what works at the best price" is all too often the rallying cry of an office that will -- in the span of one year -- regret their decision and go shopping for a solution that actually works.
The Gadget Guru: It's easy to fall prey to the lures of technology in this age of smart phones and virtual reality. The Gadget Guru goes way beyond that, and is often looking at the system that has the most bells and whistles, regardless of price. In the daily routine of caring for patients, most of those bells and whistles go unused. It's a process wherein the doctor ends up caring more for his systems than he does for his patients, often wondering where all the profit went at the end of the year.
The Stylist: Some personalities prefer form over function, even when the function does not suit their needs. Billing and receiving are certainly not as glamorous as caring for patients, but in the end it's an essential function of every practice. If your system can't handle basic tasks without your staff becoming frsutrated, then it's not working for you.
An EMR/EHR Solution that Brings Harmony
A medical practice -- any medical practice -- is a living, breathing organism. Every doctor is different and every staff member moves and thinks at a different pace. This makes the variables for choosing the right EMR/EHR system something akin to a diagnosis. Out of the box solutions for healthcare only treat the common symptoms needed to run your internal systems. If a doctor only had A FEW prescription choices to treat every malady, he would be a poor doctor indeed.
It's time we treated our practices like we treat our patients, and move to solutions that are customized to fit the needs of individuals. This is not a process that is installed and works overnight. It takes time and it takes care. The proper functioning of your basic check in, billing and processing software is utterly essential to success. If your EMR/EHR provider is not there to back you up with elite customer service, then you have not treated your most loyal patient -- your practice -- to the care it deserves.