Replacing EMRs

EMR Replacement

How to Replace an Electronic Health Record System

The goverment incentives for EHR software adapation and meaningful use inspired a gold rush in the industry. Over 500 systems now exist in the marketplace. Unfortunately, many of these vendors’ solutions have proven to be disappointments to their client bases. Some were built on old technology, incapable of meeting today’s data sharing requirements to play well with others. Other software solutions were multiple purchased technologies cobbled together into a single system that can’t even play well with itself.

Providers have seen productivity drop instead of realizing the ROI promised by ambitious sales people. Getting data out to participate in HIEs or to meeting the government’s growing demand for data, can be a major chore in poorly designed EHRs.

These challenges have resulted in a thriving second market for leading replacement EHR vendors. In the ambulatory world, systems like Meditech’s LSS and McKesson’s Practice Partner are bleeding customers, while vendors such as Greenway, e-MDs, and others, are scooping up new business. It is extremely unfortunate that health care organizations are faced with another major investment. However, it is clear to the hospitals and clinics that the EMR system can have a major impact on productivity and the (re)investment is justified.

Top Considerations

When you begin to evaluate replacement options, you will want to build a internal committee – including at least one provider champion. The committee will be wise now to what they do not want, and likely to be gun-shy about the next investment. Begin with a list of lessons learned and agreed-upon requirements for the new system.

Data extraction is an important component of the transition that will require some focused attention. If overlooked, providers could assume they will get all their data from the old system into the new, but end up with only demographics. This can be a major obstacle to a smooth transition. The incoming vendor should be able to commit to at least demographics, problems, allergies, medications, labs, documents, and immunizations.

First Steps

The team at HealthRecord.US provides an easy EHR comparison tool, and it is free for health care organizations getting started in the evaluation process.

Complete the form to get pricing for leading, pre-screened systems that serve your area and specific needs.

Follow up with the vendors that most interest you to get more information. It would be good to inquire about their clients’ success with Meaningful Use, for example. Also, when narrowed down to the top 2-3 clients, you might consider attending a user conference to get the inside scoop form their current clients.