Creating an EHR Vendor Shortlist - 4 Research Sources
Once you have your practice requirements delineated and prioritized, you must research available vendors.
1) Gather Peer Opinions
One of the best ways gather options is by turning to your fellow professional colleagues. Your colleagues offer a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding systems they have worked with in the past. As a professional courtesy, they should happily share their experiences with you. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn, offer an easy way to connect with fellow colleagues. Try sending an email or starting a discussion board. In addition, look to your professional association for insight. As a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, you can connect with other physical therapists in various settings and with various experience levels. Reach out for advice and insight. Ask specific questions related to your prioritized list of documentation requirements. Speak with past employers and former colleagues that have moved on to other practices. Ask what they are using and determine their level of satisfaction. Do not automatically discount an EHR vendor from one bad review, but know that personal experience is usually very valuable.
2) Consider Insurance Company Opinions
Recommendations from colleagues are a great start, but it will be necessary to include more objective search strategies. Try reaching out to insurance companies that you work with regularly. Insurance representatives work with many different EHR systems and they may have insight as to what vendor they have the most success with. They will know what documentation system best meets the needs of their claims. You will want to choose a system that works easily with your payment source so that you are not delayed reimbursement.
3) Seek the Knowledge of Consulting Firms
You may also consider using a consulting business. There are companies that work exclusively to improve the efficiency and profitability of medical practices. These consultants are knowledgeable about many EHR systems, and may easily choose a system most well suited to your practice. However, know that many of these companies charge a very steep rate to execute the difficult task of choosing a proper EHR vendor. In addition, they may require an ongoing royalty payment for future revenue. Know these financial obligations up front before committing.
4) Perform Desktop Research
You will likely try performing an internet search for EHR. Be cautious here. Just because a vendor comes up first on a search engine, does not make it the best. It may just mean they have paid the most for search engine optimization. Instead, consider researching top EHR vendor survey results. Medscape, Black Book Market Research, and Medical Economics all have published survey results, ranking the top EHR vendors. Most of this information is accessible online at no cost. When reviewing a survey result, be sure that a survey was actually conducted. Some Top Ten lists are simply expensive advertisements.
Recommended Reading: EHR Vendor Guide - Your unbiased guide to EHR vendors
Organize your shortlist of vendors you are interested in further pursuing. Then you may access the EHR vendor’s website for more specific information. Look at the quality and ease of use of the vendor website. This will likely be a reflection of their EHR system.
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