3 EHR selection mistakes new practices make - and how to avoid them

Selecting an EHR vendor is a huge venture for any practice, but especially a new practice. A new practice has many important decisions to make, from hiring clinical and office staff, to determining location, setting up the office space and securing insurance contracts. *Selecting the proper EHR system is vital to the successful operations, legal documentation and proper billing of services. Common mistakes can be avoided with thorough communication and considered decisions.

3 common EHR selection mistakes made by new practices include:

EHR selection mistake 1: Poor inventory of own clinical needs

Many new practices do not have a clear and defined sense of exactly *what their practice needs. If you do not achieve clarity, you will have a hard time finding the best fit EHR system. Your selection team should identify clear and specific needs of the practice and use that to seek out the best fit system.

EHR selection mistake 2: Cost driven choices

Too many practices solely focus on the bottom line and forget the true investment an EHR system will bring to your practice. You should view the EHR system as an investment into your practice, and not see it as a cost. This way, you will value the system and more readily justify the cost of a high quality vendor.

EHR selection mistake 3: Relying on demonstrations and not thoroughly testing the EHR system

It is important to test potential EHR systems with hands-on use. You should have office staff, billing staff and clinical staff try to navigate the system and try to input fake data to get a better understanding of how user friendly the system is. A demonstration from the vendor will not provide an accurate assessment of how the system works and functions for your practice.

Recommended Reading: EHR Selection Survival Guide - Reduce your chances of making EHR selection mistakes with this guide

These mistakes are made because new practices have an overwhelming amount of decisions to make. In addition, they are made because stakeholders have very different ideas of what is important and what can be compromised. Usually the need for speed, efficiency and the need to just make a decision get in the way of a complete and thorough analysis of the practice needs.

Avoiding EHR selection mistakes

In order to avoid these mistakes, all *stakeholders should provide input into the needs of the new practice. Creating an EHR selection committee from clinicians experienced in EHR is a great way to make sure that everyone has a voice in the decision. The selection committee should conduct a thorough clinical analysis with input from various aspects of the practice (office staff to clinical staff to billing departments).

The new practice can rectify mistakes by addressing issues promptly. Avoid ignoring problems in hopes that they will go away. It is best to address any issues right away, either with further training or utilization of the EHR member support team. This way, you will be more likely to find solutions before growing user discontent sets in.

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Amy Vant

About the author…

Amy Vant is a doctor of physical therapy and clinical director for an outpatient physical therapy clinic in the United States. She has experience utilizing and implementing many forms of medical documentation through various healthcare practice venues. Amy enjoys writing about healthcare administration strategies, including electronic health record systems.

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Amy Vant

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