3 Reasons your EHR Budget Overrun
Transitioning to EHR is a long but important process. In time, utilization of an EHR system will save money for the medical practice. However, the process of implementing an EHR system will cost money and it is important to have a realistic budget established for this transition. Some of the common causes for an EHR budget overrunning are detailed below so you can avoid making these errors.
1) Poor Planning
Remember the old adage if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Well, this saying can be perfectly applied to the implementation of an EHR. Poor planning will be the main reason for overrunning your budget. In planning, it is essential to consider everything your practice will need. EHR implementation planning must include meeting with all departments and all user types to ensure all needs are met. In addition, your plan must include costs for new equipment, training time, clinic space, and reductions to clinical productivity during training and implementation. Planning must take into consideration, the cost and time for transitioning from old paper files into the new electronic system. By creating a strategic EHR transitioning plan, you can better prepare your EHR budget for the financial obligations needed.
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2) Unforeseen “Extras”
It is important to acknowledge that no single EHR system is going to have everything that your medical practice wants, but there should be many viable options to cover most of your needs. Knowing this, it is important to choose a system that covers as many of your practice needs as possible. Many EHR systems have a basic “package” and then options to add-on extra features and services. If you assume that your EHR system will also provide resources for patient education handouts, and then realize later that the patient education resources are “extra,” you will be frustrated to know that it will cost more for that feature. Make sure that you ask a lot of questions during your selection period to determine whether the potentialEHR system matches your requirements. Ask each vendor what extra services or features are offered in addition to the basic system.
3) Quick Fix Solutions
Do not think that you can choose an appropriate EHR system in a matter of a couple of days. If you know that your clinic needs to transition to electronic reporting, do not seek out a quick fix. Typically, quick fix solutions will cause more frustration and time commitment from the clinical staff because they will not meet the needs of the practice. Instead of increasing productivity, a poorly selected EHR system will have poor user buy-in and will result in resistant staff. The outcome? You will have to purchase a new system and have wasted a lot of time and money. See the first point: planning is essential.
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