Surprisingly large numbers of EHR replacements are being planned. This according a 2013 Black Book Rankings survey in which they entitled their press release on the subject, “Electronic Health Record sellers face make-or-break year of client ultimatums and revolts”. According to the survey a full 17% plan to do an EHR replacement within the next year. Also in the survey, 80% of users polled said that their EHR system doesn’t meet the needs of their practices: “dissatisfied EHR users reported problems interfacing with other software, overly complex connectivity and networking schemes, and concerns related to integration with mobile devices”. So what went wrong?
EHR Replacement Does Require Due-Diligence
Trying to find a new EHR vendor? Stop! Remember the many EHR selection and implementation guides offered by many institutions, including The Fox Group. Are you looking for an EHR replacement for the right reason? Is it not a common sense activity to do an EHR replacement feasibility analysis first? Considering a new EHR vendor, a different EHR system, is it not – again – one of the most far reaching and profound decisions affecting your clinic or practice operation? Many EHR systems are underutilized, poorly understood, and providers jump to conclusions about EHR replacement just as unprepared as they were in selecting the system in the first place.
EHR Replacement, Some Critical To-Do’s
First, be absolutely sure that your current EHR system actually needs to be replaced. Contact your vendor and be sure it’s not a training issue or something else that can be corrected. However, if it’s determined that change is necessary, be sure to include the following steps in process …
- Decide which systems to consider in the first place, based on the needs of the practice.
- Generate a list of requirements in an RFP, including an assessment of the vendor past performance and stability.
- Evaluate the responses to an RFP, and compiling a long-term cost comparison.
- Evaluate the operational impact for your specific clinic or medical practice operation.
- Conduct a return-on-investment analysis and evaluating financing options.
- Make a final selection and developing a realistic implementation plan.
- Schedule plenty of training time, assuring contractual update commitments, knowing what modules to add . . . all critical items to be determined early in this process.
We published a series of blogs addressing Due Diligence in EHR Selection . . . still true for selecting a new vendor for EHR replacement. Take a read. Do go through the due diligence process. Fixing or replacing your current EHR needs to be decided carefully and in context of a full review of the financial and operational consequences.