EHR Software – Ready, Fire, Aim or Due Diligence?

So you have heard about EHRs and the incentives in the HITECH Act.  Maybe you are being bombarded with unsolicited calls or emails offering an EHR system for your practice – maybe an open source EMR or even a system for free!  Maybe some self-styled EHR Consultants are badgering you about meeting the meaningful use criteria with your current system.

Well, the horror stories are starting to pile up, like the physician who signed a contract for an EHR system without getting a firm price.  Or even worse, the physician who implemented an EHR system, and has not been able to bill Medicare for over six weeks due to some system glitch that the office cannot figure out.

These stories will continue as physicians and even medical groups use the “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach.  Its certainly quicker to use this method, and heaven knows “Due Diligence” is not very sexy.  In the long run though, there is just no substitute for a disciplined approach to making what for most physicians will be the single most important investment the practice will make – selecting and implementing an EHR system.

Due diligence covers a lot of ground, things like:

  • Needs Assessment and Using the Results
  • Critical Criteria to Use in Selecting an EHR Vendor
  • How to get a useful Vendor Demonstration
  • Return on Investment Analysis
  • EHR Meaningul Use Criteria support

to name just a few.  So before you agree to a vendor demonstration, or start looking at contract terms, decide if you want to go down as a “Ready, Fire, Aim” selector, or if you want to take it a little slower and make a great decision.

To learn more about a due diligence approach, sign up for a free EHR systems reference guide from The Fox Group.   This complete 26 page booklet is a logical and sequential description of the process: The Art and Science of Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing an Electronic Health Records System.


When you need proven expertise and performance

Jim Hook, MPH

Mr. James D. Hook has over 30 years of healthcare executive management and consulting experience in medical groups, hospitals, IPA’s, MSO’s, and other healthcare organizations.

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2 thoughts on “EHR Software – Ready, Fire, Aim or Due Diligence?

  1. You are correct. Selecting the right EMR software is incredibly important. Too bad there are 300+ EMR vendors out there. It’s a pretty daunting task for a doctor who really doesn’t care.

  2. Thanks for the comment John. Even when you narrow down the EHR Vendors to those CCHIT certified in the past two years, its still a daunting list.
    PS, I enjoy your blogs on EMRandHIPAA.com