Changing over to the world of EHRs is going to be a part of your future, and in 2015 you will begin being penalized financially for dragging your feet. I cringe every time I visit a client's office that is still relying on patient charts, hand scribbling on paper super bills, and writing barely legible (you know they are) prescriptions.
Some of the most common excuses I hear from clients and my solutions:
1. It costs too much. You can’t afford not to comply. If you are this late to the game, you are already missing out on Medicare and Medicaid incentives, these incentives decrease each year you wait. If you wait too long, your reimbursements will be penalized in increasing increments. It is fiscally irresponsible to wait. I have personally seen offices set up and compliant with the investment of a handheld tablet and a $200 per month subscription.
2. I am not tech savvy. There are systems available for all levels of users, some as simple to use as the remote control to your television. Even if you consider yourself among the technologically illiterate, there is a system out there that is right for you.
3. Implementation will be a nightmare. Depending on the EHR system you select, there can be varying degrees of nightmarish implementations. I have found that the key for my clients is ultra-organized and systematic training, including real patient interaction training and gradually increased workload. If there isn’t someone on your staff that has a gift for this sort of thing. It is best to seek help in that area and avoid headaches down the road.
4. I don’t have time to research the products and find one that meets all of my needs. Get help.
The easiest way to make sure that excuses one to four are covered is to hire someone to help. Here are some ways that an outside expert can help you:
1. You and your office can meet with or do a teleconference with a single person, a single time, and give them your list of wants, needs, concerns, and special considerations.
2. Your consultant can contact and sort through the hundreds of EHR companies out there and create a concise list that serves your needs and specialty most appropriately. Your consultant can even handle all of the necessary preliminary software demos and meetings.
3. Consultants will arrange for you to view and choose from a minimal list of companies/systems based on your specific needs and requests.
4. A consultant will stay by your side and help to negotiate pricing, warranty, tech support, and arrange implementation and assist you and your staff in getting everything started and converted.
5. Have I mentioned the benefit of having one point of contact instead of two to three per company you would speak to (for each EHR you look at)?
What are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on the incentives that are left. Don’t let your reimbursements be penalized. You have options; you can sort thru the companies and choose one yourself or select someone from your staff to handle those duties for you.
If you are willing to ask for some assistance from a consultant, you can be sure he or she will act as the liaison between you and adamant sales representatives, and take almost all of the burden off you and your busy staff. You know this is the responsible time to act (before you have your reimbursements penalized). Jump in with both feet, and implement an EHR. You will save countless hours, dollars, and be on the road to compliance.