EMR Selection

May 1, 2007

I work for a billing company and am trying to select an EMR for one of my physician clients. The practice is surgical. Any assistance that you can give to aid the selection process will be appreciated.

Question: I work for a billing company and am trying to select an EMR for one of my physician clients. The practice is surgical. Any assistance that you can give to aid the selection process will be appreciated.

Answer: First, I suggest that you encourage the physicians and staff to take the lead on this project, leaving you to act as project manager. They are the ones who have to use the system.

The surgeons, especially, will immediately see if a product lacks the clinical aspects they need.

I recommend starting with products approved by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology. You can visit www.cchit.org for more information. Many are skeptical of the organization, but it does provide an approved starting point.

I’d also do a comprehensive review of the needs of the practice. Do you also need to upgrade the management system? Is the goal just to find charts? What other management problems are you hoping to solve with an EMR? How will you handle workflow in an electronic world versus a paper world?

Create a list of the functions you need before going shopping.

When you’ve narrowed your search down to two or three vendors, ask them to run through actual clinical examples from their practice. Call all of the vendor’s references and visit one of its customers. You need to visualize how it will work.

For more information, try searching www.PhysiciansPractice.com for EMR. Also, sign up for our free audioconference series on EMRs. You can find the sign up on the right side of our home page.