It’s time to take the leap into the digital age. Normally I talk about how to accomplish that in your marketing efforts, but today let’s talk about EHRs. Changing over to the world of EHR is going to be a part of your future, and in 2015 you will begin being penalized financially for dragging your feet. It is time to stop toting around paper charts, hand scribbling on paper super bills, and writing barely legible (you know they are) prescriptions.
Here are some of the most common EHR excuses I hear from clients and my solutions:
- 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. The solutions on the market actually will save you money. You can eliminate much of your in-house IT expenses, and almost completely eliminate your in-house billing staff.
- 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.
- 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.
- I don’t have time to research the products and find one that meets all of my needs. Get help. For example, we work with clients in all specialties and routinely evaluate systems for client specific wish-lists of features.
The easiest way to make sure that #1 to #4 are covered is to hire someone to help. It is not as expensive as you might think. Here are some aspects to consider when seeking an expert to help you:
- Look for an expert that offers a single point of contact. You and your team should meet with a single person, a single time; and you should give him/her your list of wants, needs, concerns, and special considerations (including budget and hardware). This is essential to prevent miscommunication and wasted time.
- Check to ensure that your expert will sort thru at least the top 50 EHR companies for your specialty. Your EHR expert should sort through the hundreds of EHRs and practice management solutions out there and determine a concise list (three to five) that serve your needs and specialty most appropriately. This systematic approach should include your expert taking care of all of the preliminary software demos and offering a comparison list for your review.
- Ensure the expert you choose is also comfortable in negotiating pricing, warranty, tech support, and arranging implementation. For example, this week utilizing an expert meant my client avoided paying a $2,000 per provider implementation fee.
The digital age is upon us. What are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on the incentives that are left. Don’t let your reimbursements be penalized.