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EHR Selection Services

Posted on June 12, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Those of you who’ve read my Free e-Book on EMR selection know that one of the things I suggest you do is to narrow down your list of EHR vendors to a small group of ~5 EHR vendors to start your EHR selection process. The book has the full rationale, but the challenge is that with 600 EHR companies out there you can’t review them all.

Of course the next question I’m asked is how you narrow down the companies to start your EHR selection review process. One thing that’s really developed over the 6 years I’ve been blogging is the EHR selection services. They’re still all far from perfect, but I suggest you take a look at a couple of them to start getting a list of EMR companies that you might want to consider. Then, take those lists and ask around to your colleagues. I call this approach triangulating the EHR data points to get you down to a smaller group of EHR companies.

One challenge is that there are a lot of EHR selection website out there. Here are just a few for you to consider. If you’re just looking for a really simple way to get access to price quotes and demos of EHR software, then go check out Software Advice or EHR Scope.

If you want a deeper, more custom EMR / EHR matching system then you’ll want to take a look at EMR Consultant, EHR Selector, and Hielix Apps. All 3 of these websites have made significant investments to try and help doctors match their needs with the EHR software.

I’ll admit that I’m probably a little bias towards EMR consultant since they’ve been around ever since I first started blogging about EMR. Plus, I love that it’s free. Although, a little birdie told me that EHR selector is considering a Free EHR selection option as well. There’s something I really love about the free EHR selection model. Basically, physicians that use it to help with their EHR selection have very little to lose.

Hielix on the other hand costs a few hundred dollars to use. They did send me a promo code for those that want $25 off their service. Just enter: “EMRANDEHR” Hielix is definitely taking a much more hands on approach to the EHR selection process so it makes some sense that they’d charge for the service. In one email exchange with them they talked about their CEO meeting with one of their customers to discuss their report. I’m sure many doctors will like this type of high touch service.

Always trying to get some good info for my readers, I got permission to publish a PDF file of a sample report that Hielix produces. I think the really good stuff in this report starts about page 7.

As I said previously, none of the EHR selection services are perfect. Although, I think using a couple of them isn’t a bad idea to start narrowing down the long list of EHR companies. I see it as an extra data point that can be used to narrow your list. Unfortunately, none of these services make it so you don’t have to do a thorough evaluation of multiple EHR vendor before you buy. I’d love it if someone figured out how to solve that problem. Until then, an EHR selection service isn’t a bad place to start.

EMR Consultant Selection Service and EHR TV

Posted on February 19, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I recently was interviewed by someone interested in helping doctors understand the various dynamics of EHR selection and in particular the impact of hugely discounted and Free EHR models on the selection process. The discussion reinforced a long held belief of mine that EHR Selection is the most important part of the EHR selection process. In fact, my final comments to her were that doctors need to take the time that’s necessary to filter through the 300+ EHR vendors out there.

A few years back I wrote an e-Book on EMR selection that I believe has provided some benefit to those selecting an EHR. In the book I suggest that you need to narrow down the number of EHR companies you’re going to look at since very very few doctors can look through all 300 EHR companies. One website I suggest in the book is EMR Consultant.

EMR Consultant is now an advertiser on this site, but I’ve been recommending the service they provide since long before they became an advertiser. It is an EMR Selection service built by a doctor for doctors. They’ve streamlined much of the process for those doctors who don’t want to go through a full analysis, but I suggest you don’t skimp on the EHR selection process. If you do the full process, EMR consultant matches against 100,000 parameters and looks over 600+ EMR listings (That’s a broad definition of EMR which is why I say about 300 full EMR).

One challenge doctors are facing today is that a whole bunch of less qualified EHR selection services have popped up and have been flooding the market. At the end of the day, that shouldn’t have that HUGE of an impact on the EHR market. Just because a selection service recommends a particular EHR doesn’t mean you have to go with that EHR. In fact, I suggest looking at about 5 EHR and if none of them fit, then look at 5 more.

The most important message is spend the time and effort necessary to select the right EHR. It will be worth the extra effort on the front end. If you’re going to rush any part of the process, don’t rush the selection.

Since I mentioned EMR Consultant, it’s worth also mentioning that one other part of the company behind EMR Consultant is a website called EHR TV. Eric, founder of EHR TV, has invested a lot of money and staff to create a really solid video product around EHR and Healthcare IT videos.

EHR TV will have a whole crew at HIMSS again this year as they’ve done the past couple years. They worked really hard to bring in some big name people they can interview on camera. I expect they’ll create some of the most interesting content for those not able to make it to HIMSS. My only complaint is that they don’t have a way I can embed some of their videos. Maybe one day they’ll open that up.

On a HIMSS note, I had my first HIMSS networking event last night and it was fantastic. This week is going to be busy but great.

EHR and Rural Healthcare Providers

Posted on July 12, 2011 I Written By

CEO of Laser Logics, Inc., serving healthcare entities in the areas of information technology, security, and authorized partner of CCHIT/ONC Certified EHR system SuiteMed IMS Electronic Health Records system. Focus on healthcare consulting nationally with focus on rural healthcare providers. EHR planning, custom return on investment calculator, project management, implementation, customization, workflow analysis, training, billing, and on-going support. Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration Bachelors Degree in Business Management Associates Degree in Paralegal Contact information: diane@laserlogics.com www.laserlogics.com www.suitemedsolutions.com

Guest Post: Diane Matthews, MHA, is a the CEO of Laser Logics and Suitemed Solutions.  Laser Logics focuses on providing comprehensive IT services to healthcare.  SuiteMed Solutions helps doctors looking for comprehensive EHR Solutions.

Rural healthcare providers seem to be facing more obsticles with the following issues regarding EHR: cost, functionality to cost, effective training, implementation, support, IT hardware backend.

Strengthening the rural areas with technology advances in healthcare increases positive healthcare outcomes and reduces associated costly risks attributable to chronic diseases. I have lived in rural farm country side nearly all my life and I see the struggles of these rural healthcare providers. But, I also see the impact of lack of healthcare to children and elderly persons who simply have no means to travel 90 miles round trip for a doctor’s appointment. This is a crisis!

If we do not empower our rural healthcare providers with usable beneficial technology that is cost advantageous, then combined with reduced healthcare reimbursements and higher out of pocket costs that most rural families simply cannot afford, we are going to be losing our rural healthcare providers simply because they can afford to keep the doors open.

Cost is a huge factor. But a good healthcare EHR consultant not only focuses on the EHR software itself it is showing healthcare providers a wealth of avenues that can be effectively leveraged together to bring those implementation costs significantly down. Depending upon the healthcare facility this could be Section 179, American Disabilities Act, Green Tax Incentives, Federal 340B programs – it isn’t just one stimulus program – it is leveraging them all collectively and effectively together to yield the most advantageous outcome for the rural healthcare provider.

Something else I am seeing is a lot of rural healthcare providers are going with brand well known names in commercial EHR.  However, once the check is written the interest and commitment to the rural healthcare providers dwindles to non-existent. Then, what has happened is money that couldn’t afford to be thrown away in essence has possibly leaving no room to try again.

Rural healthcare providers need to invest their research into not EHR vendors but EHR consultants who look at the bigger picture of the healthcare entity and the community at large with focus on their unique needs. Organize group on-site training to reduce costs. An outstanding EHR consultant is going to view this as an opportunity to bring cutting technology to the hands of those who might not otherwise have an opportunity to receive it. Done right, while the EHR consultant may not have a high profit margin, the payoff will be seen with positive referrals from happy rural health entities, development of long term professional relationships, and being a responsible source in narrowing the gap in rural America between technology and healthcare.

What specific challenges do rural healthcare providers face with EHR?

What proposed resolutions to these challenges can be had to reduce EHR barriers for the rural healthcare providers?

Single Point of Contact for EMR Vendor and Consultants

Posted on July 20, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I was passing through my LinkedIn account and saw this message from @GrandRounds4ODs which seems to have come from his Twitter account:

Appoint a single point of contact for project/contract compliance. Keep the consultants + vendors honest!

This is some great advice. One point of contact can really help to cut through the lies…err…EMR sales mis communications.

EMR Contract Negotiation

Posted on February 19, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’ve been working really hard on an EMR book that focuses on EMR selection. My goal is to have it out in the next week or so before I head off to HIMSS. It’s really coming along quite well and I think it will be a valuable e-book for physicians selecting an EMR vendor.

As I was writing, one section that I don’t have as much experience with is the EMR contract negotiation. I’ve found a couple nice resources online, but I thought I’d reach out to all you smart readers to get some more feedback on EMR contract negotiation.

Here’s some questions about it to get you thinking:
What’s the best advice for negotiating an EMR contract?
Which items should you make sure are in an EMR contract?
How much negotiating room do you have in an EMR contract?
Is it worth finding an EMR consultant to help with the negotiations?

Ok, that should get you started. Let me hear your experiences and knowledge with the EMR contract.

Top 12 Electronic Medical Record Software Features

Posted on August 17, 2009 I Written By

I just looked at a website of an EMR consultant who posted this blog entry on his Top 10 Electronic Medical Record Software Features for every Physician. This is what he came up with. Take a look.
1) A fully Integrated EMR Software System as opposed to interfaced systems
2) Integration of EMR Software with ePrescription to receive bonus payments
3) Electronic Medical Record Software that supports PQRI Automation
4) Electronic Medical Software with adaptive learning
5) Secure Portability and access to your electronic medical records even without an internet connection
6) Integrated patient portal – Keeping more in-touch with your patients
7) Electronic Medical Record Software that does not box you into rigid templates
8) Document and Image Management
9) Integrated with voice recognition and handwriting recognition
10) Meets all regulatory and compliance requirements (http://www.revenuexl.com/)

My Top Twelve list would go like this:

First of all the EMR has to be: Easy to Use, Simple to Learn, Affordable and it has to make Providers more productive. Without this functionality, none of the other stuff matters!
1. Can document a progress note quickly and efficiently
2. Can ePrescribe
3. Can access medical record information quickly using document management system (lab results, test reports, consultation and hospital reports)
4. Can track Health Maintenance, Chronic Problem Information and Orders
5. Can generate reports for Quality Improvement and Incentive Programs
6. Can connect to other systems via CCD or CCR
7. Allows flexible documentation via typing, dictating, writing and scanning, and drop down menus, templates and pick lists
8. Patient Portal would be nice
9. Interfaces with Scheduling, Billing and Messaging quickly and seamlessly
10. Keeps Patient Medical History Information Stored and Accessible (Allergies, Medications, Past Medical History, Past Surgical History, Habits, Family History and Social History)
11. Quick and Simple ICD-9 and CPT Coding Support
12. Quick and Effective E&M Coding Support

What do you think? Did I miss anything? Is my list better or worse than the list from the EMR Consultant?