EMR Purchasing Question and Answer

Posted on June 2, 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 always like it when people ask me questions about EMR. That way, I know that I’ll be providing at least some value to someone. Brian asked the following question in the comments:
Do you know who actually makes the decisions to purchase EMRs? For example, at large hospitals or medical groups, is it CIOs, and in small practices is it physicians?

This is a really hard question to answer. In fact, it’s likely one of the reasons why making the EMR sale is pretty hard. Each organization is very different. I guess this is a byproduct of the capitalist society that we live in.

That said, in hospitals, it usually is the CIO that is making the final decision to purchase an EMR after the CEO’s approval of course. Although, many times the work of selecting the EMR software and going through the EMR review process is delegated to a committee of people in the hospital organization.

The medical groups are harder to analyze since they come in all shapes and sizes. Not to mention varying governance structures. I would likely define these practices in two categories: physician run groups and manager run groups. You can guess who makes the decisions in these two categories. With that said, the doctors can really make an EMR implementation miserable if they’re not on board with the EMR selection. So, even if the practice is not physician run, you better consider these doctors in the process.

Small groups are generally more heavily influenced by the physician’s choices. Occasionally you’ll come across a strong practice manager, but usually that person is strong because they know how to work well with the doctor and their needs.

Certainly there a lot of other variations, but this is generally what I’ve seen.