3 Questions Doctors Should Ask: Implementing an EMR

Introduction

Technology. We love it when it works for us–and hate it when it doesn’t.

In the world of healthcare, the hottest tech buzzword has been the big ‘EMR’, coupled of course with ‘Meaningful Use.’ And this update is not-likely optional–as every doctor and health administrator knows all too well. But for all its stress, Clinic Service is firmly in the camp which believes that successfully adopting Meaningful Use EMRs will enable our nation to have better information interchange and less mistakes. In the end, we should have better healthcare.

For the private practice doctors we pledge to support, the challenge of implementing an EMR differs both in scale and responsibility, and raises a bunch of questions. At Clinic Service, we know how this process can daunt doctors–we help them customize and implement our EMR all the time. We work with each practice individually and take your questions and suggestions seriously, which is why we’ve nailed down a few revealing questions for those of you who may not have the foggiest idea where to start in this process. Answering these questions about your business should help you kick start your plan for implementing an EMR–and trust me, without a plan you are more than likely doomed to a frustrating and confusing transition. And since our answers to the three questions are rather lengthy, this post will be divided into three parts, each answering one of the three questions.

3 Preliminary Questions Doctors Need to Ask About Implementing an EMR

Part I.

Question #1: Should Entrepreneurial Medical Providers acquire an EMR to transform and rejuvenate their business, or should they just put it in place for incentive monies? Or more basically, why get an EMR?

To best answer this question we must understand that incentive money is not enough to ensure that doctors actually implement the technology, much less use it once they have. And the intention behind your choice to implement an EMR matters.

If you’re just doing it for the incentive monies you’re less likely to follow through on actual implementation. You also aren’t likely to learn about all the value the software can add to the business with functions that solve the problems you may not even know you have. But how do you know if you don’t implement and how can you implement what you don’t understand? Doctors will only use an EMR if it provides value to their business by facilitating its operations–and they shouldn’t be expected to use one if it doesn’t.

Any technology, and an EMR specifically, should rejuvenate the business! Why else add something to your process? Who needs more complexity? EMR implementation should start by collecting data that is usable, measurable, and accessible. Getting any software for the sake of the software (or for the money you may receive from having it) is just plain silly–it will end up costing you more in the long run. And just as software for software’s sake is pointless, data you can’t use isn’t worth collecting. We are inundated with enough information as it is, and anything you don’t need in a system you will depend on becomes a distraction. It’s even worse for doctors, when not knowing the right data at the right time can result in unintentional harm to someone. Data can save lives if it is collected and organized in an intuitive manner.

Look to our next blog for questions two and three: how do I implement an EMR (should I delegate this process?), and am I facilitating my practice with the new technology or does it force me to restructure my time-tested operations to fit it?

We’ll continue the discussion in our next blog post. Until then please comment on this post or call Clinic Service with questions you may have.

About Clinic Service: Founded in 1974 by James Grow as a medical billing company, Clinic Service has never strayed from its mission: To Maximize the Profit for Physicians and Medical Practices. We believe our market leadership and growth in medical billing and supporting services like EMR and EHR is a result of our focus on customer experience and our internal culture. The Clinic Service culture is founded on learning and personal growth.

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