EMR/EHR: Are You Ready? 7 Questions Every Practice Manager Should Ask

Changes are coming on quickly and Practice Managers are feeling the heat.  John Cummins, for HealthLeaders Media, on June 22, 2012, wrote about the growth of healthcare costs.

“The average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 6.14% over the 12-months ending April 2012, Standard & Poor's Healthcare Economic Indices show.”

You have listened to the news and read the numerous reports. Finally, you realize that you have to make some decisions concerning the future of the office procedures at your medical practice. The question is not if, but when.  You are aware of the electronic medical records (EMR, EHR) software options available, but are not sure which one is the best for you. If one of your primary concerns is mitigating risk and disruption to your office, address these questions in your evaluation:

  1. How does the changeover happen in an active office?
  2. Is new equipment, hardware or software licensing needed?
  3. How long will it take to train the staff?
  4. What is the scope of support during and after the process?
  5. What kind of interaction is there between the medical office and the software service company?
  6. How is that interaction carried out in regards to bookkeeping and medical billing?
  7. Are future changes in the insurance and regulations field readily taken care of?

It is not only individual practitioners that need to take heed of the changes that are starting to take place. Kathy Gersch,of Kotter International stated.

“A leader of a large health care organization’s challenge is to play offense, not defense,” John Kotter wrote on his blog last summer. “If I were running a hospital… I would be focused on how do we make some significant change to take advantage of the opportunities that are going to be inevitable with this swirling, difficult, changing environment in health care.” (June 20, 2012)

Changes are coming. Are you playing offense or defense?  The short term may be disruptive but if you do your homework on the front end, you can minimize the risk, know what to expect, and soon enjoy the increased productivity and efficiency that comes with change.

If you wish to receive a comprehensive checklist for your practice, send us an email and we would be happy to send you a copy.

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