small-practices-feel-stuck-with-current-emr-vendors

Small Practices Feel Stuck with Current EMR Vendors

More than one fourth of providers at small practices (1–10 physicians) feel stuck with or plan to leave their current EMR vendor, according to a recent KLAS study,”New Leaders in the Small-Practice Market: Ambulatory EMR Performance 2015 (1-10 Physicians).”

The electronic medical record (EMR) decision is one of the most important that physicians make for their practice. The EMR physicians choose will immediately impact the way their practice operates and how they interact with patients and other healthcare providers. Although the selection and implementation of an EMR challenges any size practice, it is especially problematic for the small practice with few resources and no margin for error. Indeed, a failed EMR can strategically damage a practice. That’s what it is so important for small practices to make sure that they are completely satisfied with their EMR vendor from the start. Unfortunately, more than 25% of small practices aren’t.

For their report on small practice satisfaction with their EMR vendors, KLAS spoke with more than 750 small practices (1-10 physicians) to understand what determines success in the EMR space. More than 20 EMR vendors were included in the report and were rated on more than 25 metrics, including ease of use, customer support and which vendors are the most at risk for losing customers. In the report, providers cited poor usability, missing functionality, and unreliable vendor support as their primary frustrations with their EMR solution.

Dissatisfaction with EMR Vendors

“Small physician practices are really feeling the pressure of keeping up with regulations such as meaningful use. These and other pressures are causing a huge number of providers to report dissatisfaction with their current solutions,” said report author Erik Bermudez. “In these challenging circumstances, it is all the more refreshing to see some of the vendors really step up to meet providers’ demands and needs.”

In addition to feeling dissatisfied, according to the Black Book Ratings survey, 1 in 6 medical practices are planning to actively change EMR vendors. This has also been due to glitches in the system operation, unfulfilled promises, and unmet expectations in system implementations, support and features. The most cited reason for considering a switch was that the software did not meet the practice’s needs.

Choosing the Right EMR

To avoid choosing the wrong EMR for your practice, consider the following features in your EMR selection process:

Certified EMR:

If your EMR Vendor is not certified under the Meaningful Use metrics, then the product is already limited. Benchmark’s Clinical EMR solution has achieved ONC HIT 2014 Edition complete certification, which designates that the software is capable of supporting eligible providers with meeting the Stage 1 and Stage 2 meaningful use measures required to qualify for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Live Help and Assistance:

Small practices need an EMR Vendor that is available for live assistance in addition to training and implementation offerings. Benchmark Systems offers a live, in-house help desk available for any of your needs. Visit our support page to learn more.

Vendor Stability and Commitment:

Because small practices cannot afford to switch their EMR vendors every few years, the stability of their vendor is extremely important. An EMR vendor should be able to assure providers that not only is their EMR a solid product, but that the product is also here to stay, and that the vendor will do all that it can to assist the provider in training and implementation of the EMR. Benchmark Systems takes training and implementation very seriously, and has employees available for online or in-person training.

Usability:

Smaller practices need an EMR product that is easy to use, and cannot afford a drop in productivity or limitations. In addition to having the option to view a live demo, providers should also be able to hold a test run to see the product in action.

Clinical Content:

A great EMR should include clinical content that can be customized for the type and size of medical practice. Benchmark Systems offers templates for checklists, documents, and tools that support your specific area of medicine.

A Solid Base:

All medical practices have options to install EMR software or use a cloud based or internet based EMR. A cloud based or internet based EMR is attractive for small practices because they allow for online access, anywhere, anytime. Software is limited to the network it is installed on, but Benchmark Systems’ internet based platform allows for more flexibility.

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