Switching EMRs: What You Need to Know
What works for one medical practice certainly may not work for another. Let’s say you’ve implemented your electronic medical record software, and it just isn’t working for your practice, for whatever reason. Despite all the hard work and hours put into the initial implementation, switching EMRs isn’t – and shouldn’t feel like – the end of the world. Bizmatics sales rep Anthony Bates discusses the reasons why practices choose to switch and how to take that first step forward.
From Bates’ standpoint, the number one reason why practices make the decision to change EMR software the ability (or inability) to customize the software to meet their workflow needs. Understandably, many practices initially purchased a software solution not really knowing exactly what they needed. “EMR customization is a high selling point, so maybe they’re using a solution that wasn’t configured to their specialty,” says Bates.
The main pitfall practices seem to make when switching their EMR is not setting up the Practice Management module correctly, observes Bates. “If you don’t get that part down smoothly initially, it sets you back,” he explains. The setback would cause a delay in payments from insurance due to the gaps in patient data. Avoid this by waiting to change PM software until you’ve fully transitioned over to (and are comfortable with) the new EMR system.
As you take that first brave step toward switching EMR software solutions, Bates offers a couple of suggestions:
Format Your Data – Practices frequently ask him how to get their patient demographics from their current EMR to PrognoCIS. “It would require your EMR to provide data in a format that we can read,” he says. Bizmatics’ implementation team can easily migrate demographics from Medisoft, AdvancedMD and SOAPware’s software solutions; however, others aren’t as readily legible and can take a bit more time.
Designate a Main Point of Contact – Like the initial implementation, the point of contact is generally the practice’s office manager, the PA or the NP. Their role in the transition process is to be the liaison between the implementation team and the doctor. In most cases, this person will train the doctor and the rest of the staff to use the new system. According to Bates, many doctors and nurses actually learn faster when trained by someone they work with on a daily basis and is accustomed to the practice’s workflow.