Vendors and Physicians Partners in Meaningful Use?

The secure exchange of health information is dependent on both the practice and EHR vendors facilitating the secure electronic transactions and extracting data for reporting quality measures. Even early adopters of EHR systems must ask vendors if they will be ready for meaningful use reporting. The vendor’s response will impact cost, implementation timeline, workflow processes, reporting, and patient safety. A sampling of questions to ask include: Of my current health information exchange partners (labs, hospitals, pharmacies, imaging centers) where have you already built bi-direction interfaces with your EHR system? Does your system send e-prescribing alerts based on the content in the patient’s medication history? Does your system identify whether the…

READ MORE

What EMR System is Best for My Practice?

Your most important question in purchasing an EMR is to ask the vendor how many specialties your size and using your practice management system have purchased this software. EMR vendors know who would be a good customer. Some vendors, for example, are better suited for a practice of 25 to 75 physicians. Others specialize in the 3 to 8 physician groups, while others provide a solution for just one specialty. You can quickly learn whether the vendor is a good fit for you by asking them to respond to a one-page Request for Information (RFI). Send the RFI to your top five vendors and ask them to respond within 30…

READ MORE

Should Our Practice Hire an IT Person to Assist With our HIT Transition?

Vendors will provide you with a list of implementation activities for which you are responsible to complete on time. During the next 24 months as more physicians participate in reimbursement incentives, it will be critical for you to stay on schedule, or even ahead of schedule and keep your go-live date in the queue. The rule of thumb is based on the principle of threes. If there are three or fewer physicians in your practice, you should hire a part time consultant to coach an internal person through the implementation process. After your implementation, the consultant can hand off the day-to-day IT management to an internal person who also should…

READ MORE