Clinical, Financial and Administrative Insights For Physicians

Top 12 EMR Software Selection Blunders

Posted by Alok Prasad

When you take on the onerous task of selecting the right EMR Software (aka EHR Software) for your clinic yourself, you may unknowingly do many little things that will surely lead to selection of EMR Software that is not right for you. They will result in costly and frustrating mistakes that can come as a surprise and hit you hard when you least expect them.

1. Not taking the staff into confidence before starting the EMR selection process.

Your staff will be most impacted by the changes in your clinical environment. Hence it is imperative that you help remove the fear of the unknown from the mind of your staff by explaining how implementation of the selected EHR Software will make them more efficient and effective in their day to day operations.

2. Not drawing up the criteria for your decision making process that is objective with a measurable metric rather than basing it on gut feeling.

Criteria should be EMR Selection Mistakesappropriately grouped and weighted so that you can arrive at a weighted score for each EMR being evaluated. If you are evaluating three or four EMRs and do not have the criteria well defined, chances are huge that some irrelevant issues will cloud your vision and impact your decision making.

3. Not following through with the references or not doing a thorough job with the references.

You may often believe that all references are going to speak highly about the EMR since they have been handpicked by the vendors. However, as we all know, physicians are a closely knit community and it is not difficult for you to validate or repudiate what the references told you about their experience with the EMR Software or Vendor.

4. Accepting at face value what EMR vendors tell you about all their EMR Software features and functionality.

For example, we have found some of the key differentiators claimed by some vendors had actually been decommissioned because they did not work as intended and were back to the drawing board for a re-work.

5. Assuming that larger and well known EMR vendors will be technology-wise more advanced, and customer-support-wise friendlier to your individual needs and situation.

This assumption could be quite misplaced because bigger is not always better as many of these vendors are too busy working on tying up bigger alliances with hospitals and IPAs trying to rope in hundreds of providers in one scoop. Thus, ramping up customer support for small practices almost always takes a back seat and therefore you may be left out in the cold when you need help right away. Larger vendors are less likely to hear you out in regards to your individual needs and even more importantly, make changes to the software to meet your genuine requirements.

6. Selecting a vendor who says that their EMR Software does not need much training and it is easy to pick up.

If you and your staff do not get adequate training, you will not be able to utilize the software to its full extent. There are no plug and play systems that can be implemented in a few minutes, few days, or even few weeks. Negligible amount of training built as part of initial implementation proposal is nothing more than a contrived method to win your business.

7. Being too focused on price early-on in your search or believing that there really is such a thing as Free EMR Software rather than focusing first on what you need for optimizing your clinical processes and workflow.

A lowest cost approach does not typically translate into saving a lot of money and a lower Total Cost of Ownership. Once you determine what you want and need, you may start drilling down into pricing the EMR Software alternatives you are considering. Don't get pushed into making a decision, be patient.

8. Selecting an EMR on the basis of current requirements alone and not considering your foreseeable or possible future needs.

Growth is generally inevitable and you may take on new providers (multi-specialty?), offer new services, or use devices that need to interface with the EMR.

9. Believing that you or an appointed member of your practice has all the time, knowledge, and experience to handle almost a monumental responsibility for undertaking the research, screening, selection, negotiating, and implementation of the best suited EMR Software for your practice without guidance from an experienced EMR consultant. There are too many decisions to be made and if you stop and think about it, you may realize that you truly do not know all about the good, the bad and the ugly, about EMR selection, implementation, price negotiation, hardware selection and more. Engage with an EMR Consulting company to assist and work with you.

10. Not having a true picture of how the EMR will help create a true paperless office and what components will or will not be addressed by the vendor directly as part of implementation.

You must ask the EMR vendor to adequately demonstrate that their EMR Software will in fact increase efficiency and translate into increased revenues.

11. Not taking enough time to discover and evaluate the initial and recurring costs of implementing EMR.

This also includes understanding the technology underpinnings required to support the selected EMR. It would also greatly help if you define and require the line items expected on the proposal from every EMR vendor you are considering so that you can make the best apples to apples comparison between different EMR Software.

12. Not clearly understanding what the vendors always mean by that or this is included at no additional charge.

A good example of this is not clearly defining what they mean by a bi-directional interface with labs. There are actually two costs involved in setting this up and usually EMR Vendors mean that their side of the cost is included and that they can accommodate the connection but, someone (you) will have to pay for the other side of the connection.

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We would like to keep revising this list for the benefit of our future readers. Hence if you believe that there are other blunders made often by Physicians in EMR selection process, please do leave your comments. We will have an updated list avaialble for free download soon.






Learn about the top 10 EMR Software features that you should be looking for. Download our free article on Top 10 Electronic Medical Records features for every physician.

RevenueXL can not only help you select the right EMR Software, but also guide you in implementing your chosen EMR Software a.k.a. EHR Software.


RevenueXL Inc. provides best value comprehensive solutions to medical practices. Our solutions include affordable Electronic Medical Records Software (a.k.a. EMR or EHR Software), Patient Portal, and Practice Management or Medical Billing software and revenue cycle services including medical billing, medical coding, coding audits and account receivables management services. RevenueXL offers a free consultation session to review your current challenges and answer open questions revolving around EMR and revenue cycle.

Tags: EHR Software, EMR Software, EMR cost, EMR Vendors, EMR Selection

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