• Make sure you choose an EMR that is CCHIT certified.
  •  a. The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology inspects products against
          comprehensive functionality, interoperability, and privacy and security criteria using the Commissionís
          published methods. Products must be fully compliant. They must also meet or exceed applicable
          proposed Federal standards for certified EHR technology to support the 2011-2012 incentives under
          the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). As part of the inspection, key aspects
          of successful use are verified at live sites, and product usability is rated. The CCHIT website is
          available at http://www.cchit.org

  • Make sure the EMR can be customized for your specialty.
  • a.  You'll want an EMR that ?? this may not be worth it

  • ASP or in-house?
  • a.  The ASP model is a remote computer system that hosts your EMR somewhere other than your office.
    • You can access your EMR via the internet using a web browser, from anywhere.
    • The EMR server is managed by a professional IT company -- no worries about how to back up your data or how to get the system going again after a crash as these and all other hardware / software maintanence issues are handled for you.
    • You "buy in" for a portion of the total cost of the EMR package; you and other physicians are using the same system so many of the initial hardware and software costs are shared.
    • Your speed of access is directly tied to your internet connection speed. Images may take a few seconds to download to your PC. You'll also require redundant failover internet connections so that if your internet "goes down" you can still access your data.
    • You're totally relying on the ASP host company. How quickly can they recover from a disaster? Will they go bankrupt next month?
    b.  The in-house model is a Client-Server environment where the EMR server exists at your office.
    • You have total control over your own data.
    • Access from inside your office is not dependent on the internet.
    • Better functionality with on-site resources such as scanners, imagers, printers, etc.
    • You still have access from outside your office.
    • (thumbs down pic) You pay up front for all the software and hardware required to run your EMR system.
    • You are responsible for all your IT demands, including data backup, workstation and network troubleshooting, program updates, etc.

  • Practice Management
  • a.  Can your current Practice Management (billing) software integrate with an EMR?
    • Some EMR products can integrate with another company's billing software (assuming that the billing software is able to export data in a standard format, most likely HL7. Be sure to ask if you want to continue using your current billing platform.
    • Many EMR products have an integrated Practice Management system available. Interoperability is of no question here. The EMR and PM are designed to work together.

  • Quality of Service
  • a.  Expect to have some bumps in the road while you migrate to an EMR system. Be sure to check on
          the service level and responsiveness of the EMR software company. If you have to wait days, weeks or
          months for an answer or patch, you might be better served using a different EMR package.
    b.  Don't just listen to what the EMR provider has to say; be certain to contact current (and past if possible)
          users of the EMR package you intend to purchase. What stories do they have to tell? Are they still
          happy? Would they use this EMR again knowing what they know now?