1. Explore All OptionsExploring all available options by speaking with an EMR consultant is the best method for EMR comparison. Your consultant will ask what size your practice is, like how many providers are in one office, and what type of practice it is. Ambulatory? Inpatient? Also, whether you're a specialty practice or not. You will then be able to choose from an array of software and equipment that will best suit your needs. Product demos are generally available for all software platforms to give the doctor and staff the ability to take it for a test drive before buying. When looking for an EMR system, be sure that it is certified, meaning that it's been certified by the CCHIT and meets Medicare's meaningful use incentive requirements.
2. Carefully Calculate CostsAll businesses worry about budgeting - or at least the smart ones do. It's wise to speak to the practice's accountant before contacting an EMR consultant. Remember, you will be receiving incentive money for 5 years, so your first year's payment can go toward the new system. How much do you have in the budget to spend after that? Along with the initial cost of the system, factor in the operating cost for the next 5 years.
3. Purchase the Right EquipmentWith a budget in mind and after a consult with an EMR systems expert, the next step would be to pick out equipment to that works with the software. Generally, an equipment setup would include a desktop computer and at least one laptop or tablet to carry around to enter patient data. A printer is necessary as well as a scanner for images. An additional hand held scanner may be helpful for barcodes, such as for prescriptions.
A cart work station may also be needed if using a laptop or tablet. Medical devices are also available that can be attached to a computer via USB cable that are compatible with EMR systems that directly input patient data.