If your current electronic medical record isn’t pulling its weight for your clinic, you may be wishing for a better one. However, switching EMRs isn’t nearly as easy as switching shops for your morning cup of coffee. You’ve invested time and money—in some cases, a lot of both—into your current system, so leaving could be more hassle than it’s worth. But it doesn’t have to be, because if you’re switching to the right EMR for your clinic, your new partner will do everything in its power to make your transition smooth, simple, and—dare we say—easy. Plus, once you’ve experienced the incredible benefits of a top-notch EMR, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make the leap sooner (even if it takes a little work to get there).
So, how easy is it to switch EMRs—really? Well, that depends on both your current EMR and your future one. Here are some things to think about:
If you’re under contract with your existing EMR, it’s time to dust off the old paperwork and read the fine print. Before making any decisions, you should know what you’ve already committed to and what penalties you may face for terminating that contract early. When weighing the pros and cons of making a switch, consider this: whatever consequences you may face for leaving, you will most definitely make up in the benefits of finding a system that actually works for your clinic. There aren’t enough fees in the world that should keep you tethered to a software that’s making your life a living you-know-what.
Plus, the best EMRs don’t keep you under contract. They make their products so good that their customers want to keep using them. And if for some reason their system is not the best fit, they’d rather their customers have the freedom to find a partner who is.
Some EMRs on the market right now—we won’t name names—believe that in order to keep their customers loyal to them, they have to hold said customers’ data hostage. If your current EMR won’t give you back your data, you may have to devote some time to manually transferring your clinic’s information into a format you can upload into your new system. While that may seem somewhat daunting—and will be a bit time-consuming—the alternative is to stay beholden to a company that’s manipulating you. In this case, the data isn’t the only thing being held hostage.
Break free, and switch to a system that safely secures your data on your behalf with absolutely no absurd notions about who retains ownership rights: you do, obviously. That means you can take your data with you anytime you please.
The Learning Curve
When switching to a new EMR, there’s bound to be a learning curve as you and your staff get used to the new system. However, if you choose an easy-to-use and intuitive system, that curve will be anything but steep. You can make it even easier to get up and running on your new EMR if that new system offers in-depth, instructor-led training for your entire staff; an intuitive online training tool that you and your staff can consult whenever you need a refresher on a particular feature or function; and lifetime access to a super-knowledgeable, super-friendly Support team—all at no extra charge.
The Overwhelming Benefits of a Good EMR
Even if the road to your new EMR isn’t bump-free, you’ll be thrilled when you get there, because the best EMRs offer a ton of great benefits, including:
- Defensible, secure, professional, and efficient documentation
- Built-in scheduling tools with automatic appointment reminders and no-show tracking
- Comprehensive business intelligence and reporting tools, so you can monitor metrics that are meaningful for your clinic
- Integrated billing for clean claims and faster reimbursements
- Integrated outcomes tracking, so you can collect objective data to assist you in proving your value and enhancing patient care
As the saying goes, nothing worth doing is ever easy. And that certainly applies to changing EMRs. But, with a little planning and forethought, making the switch doesn’t have to be nearly as difficult as you might have thought—and the benefits far outweigh the cost. Switching sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it?