Experts predict that 40% of EHR sales in 2014 will be replacement systems, but some practices find it hard to decide when it’s time to cut their unsatisfactory EHR software loose. If you’re debating whether it’s time to trade your underperforming EHR for something better, keep reading…

 

This has been called the “Year of EHR Replacement.” But once the initial investment is made, some practices are reluctant to make a change, even when the EHR is not serving their needs and reducing productivity.

 

It’s time to switch if your EHR is:

 

1.) Late for Certification Deadlines

Not meeting deadlines for Meaningful Use or ICD-10 means something is systemically wrong with that vendor, Vendors that were early adopters of the new standards will be the ones you can count on to keep up with the ever-changing health IT landscape.

 

2.) Not Designed for the iPad

A Black Book survey showed 92% of office-based physicians prefer EHRs on tablets, but if your EHR wasn’t designed to work on the iPad, you won’t have the full, functionality you’ll want.

 

3.) Not Providing Good Customer Support

If the EHR customer support is hard to reach or doesn’t provide the help you need, you may be losing productivity waiting for answers.

 

4.) Off-Shoring Customer Support

Dealing with customer support based off-shore can involve headaches from communication barriers to security. Again, this affects productivity and may cause PHI issues.

 

5.) Not ICD-10 Ready

If the EHR wasn’t ICD-10 ready during the March 2014 testing week, the vendor may not be ready in time when the deadline arrives.

 

6.) Not Certified for 2014 Meaningful use

Although a change has been proposed to the requirements for 2014 to accommodate EHRs that were not certified, in 2015 you’ll need 2014 certified technology.

 

7.) To Hard to Use

It will take time to learn any system, but if your team is struggling to effectively use the system after training and 90 days of use subsequent to your go-live date, chances are the problem is the software.

 

8.) Not Meeting Your Specialty Needs

If the system doesn’t provide the blueprints and customization you need for your specialty, you’re working harder than you need to.  Also, if you’re attesting for Meaningful Use, check on the Certified Health IT Product List to see if your EHR is certified for Clinical Quality Measures (CQMs) you need.

 

9.) Too Expensive

Many affordable EHR options are available now, so there’s no reason to stick with an EHR that is charging you too much or “nickel-and-diming” you. Rethink any EHR that wants to charge you for: training fees, enrollment fees, and bloated set-up fees. The best EHRs no longer charge these types of fees, especially if they are cloud-based.

 

10.) Server-Based

Most EHRs that started as server=based systems are now offering web-based or “cloud” options.  That tells the story: The server-based model is a dinosaur.  In addition, a server-based EHR will charger you regularly for updates, which may mean you can’t upgrade for ICD-10 or other compliance requirements without a big fee.

 

11.) Not Providing Integrated Practice Management Software or Patient Portal

Any time you have more than one software solution in your office, you’re adding complexity to managing your office. Just over the last year, partnerships between EHRs and patient portal providers and medical billing software have disintegrated; it’s much safer and more cost effective to use software with all of the solutions you need, fully integrated.

 

12.) Not Likely to Survive the EHR Shakeout

The EHR market is filled with Johnny-come-lately start-ups that decided to build an EHR. A shakeout has already begun, so be sure that your vendor is in it for the long run. Clues: Certification readiness and length of time in the business (iMAX & MediTouch software has been in business since 1998).