Your EMR will streamline your practice… It will allow you to see more patients in a day… It will help you track meaningful patient data to improve care…
You’ve heard it all before, the exhausting mantras of EMR sales reps. The truth is, that in most cases none of those things are true. More likely, your EMR has upended your practice and thrown everything into chaos. As a physician, you’re either seeing fewer patients a day or you’re at the office charting into the late hours of the night. You were promised that your software is “highly customizable” and yet you continue to pay thousands of dollars to “fix” your workflow problems only to end up just as frustrated and lost as before. Physicians spend more time clicking a mouse to make it through an encounter in their software than they do with the patients they’re caring for.
You need a solution. And since there is no shortage of those claiming they have a fix for the complex landscape physicians and practice administrators are facing, you start at the source.
First, you call the EMR company to ask about customization. You get transferred to the support line only to find you have reached an offshore call center speaking to someone who knows nothing about your practice. It becomes really clear really quickly that “customized” simply means prefab templates. So you move on.
Next, you try hiring an independent consultant, and at first, it’s great. He or She makes some changes that relieve some pressure, but things get messy when it becomes obvious that there is little understanding around your IT systems. The consultant refers you to an IT company on the way out the door. But this IT provider does not specialize in healthcare and has little to no understanding of your clinical workflow or what makes a practice profitable. You begin to wonder if there is a solution. There is.
Success is a Continuum
The solution is to build an ongoing relationship with a local healthcare-centric IT company for three key reasons. One, you need to have access to an expert who can walk through your practice, meet your people and become acquainted with your workflows to understand your pain points first hand. Two, you need an IT partner who understands the relationship between your software architecture and your profitability. Finally, EMR customizations are not singular, they must be iterative to impact your overall efficiency, and efficiency means greater patient care, fewer clicks.