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How to tell if an EMR will help or hinder your practice

WebPT has compiled a list of questions to ask if your EMR software is helping or even hurting your business.

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5 min read
August 13, 2011
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While looking at an EMR for your clinic, it can be hard to understand what will work for you and what won't. To add to it, the messages in the industry seem a bit mixed and muddled.

On any given day, you may read an article outlining all of the reasons why EMR adoption is slow and difficult for a non-technical staff.  A number of reasons fault the user and not the software.

The next day, you may read an article that shows 25% of clinicians use a Smartphone and a tablet in their day-to-day documentation and patient management. 

We have a hard time believing that the same clinicians who are having trouble moving their documentation to the cloud are the same ones who use iPads and Smartphones on a daily basis. While every clinic needs to asses the right technology for their practice, it is up to the providers to know and understand the needs of the therapist.  This is not a new idea. Successful businesses listen to their customers and provide a product that solves their problems.  By that same token, it is through asking key questions of your EMR provider about thier philosophy and business that can help you to understand who you're dealing with.  

Top 15 Questions to ask your EMR provider 
When reviewing EMR providers, you'll want to ask key questions to understand the quality of the product and the security of your data:

  1. How did you develop your product?
  2. Why did you start your business?
  3. How many customers do you have?
  4. What is your customer retention rate?
  5. is your product HIPAA compliant?
  6. Is your product Medicare compliant?
  7. How is patient data stored, backed up and protected?
  8. What is the size of the largest clinic you handle?
  9. How long have you been in business?
  10. How do you upate your product?
  11. Do I have to sign a contract?
  12. Can you describe your technology to me in plain words?
  13. Can I get my data if I ever want to leave?
  14. Who is responsible for anti-virus and spam protection?
  15. Do you have a disaster recovery process?

By asking these and a few other simple questions, you'll be able to select an EMR provider that knows and understands the needs and challenges of PTs running their own clnics.


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