You’re a savvy practitioner and practice owner, which means if you’re considering switching EMR systems, you’ve already done your homework—everything from making a thorough pro-con list to performing an EMR cost comparison. As a result, you know it’s time to trade in your subpar software solution for one that saves time and money, ensures Medicare compliance, and integrates your documentation with your scheduling and billing. That way, you can maximize patient visits and get paid. But before you pull the ripcord on your current system, consider these three simple tips to help you switch seamlessly:
1. Choose software that’s right for your practice.
While this may be seem like an obvious tip, it’s most definitely worth mentioning. After all, selecting yet another problematic platform could put you in quite the pickle. Make sure your next solution is the right one—the one that will meet the long-term needs of your practice—by ensuring it’s designed specifically for rehab therapists and offers everything below:
A complimentary online demo for your whole team
This way, everyone who will use the system has the opportunity to take it for a test drive, ask questions, and voice concerns.
A comprehensive training program
New technology can have a pretty steep learning curve. But a comprehensive, top-notch training program will make it much easier for you—and your team—to get up and running on your new system quickly. That being said, your training program shouldn’t feel like overkill. As we mentioned in this guide, the longer the training, the less intuitive the software might be. And I think it’s safe to assume you’re not in the market for hard-to-use, hard-to-learn technology.
An implementation partnership
Implementation can be a bumpy road—if your new software company isn’t willing to partner with you during every step of your transition, that is. And that includes helping you accurately import your data into the system without charging you a whole bunch of money to do so.
Unlimited free support and educational resources
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: “You should never have to pay to ask a question—ever.” Instead, opt for an EMR vendor that values education as much as you do—one that will provide you with free and unlimited support as well as stellar educational resources, including how-to videos and user guides.
No strings attached
Be sure the company you choose to do business with next has no intention of holding you—or your data—hostage. Opt for a solution with no long-term contracts. That way, you have the power to walk away, and you can rest assured that the company will never take your business for granted.
2. Read the fine print.
Once you’ve selected the software platform that’s right for your practice, you’re ready to begin laying out plans to leave your old one. However, if you’re under contract with your current software vendor, you may have some fine print to peruse to avoid incurring unnecessary fees and penalties. For example, some software companies require a specific amount of written notice before they’ll let you out of your contract—and even then, they may assess a hefty fee for leaving early. Before you pull the plug, you’ll also want to take note of what happens to your data once you officially separate from your current system. That way, you’ll know if there are any additional hoops you need to jump through to transfer your important information into your new system. Rest assured, though, the benefits of adopting a software system that actually meets your needs will more than make up for dealing with whatever tactics your current vendor is employing to get you to stay.
3. Set yourself up for success.
When it comes to successfully implementing anything new—including a new technology system—it’s best to have a plan (ideally, one that includes a clearly defined timetable as well as overarching goals and responsibilities). Doing so will help ensure you and your team are all on the same page as far as what needs to happen, when, and at whose direction. With that in mind, before you get too far down your software-switching path, consider not only revisiting your business plan, but also redesigning your clinical workflow in order to maximize the efficiencies that your new system provides. According to HealthIT.gov, “Workflow redesign can help your organization:
- Maximize efficiencies
- Enhance care quality and safety
- Bring order to to your workflow
- Improve care coordination
“Simply put, workflow redesign is important because it helps you get the most value from EHR implementation.” And speaking of taking advantage of what your new software has to offer, now’s the time to be sure your internet speed is fast enough—and your modems and routers are good enough—for your new system to function at its best. Generally speaking, you want your Internet connection to be at least 10 Mbps (megabits per second) download—although each system will have its own requirements. You can test your current internet speed here for free.
For even more brilliant tips for switching EMR systems, download your free copy of Switching Software is Easier than You Think: The PTs Guide to Implementation and Training today.