Today, we are used to searching for references for everything from restaurants and hotels, to clothing labels and wearable fitness technology. Whether you are planning a party or searching for a new physician, gathering a handful of reviews can help inform your selection.
Collecting EHR references is one of the most critical steps in the EHR search process. To ensure your reference gathering is as effective as possible, make sure several members of your staff are onboard. If each employee makes a few calls, the interview process will not require a large time commitment from any one of them.
Second, both administrative staff and physicians should call and speak to several of their peers at the reference sites to collect a variety of different perspectives and opinions.
Finally, don’t just call the references provided by the vendors—find other practices using the EHRs you are considering by joining professional society listservs such as MGMA’s and AAOE’s.
Once you’ve collected 10 references of similar size within your specialty from each EHR vendor—along with a few practices that weren’t provided by the vendors—ask each reference these 10 crucial questions:
- When did you install your current EHR?
- How long was the installation/implementation process?
- How would you describe the installation/implementation process?
- Was the system as easy to use as it appeared to be during the software demonstration?
- How has your patient volume changed?
- Approximately how much more time do you devote to entering exam data into your EHR as compared to how you documented exams before you began using this EHR?
- What percentage of your exam notes are fully-templated?
- Do you like the quality of the exam note generated by your current EHR? Does it represent you well?
- How have your patient interactions changed?
- Would you recommend your EHR to a similar practice?
Asking these questions will give you a clear indication of whether or not a specific vendor will be able to deliver the success you expect from your EHR implementation.
Keep this “cheat sheet” of reference questions handy throughout your EHR search process. It will prove invaluable and provide you with the information you need to save yourself from a potential mistake.
What are some additional questions you would ask of references?