I speak to doctors everyday that have not yet implemented an EMR (electronic medical record). Some have told me that they talked with a local Regional Extension Center (REC) and they provided good information and offered to help them free of charge. They said they will help the provider choose a system that is right for his practice. Some do take advantage of this (government) service but doctors are quite capable of selecting their own EMR with the research that is available. They have Google for goodness sake, not to mention a handful of doctor friends to consort with.
Currently $4.4 billion in electronic health record (EHR,EMR) incentive payments have been paid. 76,000 healthcare providers have taken advantage of this program. So, I’m banging the drum for those of you who have not acted. Yes, it is a government “stimulus”. No, the checks that have been received did not bounce.
My own unofficial survey has this to report: 27% of the doctors that don’t have an EMR have delayed purchasing an electronic system because they were nervous (scared) to change their current workflow and internal systems. Many stated that they are quite happy with the way things are. Some might change their mind when they get hit with deductions and penalties and the bottom line is affected. Others that have delayed have valid reasons (mostly financial), or don’t qualify for the dollars from Medicaid or Medicare.
My advice is to find a good partner. A trustworthy vendor will be a key part of your practice going forward. You will not be able to handle this large project by yourself and having a Medical IT specialist guide you through the maze is your first hurdle. Then, buy software that is adaptable to your practice. These programs must be flexible enough to mesh with your specialty and be user friendly so you can navigate through an exam without alienating your patient. Look at companies that will be here in five years and forget the rest.
Your vendor should be able to help you through Meaningful Use attestation as well as be a constant guide for your staff. Paper records are a thing of the past. To receive the full package of incentive money available, act soon or I’ll have to bang the drum even louder!
Iron Comet Consulting is a Mckesson Platinum certified reseller, medical IT firm and medical billing service based in Stockbridge, Georgia. Our products combine the clinical with the financial to improve workflow and revenue capture. Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical is a complete physician practice optimization solution. For more information, please visit http://www.ironcomet.com/