Critical Questions to Ask of Your Electronic Health Record

By Todd Rothenhaus, CMO, athenahealth

If you’re a HIMSS member and reading this blog then you know – electronic health records (EHR) are enmeshed with the future of care delivery and management. It’s a bit better than 50:50 that your organization has adopted an EHR; perhaps you’ve even attested to Stage 1 Meaningful Use.

I don’t have to go out on a limb to suspect that you or your organization has spent substantial money, time and resources on EHR selection and implementation.

After all of that –

  1. Has your EHR system really added value?
  2. Has your system helped you?

And most importantly,

3. Is your electronic health record giving you the results it should?

Many organizations have only ever used one EHR system; this can make it more challenging – but not impossible – to identify an under-performing EHR.

Following are some of the critical questions you ought to ask of your current EHR:

  • Is my EHR achieving the requirements of federal Meaningful Use measures? Is it guaranteed to secure incentives?
  • Is my vendor nimble and responsive enough to meet the changes associated with health care reform – both anticipated and unforeseen?
  • Does my EHR provide a sufficient return on investment with regards to both clinical and financial benefits?
  • Can my practice’s leadership be confident that they will not need to buy a new EHR in the next five years because their solution has become obsolete?
  • Has my vendor invested in their product to help me succeed, or are they simply charging me for what they need to create for everyone?

If the answer to any of the above is ‘no’ then it’s time to evaluate other options.

HIMSS is offering one opportunity to ‘shop’ for a Meaningful Use-certified, HIMSS-qualified vendor – Meaningful Use Experience at HIMSS13 in New Orleans gives attendees a chance to compare different EHR solutions, side-by-side.

Think about bringing the above questions with you to ask (challenge) each vendor.

About Joyce Lofstrom, MS, APR

Joyce Lofstrom, MS, APR, is HIMSS Director, Corporate Communications.
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