Recently enacted government mandates requiring healthcare practices to switch to electronic health records (EHR) have created a huge demand for EHR systems and services. And since the mandates offer both incentives for early adoption and penalties for delaying EHR conversion, many chiropractors are highly motivated to purchase and install such systems as quickly as possible.
However, it’s vital DCs do their homework before going paperless. All EHR systems use advanced computer technology to transform paper records into digital ones, so unless you’re an IT guru or computer geek, such systems will take time to learn and adapt to. Because of this, one of the most crucial things to look for when selecting an EHR provider is the level of training and support a company offers.
Depending on the company, training and support can vary greatly in the quality and cost. Good training and support goes well beyond the initial purchase and installation. EHR systems, like other computer services, are constantly being updated and upgraded with new features and functions, so the best vendors will offer long-term maintenance plans covering such updates over time. And like most businesses, your practice is likely to experience some amount of staff turnover, so access to a continuing training program will be important as well.
When researching EHR vendors, here are a few key services to look for to ensure you’re getting the best possible training and support:
Updates: With Obama in office, the country’s healthcare system is facing a major overhaul. But even if that never happens, new healthcare legislation, such as HIPPA, along with changes to third-party payment systems, means your EHR system will need to be continually updated to adapt and comply. However, you shouldn’t be forced to pay for each of these updates as they arise. Make sure your EHR vendor provides these updates for free, or they’re included as part of a regular maintenance plan. You don’t want to be forced to pay hidden fees for every update that comes along.
Upgrades: Just like healthcare rules and regulations, computer technology is constantly evolving. These days, a piece of computer hardware can go from being the most advanced on the market to obsolete within months, so your EHR vendor should offer regular system upgrades at no extra cost to ensure the technology is on the cutting edge and interfaces with the latest tech trends. As before, make sure your EHR vendor offers these upgrades as part of your regular maintenance agreement and doesn’t charge on a case-by-case basis. And be careful to avoid sneaky “tiered” systems for upgrades, where minor upgrades are covered, but you are forced to pay for more extensive changes to the system out of your own pocket.
Support: Regardless of the training provided, you’re likely to have some questions and need some help operating your EHR system, especially during the first few months after it’s installed, when you and your staff will be learning the system. However, such customer support should be free, so you’re not being charged for every help call you make. The best EHR vendors offer a year’s worth of free, unlimited customer support—don’t settle for anything less.
Training: Obviously, when selecting an EHR vendor, you should look for the most extensive training for you and your staff. But unless every member of your crew stays with your practice for life and you never expand your business by hiring additional staff, you’re going to need further training down the road for your new people. Make sure the EHR vendor you pick offers free, year-round training for any new staff, so you aren’t throwing your money away every time you hire or fire someone.
Above article published on http://www.chiroeco.com/chiropractic/news/8164/1100/Training-and-support-are-key-for-switching-to-EHRs/