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    9 questions to ask about EHR

    Should your practice enter the world of EHR? You should consider these things before you take the plunge.

     

    EHR connection

    1. “Should I get an EHR that works with my practice management software, or get one system that has both components?” 

    If you decide that an EHR is right for your practice, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to invest in a separate system that can interact with your current practice management system, or if you’re going to invest in a system that has both. 

    “The better way to do it is to get a vendor that has both in one system so that it’s not two different systems talking to each other, it’s actually tied in together,” Uretz says. “You want that information integrated into one piece of software in one database.” 

    Trending article: Why practice management systems are crucial

    “Normally, it’s less trauma to get something that directly integrates with the practice management software,” Dr. Lavine says. “Most of the major players have an EHR module that’s designed to work with their [practice management] software. It typically costs a little more than going with a third party, but you don’t have to deal with any of the integration issues. If all else were equal, I would say go with something that’s provided by the practice management company, unless they just can’t provide the functionality that you’re looking for.” 

    Going with a third-party system may save costs up front, but it won’t make financial sense in the long run. 

    “The downside of investing in a separate EHR system that claims to communicate with your present practice management system is that you’ll likely be doing a lot of double entry and you might eventually lose integration,” Uretz says. “Though they might work together in the beginning, there can eventually be a change on one side that will create a disconnect between the two, and integration will stop working. Or a company might decide they want both sides of the business and won’t allow interfacing. Most of the time when I’ve seen a practice do it this way, this is the inevitable result.” 

    Next: Will the software made more work for your team?

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