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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.


    Dentist at computer

    2. “Is the software intuitive enough for me to actually use it every day?” 

    Approaching EHR software requires the same considerations as any other software, says Uretz. 

    “Delve deeply into the technology,” he says. “Is the system scalable? In other words, is it built on old technology that will be outmoded in two years? How’s the security? Will it interface with web portals?” 

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    He advises having a technical person look into those specifications so they can ask those kinds of questions.

    “It’s important when you look at EHRs to not just look at what you see on the screen, but also the underlying technology,” he says. “How does it interface with other third-party clinical software, like imaging? Can it interface with imaging in the cloud? Can it interface with different devices?” 

    Uretz also advises making sure it will interface with other clinical procedures in the practice, like taking blood pressure. “More dental providers are taking vitals such as blood pressure,” he notes. “So the question is if the EHR system will automatically interface with data from devices such as blood pressure cuffs in other monitoring machines. Or for another example, in the case of oral surgeons, are there possible interfaces between anesthesia monitoring devices and the EHR?” 

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    And finally, make sure that the system is ideal for both the practice management and clinical sides. “The clinical people and the practice management people both have to like it,” Uretz says. 

    “Ease of use is probably the most important thing,” Dr. Lavine says. “The fact is that any system that has something unique will be copied by everyone else within a matter of months. But being able to learn and use the software is critical. My recommendation for offices is to get demos and involve their staff with it. At the end of the day, if the program is not intuitive, it doesn’t make a difference what features it has because you’re never going to use those.” 

    Next: How will EHRs help use patient data more effectively?



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