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Mike Uretz is a nationally-recognized Dental software and Electronic Health Records (EHR) expert. Mike has helped hundreds of individual practices and multi-clinic groups properly evaluate and select software vendors and solutions, structure and negotiate pricing and contracts, provide implementation oversight and vendor management. Mike was a member of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology EHR vendor certification workgroup, and has been a member of various federal and state working committees for EHR business practices and policy. Having been involved with the EHR Incentive program from day one, Mike has helped a number of states, to evaluate and select EHR vendors, structure contracts and agreements, and manage vendor issues. As co-chairman of the Best practices advisory committee for EHR Contracts, Mike has been instrumental in developing standards for structuring vendor contracts and pricing for use by state programs nationwide He is the founder and editorial director of DentalSoftwareAdvisor.com, a trusted and objective online resource on all matters related to dental software. He is also the point person for Advanstar’s coverage of dental EHRs and their evolving role in the dental industry and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As most of you are aware at this point, there is a mandate for all providers in New York State to begin prescribing electronically (eRX) beginning March 27, 2015.
This includes dental providers as well. I recently read an article that describes how some New York providers are seeking an extension for this mandate. This is unfortunate because there are a number of proven benefits, both to the patient and provider, with ePrescribing.
The main reasons for seeking an extension listed in the article are:
1) There is not enough time to be compliant and have systems in place by March 27
2) Providers must first have electronic health records in place
3) Systems are complicated and expensive to get in place
As to the first point, this mandate has been in place for a number of months and, having been involved with EHR technology for the past decade, I've found that there are always providers that fight the switch to electronic technology tooth and nail. Change is tough. So, what is a fair period to incorporate ePrescribing technology? Bottom line is that with those providers that are resistant, it won't matter anyway.
The second point that claims a provider must have an electronic health record system in place is not completely accurate. Yes, it is true that most EHR vendors have worked with ePrescribing vendors to incorporate eRX in their electronic health records. And, in the long run from a workflow standpoint, this is ultimately the way to go. However, there is low-hanging fruit, and there are vendors that offer standalone ePrescribing solutions without having to have an EHR to help facilitate compliance with the mandate. For example, Henry Schein recently announced a standalone version of ePrescribing for New York dentists and other vendors have similar offerings.
Regarding the third point that systems are complicated and expensive to get in place: If you already have an EHR, chances are that ePrescribing is just a simple add-on module. And for those of you that don't have EHR, which is the case for most dental providers, typically the standalone versions mentioned are cloud based, easy to install and fairly inexpensive. So, you can satisfy the mandate now with a simple solution and transition to a full EHR with ePrescribing when the time comes.
About the author
Mike Uretz is a nationally-recognized dental software and Electronic Health Records (EHR) expert. He is the founder of DentalSoftwareAdvisor.com, as well as the Dental EHR Editor for Dental Products Report. As an industry consultant, Uretz has helped individual practices and multi-clinic groups properly evaluate and select software vendors and solutions, structure and negotiate pricing and contracts , provide implementation oversight and vendor management. As a speaker and educator, Uretz has published numerous dental software focused columns and articles for a number of dental industry publications and websites and conducted dental software and electronic health records workshops and seminars for associations, dental societies, and universities around the country. Mike can be reached at email@example.com