EHR code of conduct attempts to bridge gap between dental EHR vendors and customers

February 19, 2015
Mike Uretz
Mike Uretz
Mike Uretz

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 mikeu@dentalsoftwareadvisor.com.

From the beginning of time there has been a chasm between dental software vendors and their customers. For the most part, this has been due to miscommunication between parties and limited technical knowledge on the side of the dental practice. At the end of the day, in many cases this has built up a limited trust with software vendors.

From the beginning of time there has been a chasm between dental software vendors and their customers. For the most part, this has been due to miscommunication between parties and limited technical knowledge on the side of the dental practice. At the end of the day, in many cases this has built up a limited trust with software vendors.

The Electronic Health Record Vendor Association (EHVRA), a collaborative organization of EHR vendors that has been around for over a decade, has made an attempt to close this perceived gap by introducing the EHR Developer Code of Conduct. Being somewhat of a skeptic at heart, I recently delved into some of the details in a podcast with MacPractice CEO Mark Hollis. MacPractice one of the first dental EHR vendors to sign on to the code and Hollis shared his thoughts with why this is important. Listen to the podcast here.

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Basically, the Code of Conduct outlines certain commitments by EHR vendors with the goal of “collaborating as trusted partners” with their customers. Items include commitments to patient safety in products, interoperability and data portability; making relevant information available to customers; assuring practice and patient privacy and security; notification of software issues; and the sharing of best practices with customers.

Obviously, is difficult, if not impossible, to police how a vendor actually deals with a potential or long-term customer, but this at least makes an attempt to outline some of the touch points that are important for a collaborative relationship. Hopefully, as EHR acceleration continues in the dental industry, dental software companies that provide EHRs take notice of the EHVRA, and the EHR Developer Code of Conduct is a first step at looking at the type of collaboration that is needed to bridge that chasm between dental software vendors and customers.

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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 and conducts a popular weekly podcast on dental software related topics. As a leading industry consultant and educator Uretz has helped both individual and group practices properly evaluate and select software vendors and solutions, structure and negotiate pricing and contracts, and provide implementation oversight and vendor management. Mike can be reached at mikeu@dentalsoftwareadvisor.com