EMR Implementation: 5 Questions to Ask Before Signing the Contract.

Providers who are searching for the Electronic Health Record that will make the difference in the daily operations cannot trust every vendor. Some EHR vendors claim to have all the tools and necessities that a practice needs to get ahead when in reality they do not. The problem is, providers absolutely need a quality Electronic Health Record in their practice. So how do they find the right one? What should a provider look for in an EHR vendor to make sure their practice has the resources necessary to function at their best? Providers must ask the right questions before ever signing a contract with a vendor to make sure their EHR implementation goes off without a hitch. To ensure the success of their EHR implementation, providers should as these five questions.
Questions about EHR Implementation:

1) How many hours of training and EHR implementation are provided?

One of the most crucial aspects of EHR implementation, or any office technology for that matter, is how many hours of training and are provided? It should be a given that a vendor would train a provider’s staff on how to use the new technology, but this is not always the case. A vendor might offer a great product, but if a provider’s staff is not taught how to use it, then they waste time and money. Having a proper understanding of the software during the EHR implementation process is key for any provider who wants their staff to feel comfortable using it.

2) What is the training and implementation fee?

Vendors do not always have the best interest of the provider at heart. Sometimes it is just about making a quick buck off of hidden fees and unexpected costs once the provider has already signed a contract. An important question to ask any vendor is how much the EHR implementation and training will cost. Are there hidden fees that you should know about? Providers should be suspicious of any vendor who is not being upfront about any EHR implementation costs. Keep searching until you find a vendor who clearly lays out the costs from start to finish so you are never caught by surprise.

3) Will their team come onsite for training?

More often than not, there is a lack of personal relationship through training processes. Most of the time, vendors will provide training materials, but not an actual person to walk a provider’s staff through EHR implementation. Training videos and reading materials can be incredibly helpful, but a provider should ask their vendor if they plan to come on site for training. Having this extra help through the process of EHR implementation will make a large difference when it comes time to start using the software day-to-day.

4) Will there be ongoing training provided after we go live?

Not only is it important to have a trained professional during the start of EHR implementation, but providers should also ask if any ongoing training will be provided after it goes live. There are always a few bumps in the road when starting something new, so having someone there to walk you through those bumps and fix your flat tire when it comes is key. This extra hand will help to ensure your staff builds confidence in their ability to use the new technology.

5) What is the process for ongoing support?

After the vendor has trained your staff ongoing throughout the EHR implementation process, what will happen when questions arise? When the vendor is no longer on site, a provider can be almost certain that questions will come up. When this happens, there needs to be secure ongoing support for the provider and their staff. Make sure to ask any potential vendor what their ongoing support looks like after EHR implementation so that you are never on your own to navigate the technology. If your staff does not know what to do or how to locate information, contacting the vendor is all that should take place to resolve the issue.

These five questions, when asked, help a provider know that they are choosing a quality EHR vendor for their practice. With training that is onsite and ongoing through the EHR implementation process, providers can feel prepared to handle the new technology. With no hidden fees, providers can see exactly what they are paying for. And with ongoing support providers can feel reassured when questions arise.