3 ways to get the most out of your EHR/EMR vendor

Let’s face it: EHR/EMR providers are on thin ice with healthcare organizations. Here are some quick facts: 59% of primary care providers think that their EHR/EMR system needs a complete overhaul, and 40% of them think their system offer more challenges than benefits. Less than one in five providers say that they are very satisfied with their current EHR/EMR vendor. Many providers think that their current vendor takes away from their clinical efficiency by necessitating manual data entry and other tedious tasks that, on average, take up 51% of a care provider’s work day. 62% of providers aren’t even using data from EHR/EMR vendors other than their own, simple because they are not equipped to ensure complex interoperability – it just isn’t in their EHR/EMR workflow. The main suggestion for long-term improvement? Fixing EHR/EMR vendors’ shortcomings in interoperability. Therefore, it’s important to know what you should prioritize in EHR/EMR vendor selection and supplementation so that your organization is not sold short on transparency, innovation, and superior interoperability capabilities.

3. Seek Transparency: No one likes doing business with someone they can’t trust. Companies with little expertise in healthcare technology are starting to act on joining the industry and will probably be extremely successful, and the biggest reason why is that they offer something the market doesn’t have a lot of: accountability. A Black Book research publication says that Google and Amazon’s entrance to the healthcare IT market will add not only competition, but also new processes and transparency. You and your organization should expect transparency from your EHR/EMR vendor, because other alternative providers are soon going to bring it: your vendor should keep up.

2. Be Innovative: As we’ve established, an astounding number of providers are growing tired of the EHR/EMR status quo. In fact, almost one in four providers say they are on the lookout for EHR/EMR alternatives in 2019. That means EHR/EMR vendors might start losing customers to another vendor or platform like Amazon or Google. Because of the appeal of new innovations in the healthcare information technology industry, it’s reasonable to expect a certain degree of innovative action from your EHR/EMR vendor.Your vendor should be working to make sure their system can “talk” to other EHR/EMR systems, so to speak, and your vendor should be working towards interoperability initiatives. Your vendor should be looking at new entrants in the industry that are introducing new ways to enhance organizational interoperability, taking inspiration from those ideas, and enhancing their interoperability offerings to your organization. While you seek those qualities in your EHR/EMR vendor, you can supplement your EHR/EMR by enlisting a terminology platform like HealthTerm that makes data easier to understand, more useful, and enables the enhancement of analytics and reporting methods or tools. Doing this will help your organization get the most benefits out of electronic records, and it will reduce administrative burdens driving physician burnout. Don’t let your organization fall behind because you’re afraid to try something new: change can be good!

1. Take Advantage of HIE and Strategic Partnerships: Don’t be afraid to venture outside of the EHR/EMR world with your organization’s partnerships. There’s a lot you can do on your own to get more out of your electronic record vendor, like becoming a part of a health information exchange (HIE) or enlisting a terminology platform solution. Joining a well-established and trusted HIE can benefit your organization by saving you time retrieving and sending patient health data. Participation in an HIE can also reduce duplicative treatments and help to avoid costly mistakes in patient care. Benefits like these can help your organization get the most our of your EHR/EMR vendor’s offerings. Consider the benefits of joining and HIE and weigh those with the membership and/or transaction fees. Joining an HIE also may, depending on your HIE, give you access to SHIEC’s Strategic Business and Technology Partners and their innovative ideas and products. A great example of these innovations is CareCom’s HealthTerm, a platform designed to make EHR/EMR vendor products more useful by standardizing clinical terminology data. This is a relatively simple fix for a very complex problem. Mapping terms on your computer without a terminology platform is more than likely to fall short of expectations and omit critical patient data. The average hospital has 18 EHR/EMR vendors in use, and synthesizing those records without help is quite the task – no wonder EHR data entry and other similar tasks take up more than half of a workday! External help from HealthTerm can drastically reduce the time spent on these tasks and allow care providers more time to spend enriching the patient experience.

Healthcare organizations do, and should, expect a lot out of their EHR/EMR vendors. Because the expectations are so high, healthcare organizations and individual care providers have sometimes been let down by less-than-ideal realities. Most of these letdowns could be resolved using the three methods we just outlined. Choose an EHR/EMR vendor that you can trust and that’s willing to be transparent with you, take the responsibility to innovate into your own hands, and enlist help from external vendors like CareCom to get the biggest bang for your buck from your EHR/EMR investment.

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