How to choose an EHR vendor: 10 questions to ask

When you are looking at a new vendor to build a relationship with, there’s a lot at stake. Reliability, training and service and long-term viability are only a few things you must evaluate. When selecting an electronic health record (EHR) vendor, the stakes are even higher.  Finding the right EHR will help you provide quality care and make your practice more efficient. But selecting the wrong one can reduce the number of patients you see, expose you to security threats, and even prevent you from accessing critical information if the system goes down.

Here are 10 questions you should ask when considering whether an EHR fits your needs:

1. What kind of training do you offer?
Practices can take advantage of self-paced eLearning modules, web-based live training sessions along with in-office training with a certified product trainer. Our flexible training approach makes it easier for you and your staff to learn  at a pace that is right for you. In addition, our customer support desk is available 24/7 so there is always someone to turn to when you have a question.

2. Are you a certified EHR?
It’s important to choose an EHR that is certified by the Office on the National Coordinator Authorized Testing and Certifying Body (ONC-ATCB) so that you can meet requirements of and qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid incentives. Quanum EHR is a certified ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 Complete EHR, meaning that medical professionals using our solution have the tools available to satisfy the CMS requirements for Meaningful Use of an Electronic Health Record and qualify for incentives.

3. How will your system fit in with established workflow?
Ideally, you want as little disruption as possible to your normal workflow when transitioning to an EHR. Quanum EHR offers the flexibility and customization options a practice should look for to make it easy to integrate with your current workflow. For example, you can change the way your patient chart looks to match your current process and build custom encounter templates (SOAP notes) to streamline your visits.

4. Can I communicate with other physicians using your system?
Accurately and quickly sharing information is critical to providing good healthcare. Integrated clinical messaging in Quanum EHR allows you to communicate immediately with other physicians in the network securely. In addition, using Direct Protocol, you can communicate with physicians using other EHR solutions also.  When you need to send information physicians who are still using paper or an incompatible EHR solution, you can send information via fax using the same easy steps as you would use for an email.

5. Does your software allow for remote access?
The ability to access patient information anytime, anywhere is a critical attribute for physicians and can translate to quality patient care. As a web-based EHR solution, you can access Quanum EHR through any Internet-connected computer, iPhone®, iPad®, BlackBerry® and most other smartphones.

6. Is your EHR data secure?
Being a government-certified EHR means the system provides certain safeguards. Quanum EHR complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and ensures that patient data remain safe and secure.

7. Who else is using your system? Can I have a reference?
Hearing from your peers about the successes and challenges they have with an EHR solution is important to understanding how it will work for you. The Quanum EHR solution is currently being used by over 200,000 providers.  Some of our clients are using it for lab ordering and results, others for ePrescribing and many have chosen to use the full EHR capabilities.  You can see what they have to say on our website or ask your sales representative for a local reference.

8. How long will it take to get your system up and running?
Implementing Quanum EHR is very rapid, with little to no downtime with our step-wise approach. Eligible physicians can have a certified EHR that is up and running in approximately 45 days. We do not require you to close your office for training, which is different from a number of other systems.

9. What are the ePrescribing options?
Increasing the use of ePrescribing has been a focus of Medicare for quite some time. They have offered incentives to providers for adoption of an ePrescribing system and are starting to penalize providers who don’t use one. For providers who aren’t ready to implement a full EHR or are interested in ePrescribing before going through the training on the full EHR, Quanum EHR offers an ePrescribing only option. For a low monthly subscription fee, physicians can use the Quanum ePrescribing module without having a full EHR implementation. When you do implement the full Quanum EHR, all the information you entered while ePrescribing is already in the system making the implementation simple.

10. Will your system still be around five years from now?
Quest Diagnostics, celebrating 50+ years, is the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company has been providing health technology solutions for patients, hospitals and physicians for more than a decade.

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