How Do You Know it’s Time for a New EMR?

EMR (Electronic Medical Record)

I read this blog from Seth Godin (New Times Call for New Decisions) and it struck a chord.

Remember when you bought your first EMR? Perhaps you’re still on it, or you may have changed. Each has its reasons. Here is what Seth wrote:

“New times call for new decisions
Those critical choices you made then, they were based on what you knew about the world as it was.

But now, you know more and the world is different.

So why spend so much time defending those choices?

We don’t re-decide very often, which means that most of our time is spent doing, not choosing. And if the world isn’t changing (if you’re not changing) that doing makes a lot of sense.

The pain comes from falling in love with your status quo and living in fear of making another choice, a choice that might not work.

You might have been right then, but now isn’t then, it’s now.

If the world isn’t different, no need to make a new decision.

The question is, “is the world different now?””

— Seth Godin

Nothing has changed more than Healthcare and in particular, Healthcare IT, EMR, and EHR. We persist because Change is Fear!

In the world of EMR/EHR, implications are more than just fear. They have to do with real costs of change – the cost of moving data from one system to another.

Cost of Change

  • Cost of Training Everyone
  • Cost of productivity – (it takes an average of 3 months before a practice becomes productive on one EMR/EHR system)
  • Cost of Transition – moving data from one system to another

Cost of No Change (Status Quo)

How do you determine if you need to change your EMR/EHR? Here are things that determine if you need to change your system:

  • Seeing less patients per day than you did before EMR/EHR
  • Drop in Revenue (not because of overall healthcare changes)
  • Unhappy staff. Listen to everyone, even if you are happy with the system
  • Inefficient workflow

How do you determine the cost of the Status Quo?

This may require some detailed financial analysis. Compare the cost of change and the cost of no change. If this cost is just incremental, do not change. Think of the analysis you do when you think of re-financing a house. Money saved per month versus the cost of re-financing.

But most important, do not remain stagnant.