CCHIT spokesperson C. Sue Reber said that the Commission is likely to begin to address specialty certification within the next year, but will not deal with all specialties simultaneously.
Explore This IssueJanuary 2007
Additional Tips from Providers and Physicians
Get references and do site visits.
Dr. Upchurch suggested that physicians ask for five or six references from an EMR company and that they pay site visits. In addition, he said to check on the retention rate for the EMR. In the US, about 50 percent of the practices chuck their EMR in a year or two. Why? It doesn’t work. They go to a show or somewhere and see a speech recognition program or some other fantastic stuff. They buy it and they don’t do the research first. Or they buy a system that doesn’t have the specifics for their specialty.
In his written testimony to Congress, HIMSS Vice President Price recommended that physician practices allow time to research-then go back and do some more research. Some practices studied 20 vendors.
Consider an EMR system customized for otolaryngologists.
A major pitfall, according to Dr. Upchurch, is choosing a vendor that does not have substantial experience delivering EMR solutions to ENT providers.
Ms. Eddy tells of one site she visited in Connecticut where a physician had spent 20 hours a week for six months designing their template. All I could think of was that nothing was going to work if I have to ask someone in our practice to spend 20 hours a week for six months…before we can even start!
With the systems that are really inexpensive, you get what you pay for, Dr. Kuppersmith said. You’re going to have to create all of your exams.
Train staff and physicians.
We did a phased implementation, Ms. Eddy said. We went live on the new practice management October 1, 2005. We spent October through February planning our implementation and designing our ENT template, layout, and workflow. We brought our first physician live on the EMR piece on March 1, 2006. We finished our last physician the first of November. It took us seven months to bring 27 providers live.
Her group rolled out system users one at a time. Each received two weeks with a mentor trainer. We didn’t think it was as important to do it fast, as to do it right, she said, adding that we made the transition so that there was no downtime in billing and collection or in reduction of patient flow.