Dr. Kuppersmith said his team spent a year choosing the system and six months preparing the staff with training and getting them more used to being involved in the flow of patient care so that they could help us get the system working. We’d have ‘Lunch and Learn,’ bringing in anatomy charts and teaching the vocabulary. You can have some people in your office for five or 10 years who have no idea what you actually do. We lost some employees along the way; they just weren’t ready to work on the computer.
Explore This IssueJanuary 2007
A good ballpark for complete training and implementation within a small to mid-size practice is between eight and 12 weeks, Dr. Upchurch said. Of course, much of this depends on the practice’s individual complexities as well as their general availability.
Is It Time to Make the Investment?
In his remarks to the US House of Representatives, Mr. Price said an HIMSS random sampling of 2500 physician group practices around the country showed that 100% had a practice management system. However, only 26% had an EMR system, and most of those without an EMR system were not yet planning to purchase one.
EMR vendors and physician groups contacted for this article commented that an EMR system is the best way to realize maximum benefits, both in dollars saved and improved patient safety, process improvement, and provider-patient communications.
If it’s the cost alone that is keeping a group from implementing an EMR, Mr. Price said the HIMSS study noted that in some cases, clinics report doubling or even tripling caseloads-with a corresponding jump in revenue-and with only marginal increases in staffing. At the same time, many report that they more easily pass regulatory audits than ever before.
In conclusion, he said that small health care groups see many of the same advantages from using EMRs as larger institutions. In many ways, ambulatory-care applications are more personalized and data-rich, and affect an astonishing, near-total transformation of the business.
©2007 The Triological Society