Price and Other Factors in EHR Purchasing

Price and Other Factors in EHR Purchasing

Although medical professionals probably wish this, people can’t just go to stores, buy electronic health record (EHR) systems, and install them at their practices.

EHR systems are complex. They require special attention to select, test, install, operate, and maintain.

Before purchasing, medical professionals might want to consider a few aspects of their future EHRs.



Money isn’t everything, according to the old expression. While that’s true, cost is still an important consideration.

As useful as they are, electronic health records systems (EHRs) and other types of software cost money, quite a bit of it. Implementation and maintenance fees for private practice EHR software could cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Because of these costs, practices are eager to examine where their expenditures will go.

They’ll look for an EHR system that includes the features they want (or the features they want to add) for a price they can afford. Doing this kind of research to find and purchase the right EHR solution for their practice could save them money and hassle.



Researching features is necessary but could be challenging.

If they’re entirely new to EHRs or unfamiliar with particular types of EHRs, medical professionals might not know what to look for in a system, or they might wonder whether certain options could work for them.

Asking other medical professionals who work in the same specialty about their own EHR systems could be helpful. Since the practices might perform similar tasks, this input could help offices to determine which features to pursue, and which ones to ignore.

Ease of employee use


Another kind of input is also important when choosing an EHR system: employee input.

Since they’ll be the ones using a system, it’s important to ask them what they feel their EHRs should do. Employers could ask employees which features would make their lives easier.

When possible, employers should ask employees to participate in product demonstrations (demos) and trial usages. By using technical tools firsthand, employees might gain a better sense of what the products can do and how they can apply them to their regular tasks.

On the other hand, if EHR demos demonstrate that certain products are difficult to learn or not meeting employee needs, they could be good indications that they’re not the right tools. While that knowledge might be frustrating, it’s still better than dealing with an inadequate or hard-to-learn EHR in an actual work scenario.

Ease of patient use


Similarly, a good EHR is easy to use for everyone, including patients.

Since EHRs exist to store medical information, they should be intuitive and make information accessible.

Patients often access the information in EHRs by using online patient portals. These portals allow them to see the results of their appointments and tests, check on their prescriptions, make appointments, and discuss matters with their medical providers.

Medical providers need to ensure that their practices’ portals are offering such features or other aspects that could assist their patients.

They should also check if patients are able to use them efficiently. If patients are experiencing trouble with the systems, practice employees should attempt to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

Coordination with other systems


Electronic health records aren’t isolated entities.

The most useful EHR systems coordinate with other systems and processes in an office. When comparing different systems, offices might want to consider ones that allow them to transfer information easily from their old software solutions.

Offices will need to think about the other systems they’ll be using with their new EHR and its features. Are the EHR options they’re considering compatible with the software they use for scheduling, making and tracking medical insurance claims, and billing purposes?

Practices might want to consider buying their EHR and practice management (PM) software from the same entity to increase the likelihood that they’ll be compatible with each other.

Customer assistance

Purchasing EHR and PM software from the same place also means the systems will receive customer service from the same source.

Ongoing technical assistance is more than something that’s nice to have. It’s something many medical offices need, and in the case of an emergency, sometimes need promptly.

When representatives and technical support teams affiliated with electronic health record systems are available to offer their help, it could provide immediate assistance as well as peace of mind.

In times of trouble, this technical assistance could identify and fix problems quickly instead of employees scrambling to locate and hire such assistance. Quick fixes could also reduce disruptions to treatments and office procedures.

By handling the extraordinary, technical support allows offices to focus on the routine.



Dedicated technical support is also important for security purposes.

Health records and personal information are valuable. People might want to steal and misuse them for fraudulent reasons. They might also steal data from health practices and hold the data for ransom.

Practices could take multiple measures to try to prevent those scenarios. They could ask patients to create usernames and passwords to log into online portals, and remind them not to share this login information with others.

If the practice itself needs to share protected health information (PHI) with other practices or entities, it might choose an EHR that encrypts information. Encrypting means changing text from legible to illegible and requiring the use of keys to decipher the illegible text.

Systems that contain EHRs and practice management tools should also include the latest software updates. These updated features could find, isolate, and possibly destroy malware (viruses, ransomware, and other malicious types of software).

Since it could avert so much possible damage, investing in security is a wise financial move.

System flexibility


It’s also wise to consider EHR systems that offer flexibility.

Medical practices typically have diverse communities of patients and perform a wide variety of tasks. No two days are identical, and medicine itself is always changing.

Office software should keep up with such changes and diversity. For example, practices might want to leverage EHR information to determine if certain patients have newer prescriptions and might be interested in buying eyeglasses or contact lenses.

The practices could combine this prescription information with other programs that are connected to their optical services. This combination could serve their patients’ eyewear needs and increase their optical revenue.

To learn more about EHR systems and how to get the most of them, consider contacting Eye Care Leaders. We’ll show you solutions that relate to EHRs, practice management, and other aspects of your medical practice.

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