Adopting an EMR into your practice can feel like a daunting endeavour. When you add up all of the costs of software and hardware acquisition, training and implementation costs, there’s no question that implementing an EMR can come with a hefty price tag.
The good news? It’s worth it.
The benefits of EMRs are plentiful. A well-implemented, high-functioning EMR should ultimately lead to better patient care, improved practice efficiency and better office management. EMRs should cut down on paperwork, filing and storage. They should also provide access to other interoperable clinical applications such as lab and diagnostic imaging reports.
The key to avoiding sticker-shock is to know in advance where the costs are and then to plan for them.
Physician and staff time
It takes time to learn about the features of your EMR and how to use the functionality. You also need to schedule time to plan for implementation and integrate the EMR into your practice environment.
Training is key to successfully integrating an EMR into your practice. There are excellent training programs available for you and your staff, no matter what EMR program you adopt.
Moving to an EMR may require new furniture, cables and power panels. Investing in the right infrastructure will ensure a smoother implementation.
Most computers have a useful life cycle of about 36 months. You may need to purchase new hardware for your practice, such as computers and printers.
You will be required to obtain EMR software licenses, which differ for every EMR solution.
- Ongoing software maintenance fees (sometimes these are combined with software licenses)
- Networking and high-speed Internet
- Technical support
Leasing vs. purchasing
You can either lease or purchase the hardware required for an EMR. You should work with your accountant to determine the best strategy for your practice.
When planning an EMR implementation, it’s important to negotiate adequate contracts with service providers. Support companies can offer contracts that define response times for addressing hardware failures and other issues. We can help with that.
Looking for more advice?
Our EMR advisors give guidance and advice to physicians about all aspects of electronic medical records.