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Converting your EHR system is a big decision. While understanding the technical requirements is key, you’ve also got stakeholders, resources, timing, integrations, and other factors to consider. It can be hard to know where to begin.  

Here are the first questions to ask when you’re considering a different EHR platform. They’ll get you thinking about what’s possible, so you make the right call for your patients, providers, staff, and bottom line.  

  • Is the potential vendor well positioned as a business, with an experienced, forward-looking leadership team? 

Business externalities like market share, acquisitions, or whether a vendor is overly focused on quarterly financial results matter in your selection. Avoid surprises with up-front discovery, like looking at R&D budgets to check whether a software solution is getting adequate investment to keep up with the latest. 

  • What are the projected costs of ownership, break-even timing, and long-term cost savings? 

An accurate cost model is essential for knowing the answers. It should calculate expected revenue gains (from improved scheduling, fewer appointment cancellations, better referral completion, physician efficiency, clinical revenue capture automation), projected savings (from fewer insurance denials, reduced bad debt, better record sharing, etc.), and modernization capabilities that further your organization’s strategic objectives (like value-based care, population health, and research). 

  • What are the non-financial benefits of transitioning to a new EHR system?  

These include caregiver satisfaction, patient engagement, and integration of additional specialties. Get clarity on all the benefits by vigorously seeking out the views of providers and all stakeholders early on. This assures your EHR choice will actually address clinician satisfaction. 

Related: New Strategic Roadmap Leads to Revenue Cycle and Clinical Improvements 

  • What market trends are important to consider, to make sure the selected system is built for a changing healthcare landscape?  

A few that are getting a lot of attention are: leveraging the flood of valuable data that’s available; public vs. private vs. hybrid cloud options; “digital front door” experiences that improve patient access and experience; managed services like TaaS (telemedicine as a service); and giving physicians better outlets to be innovators. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence mean these trends are in constant flux.  

Related: Microsoft and Tegria: Insights on Cloud Hosting 

  • What important information am I overlooking? 

The answers will vary depending on the type of healthcare organization, your patient population, and your providers’ and staff’s pain points. One bridge every HCO will have to cross is how to move seamlessly from planning to implementation, if you conclude you do indeed want to transition to a new EHR platform.  

  • How can I realistically get my hands on all this information? 

Most HCOs will need support to collect and make sense of all these strategic insights. Look for a partner staffed with analysts who have direct experience working in healthcare. And who can move seamlessly from navigating the keep-or-leave decision, to managing a prospective transition, to optimizing a new platform. 

For many reasons, the last question should probably be the first one you ask. Count on us to help you move toward healthcare experiences that are better for everyone, starting with platform modernization And remember, go-live is the beginning, not the end.