This entire week my EMR vendor had someone in our clinic going over our EMR implementation. Yes, that’s nearly 4 entire days of our health and counseling staff meeting with our EMR vendor. You can imagine after the first few meetings it’s pretty hard to keep things straight. However, this type of EMR vendor site visit is so beneficial.
The biggest benefit is that it almost forces doctors, nurses, front desk staff, lab, pharmacy, etc to sit down and think about our EMR, how it could be made better and which parts of the EMR are just causing them pains, problems, frustrations, or other discomfort. We tried to make sure that each EMR meeting went over: our current EMR challenges, features of the EMR that we aren’t using and finally discuss ideas for enhancements to the EMR software.
We’re lucky that we selected a smaller EMR vendor that’s completely focused on the college health EMR market. That means that we have a strong relationship with the EMR company. In our final meeting the EMR “trainer” said that they really are our “partner” in not just the EMR, but they’re willing to support us beyond just software. The nice thing is that our EMR vendor really does try to do this. They don’t always succeed at it, but they certainly are sincere in their effort.
Another major benefit of having someone from the EMR vendor do a site visit is that they are looking at your clinic with fresh eyes. They can see things about the way your process works that you may not see. Plus, they have usually been to hundreds of other EMR installs and so they are aware of how other clinics are using the EMR software.
Of course, you can’t expect someone from your EMR vendor to come and work miracles. In fact, many of the ideas they have just may not work for the way you practice medicine. It takes a solid filter to be able to see the benefits, problems, and workarounds that will work best for your standards of care, legal regulations, and clinical organization. The biggest problems that an EMR vendor faces is that it’s really hard to build a one size fits all EMR. Different practices act differently. However, there’s something really valuable about discussing the various options of an EMR.
I highly recommend this type of collaborative approach to working with your EMR vendor. I believe it’s paid amazing dividends for our clinic. In the end, your EMR company better be a good partner or you’ll pay the price later.