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Will Your EHR Vendor Be Around in 5 Years?

Posted on January 10, 2014 I Written By

The following is a guest post by Angela Carter, marketing manager at ChartLogic.
Angela Carter
A major concern physicians have dealt with over the past 10–15 years has been choosing the right EHR solution for their practice. With the rise and fall of numerous electronic health record companies, that concern has evolved to whether a chosen EHR will still be in business five years from now.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there are over 900 EHR vendors currently on the market, many of whom offer more than one product. In some ways, the huge number of EHR choices has been a good thing for healthcare; it has forced vendors to be more innovative and to cater to the needs of their users. However, the market can’t possibly sustain this many similar projects for long. Eventually, small vendors will be swallowed up by larger vendors and many others will simply go out of business.

So how do you know if your EHR vendor will survive the EHR purge that has already started? Of course there is no way of knowing for sure, but below are a few questions you can ask yourself that will give you a good idea of your EHR’s future.

1. How long has the vendor been in business?

Past performance is usually a good measuring stick for the future. Hundreds of vendors were born after the HITECH Act was passed in 2009, which means that most EHR vendors are still relatively new. Newer EHR companies aren’t necessarily a bad thing—some of them are actually better than some of the legacy systems that have been around for decades—but be wary of any company that doesn’t have the years in business to back it up. A vendor that has already proven it has weathered the EHR storms for 10–15 years will be much more likely to survive current and future challenges than the new, promising EHRs.

Don’t just look at how long the vendor has been in business, though. Research the vendor’s track record as well. If your vendor has a high retention rate—90 percent or higher—then you’re in good company.

2. How usable is the EHR?

For years, doctors put up with EHRs that didn’t meld with their workflow, but that tolerance is coming to an end. Black Book Rankings called 2013 “The Year of the Great EHR Switch” because most EHR implementations happened in practices that were on their second or third EHR. The reason for this shift? Usability. Eighty-seven percent of doctors cited usability as their primary complaint about EHRs. (Source: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10926499.htm)

For some reason it took many years for usability of EHR systems to catch on, but now that it has, the difficult-to-use systems will have a difficult time holding on to customers. Point-and-click EHRs have never been popular among physicians, especially those who see 50+ patients a day. EHRs that utilize voice technology, though, are growing in popularity. It is highly unlikely that any EHR system will cater 100 percent to a physician’s needs and preferences, but voice offers much more flexibility than traditional point-and-click systems do, not to mention voice-driven systems are more likely to follow the workflow physicians already use.

3. How well does your vendor understand your specialty?

The reason the industry hasn’t settled on just a couple of vendors by now is because workflow among different specialties varies so widely. Physicians need vendors that are very good at their specialty, not those that claim to answer to the needs of all physicians. A vendor that dedicates itself to producing and improving capabilities that align with your specific needs will take much better care of you. Not only that, but they will be more able to evolve with you as technological demands change, giving the company more stability in a shaky market.

4. How’s the support?

Never underestimate the power of a good support team. Most EHRs aren’t designed to work flawlessly fresh out of the box; you need adequate training and ongoing support, too. A recent Software Advice survey revealed that about 60 percent of respondents reported “learning to use the system” as a one of the main challenges with their EHR, even more challenging than achieving meaningful use or finding costs to support the system. (source: http://www.softwareadvice.com/medical/userview/ehr-survey/)

As a business metric, support may be even more powerful than usability, especially since federal regulations keep tightening, limiting the freedom to change certain aspects of an EHR. A vendor that communicates with its customers regularly will stand out.

5. Is the vendor ready for meaningful use stage 2? ICD-10?

Over a thousand vendors certified for meaningful use the first time around. Less than 40 of those vendors have received complete ambulatory certification required for 2014. Add ICD-10 to the mix and very few vendors will be able to keep up with these increasingly difficult technological advancements. Vendors that don’t have a plan already in place regarding how they will re-certify for meaningful use and be ICD-10 compliant will be among the first to go.

A vendor that scores well in each of the five questions above will most likely have what it takes to make it through the next five years.

Angela Carter is a marketing manager at ChartLogic, an EHR for orthopedists, ENT doctors, and other specialists. In addition to managing all of the company’s content, she writes regular blog posts for various health IT sites. She is also the associate editor for Utah Technology Magazine, a start-up magazine that aims to tell the tech story happening in Utah.

New EMR Vendor Support

Posted on December 14, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I recently came across this really interesting comment from Abby Nardo on the DrChrono blog:

Thanks for featuring me. I’m really liking Dr. Chrono, and what I’m liking most is your responsiveness to suggestions. As an early adopter to new technologies, this is often what makes/breaks my allegiance, and you guys are great. If you aren’t able to respond to feature requests right away, you tell me why or let me know when it’s going to happen. I’m never left hanging. So far, I’m really happy.

This is one of the challenges in selecting an EMR software vendor. If you choose one of the older EMR vendors with a large established client base, then your comments and feature requests often fall on deaf ears. I’m not saying that these larger EHR vendors don’t listen to their customers. It’s just that they’re getting messages from 1000’s of EMR users at the same time and so you have to work a lot harder to make sure that your request is heard above the noise of the other 1000 voices that are shouting at the same time. Even with only 100 EMR users it’s hard for an EMR vendor to be able to really give personalized attention like is described above by Abby.

As a new entrant into the EMR world DrChrono and other new EMR software have this to their advantage. Since they only have a few customers, they can be very responsive to those customers in ways that a large company never could do. Part of it is what I described above (ie. lack of noise), but the other part is that DrChrono is still really actively developing the features in its EMR. Older EMR systems have likely already built the features that DrChrono is just now getting requested. Some consider this an advantage and some consider it a disadvantage.

Turns out that this is a perpetually cycle. Assuming DrChrono lasts, one day they’ll be the entrenched player and some other company will come along that can be more responsive to customers for the same reasons that DrChrono can be responsive today.

Which is Better?
I’m sure some people are then asking, which option is better? Is it better to have a more responsive EHR company or an EHR company that already has the EMR features that I need?

My answer is that it likely depends upon the nature of the clinic. Certainly you want to be really careful adopting any EHR that doesn’t have essential functions that you need in your office. However, after those baseline features, it depends how involved as a clinic you want to be in the future development of the EHR software. Most providers that I know don’t really want to actively participate in the development of the EHR software. They just want to open the box and have it work. However, for those few who really want to play an active role in shaping the future of an EMR, working with a smaller company can really produce great results for their clinic.

“Our EMR is So Slow”

Posted on September 1, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many of you might remember my recent post about EMR Performance Issues (ie. EMR Slowness). Turns out, the post had a pretty big impact on some readers of the site. In fact, it sounds like it was partially therapeutic for some to realize that they’re not alone.

I asked permission to share one of the responses with you so you could get some more first hand perspective on the issue of EMR slowness. I share it in the hopes that others can be aware and avoid it. Plus, I hope the EHR vendors that read this will take it to heart and be fanatically focused on EMR speed and customer support.

I’ve removed the name of the writer and the names of the vendors. Plus, realize that it was written originally in an email communication and not necessarily to be published.

OMG…you hit the nail on the head with this post. Our EMR is so slow. It often takes minutes between pages. My clinical and front office staffs so frustrated. We have had nothing but finger pointing going on ever since.

Part of the issue is the interface between our practice management system VENDOR A and our EMR VENDOR B It takes a minimum of 3-4 minutes for data entered into VENDOR A to roll into VENDOR B. My front office staff has taken to entering the data twice, once in each program in order to get our patients registered timely. When you see 80-100 patients in a day, a few minutes makes all the difference.

Additionally, certain criteria does not roll over, namely email addresses. This makes it impossible for us to send out patient visit summaries thus we are unable to meet meaningful use for that criteria. Referring physician is another part that does not roll over.

The most frustrating part is that no one will take any responsibility for the issue much less work on fixing it. These two vendors spend all day playing the blame game. Fortunately for our practice, we have a wonderful IT company that we work with. Our IT specialist has spend countless hours trying to mediate between these two vendors. Most times he just fixes what he can but we are paying for his services in addition to the tech support agreement with VENDOR A and VENDOR B.

A perfect example happened this week when the EMR went down in one of our exam rooms.. First we spend at least 10-20 minutes on hold waiting for a VENDOR B tech to pick up the call. In this particular case, they worked remotely for at least 4 hours on this one computer only to tell us they could not fix it.

I called my IT guy and he fixed it within 10 minutes. My staff spends countless hours on the phone most days trying to keep the system up and running. We are in the process of replacing all our PCs and I recently upgraded our Internet to a 10×10 fiber service however we still are not seeing any difference in speed.

It is at least comforting to know we are not alone. I plan to hang up your post for all my staff to see. It may not make our system work faster but hopefully it will give them some comfort knowing they are not alone.

Thanks for all the great information.

EHR Readiness Questions

Posted on July 15, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In my interest of highlighting more EHR bloggers, I found this post by Ron Sterling on EHR Outlook quite interesting. In his post, Ron highlights a number of questions a clinic should ask itself to know if it’s ready for an EHR implementation. Here are the questions he lists:
* Does your EHR effort have physician support?
* Are you prepared to address ongoing problems?
* Is your budget practical?
* Does your EHR support your current workflow and operations?
* Will your existing computer Infrastructure support an EHR?
* Have you gotten your paper records ready?

Check out the original post for Ron’s thoughts on each question and why that question is important. I think it’s a pretty good list to consider. I especially like the second question that addresses whether you’re willing and able to address ongoing problems. That’s a hard one to evaluate, but understanding how your organization addresses issues is very important. You don’t want to start thinking about that once you’re in the heat of an EHR implementation.

I’d also suggest a couple more questions:
* Why are you implementing an EHR?
* What are your plans for your medical practice and will the EHR you choose be impacted by those plans?

Making sure that a clinic is EHR ready is brutally important. Trying to implement an EHR in a clinic that’s not ready almost always turns into a nightmare experience for everyone involved.

EMR Vendor Support Tracking

Posted on November 17, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One thing that I’m sure very few doctors consider when they’re selecting an EMR software is the method that the EMR vendor uses to handle support calls. Certainly, it wouldn’t be that hard to figure out.

First, you can ask the EMR vendor at the end of the demo, “How do you track problems that I call you about?” There answer should be very telling. If they say that you call the 800 number and we try and help you. That’s not so good. If they say that you call, email, IM, etc us with your support request. We take all the information we need and create a ticket (or some other word like ticket) that will track the request you made until completion. You’ll be emailed the information that was added to the ticket with a number in it for your reference. Then, if they’re really great you’ll hear them say, we handle [insert number] requests a day. Our average resolution time for support requests is 3 hours. Our customer rating after a support request is 4.5 out of 5 stars and our goal is to make that 4.8 next year. Yes, we send out a survey where customers can rate the support they received for that ticket. If they’re unsatisfied with the resolution, it’s elevated to a supervisor who follows up with the client directly.

All of the above is possible and really not that hard to implement. Sadly, not many EMR vendors go to this extent. However, I’m guessing that as EMR adoption increases they’re going to have to reach this level of sophistication in order to compete.

Second, when you do a site visit or phone call with someone who uses that EMR (and yes, you better do this), ask the person what type of response they get from the EMR vendors support. You’ll learn a lot about an EMR vendor by asking the client how their supported.

The real question you want to ask yourself is, “how much thought and effort has the EMR vendor given to how they support their customers?” If they haven’t given much thought to this process, then it’s likely that they haven’t given much thought to other key areas of their EMR and associated processes.

Dell EMR

Posted on September 10, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today, CNET posted an article that talked about a Dell EMR. Yes, we’re talking about the Dell that makes computers (and sells everything else under the sun).

We’ve known for a while about Dell’s partnership with eCW and Walmart-Sam’s Club to sell EHR, but the thing that’s interesting about the CNET article is that it calls it “Dell’s EMR software.” I’m certain that Dell didn’t create it’s own EMR software package. I assume it has to just be eCW’s EMR right?

To add to the fun, I even found the page http://www.dell.com/emr which talks about Dell’s foray into the EMR world. However, on that page it links to the Sam’s Club/Walmart/eCW EHR partnership as well.

I have a feeling that the CNET article is just an extension of Dell’s partnership with eCW and Walmart. I’m sure eCW wants to market their EHR as much as possible and Dell is a respected brand on which to market your product.

UPDATE: The following is an excerpt from Healthcare IT News about the Dell EMR:

The Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker on Thursday introduced an electronic medical record system for hospital-affiliated physician practices. The intent, said Dell executives, is to accelerate the sharing and meaningful use of digital patient information among hospitals and physician practices.

Dell executives say their EMR solution is sponsored by hospitals for their affiliated physicians and designed to make it affordable and practical for physician practices to transition from paper to electronic records.

So, it looks like it’s hospitals that will choose to partner with Dell in order to get doctors to buy an EMR from Dell? It still doesn’t say where Dell got this EMR. I think we can rule out them developing their own. So, the question remains: Is this an extension of the partnership with eCW or did Dell purchase another EMR software company?

In summary, a doctor will be buying an EMR sponsored by their hospital association who has an associate with Dell who has an association with some EMR software? Sounds like the perfect recipe for finger pointing.

Sam’s Club Listing for eCW and Dell EMR Package

Posted on May 8, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many of you may remember my rather detailed coverage of the impact of Walmart offering an EMR through Sam’s Club and in partnership with eClinicalWorks and Dell. For those that missed my comments, I wrote about the details of the Walmart EMR offering, and then A Doctor’s Perspective on Walmart EMR and eCW and Dell’s perspective on Walmart EMR.

I saw the Walmart EMR listing on the Sam’s Club website a while back, but didn’t have a chance to post it. It’s really interesting to see an EMR listed at Sam’s Club. I also find it interesting to see that they chose to market it as an EMR and not an EHR. I think this actually is a pretty smart move since I think most doctors still call it an electronic medical record or EMR. Those of us in the industry sometimes get caught up in the difference between EMR and EHR, but I think doctors don’t really care about the difference.

I still don’t think that this is much more than the opportunity for eCW and Dell to market their products. However, it is really interesting to see an attempt to commoditize the price of an EMR. As I look through the prices, I think that anyone that tries to buy this package through Sam’s Club is going to be hit by a bunch of hidden costs. Everything from the cost of travel for the eCW trainers to the upgraded hardware support from Dell. At the end of the day, I don’t think it will save doctors anything.

Turns out that the website states: “Availability of this offering is currently limited to Virginia, Illinois, and Georgia with anticipated nationwide coverage by the end of the year” I’d love to hear from someone who has taken the bait and purchased the Walmart EMR from Sam’s Club.

Thoughts on Walmart, eCW and Dell EHR – eCW and Dell’s Perspective

Posted on March 14, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I previously posted a summary of the Walmart EHR package with eCW and Dell.  Then, I followed it up with a doctor’s persctive on Walmart EHR.  At the end, I promised to follow up with a post on the Walmart EHR deal from Walmart, eCW and Dell’s perspective.

I think this was a great move by eCW, Dell and Walmart.  Honestly, what do they lose by trying this out?

Let’s not go overboard here.  I don’t see this offering completely changing the landscape of EHR.  Walmart has done that in a lot of areas, but EHR is not going to be one of them.

However, Walmart could be a good lead generator for eCW and Dell.  Dell certainly has reached a point where they have a strong brand established and scale is their friend.  They want to distribute their product through as many low cost channels as possible.  If this is successful, Dell tablets (a new offering for Dell – second generation just came out for those keeping track) will be in a lot more doctors’ offices.  If it fails, then Dell still will have gotten some PR in front of doctors saying that Dell offers tablets for doctors.  Don’t believe this is happening?  Do a quick search on google news and see all the stories about Walmart EHR.  This blog post is another example of the free PR Dell is getting from this deal.

eCW isn’t quite the brand that Dell has become, but they do have a substantial install base.  Scale really is their friend.  The more EHR software they can sale, the better for them as a company.  EHR sales is a numbers game and the more doctors they have viewing their product the more doctors they’ll have buying it.  Plus, if someone is thinking about EHR at Walmart, then that’s a high quality lead.  The leads won’t be as high quality as say advertising on EMR and HIPAA (excuse the plug), but a lead’s a lead.

Walmart really seems to have nothing to lose in this.  I guess they’re giving up floor space for the product.  I wonder what this will look like at Sam’s Club.  If anyone sees it, take a picture and send it to me so I can post it.  I’m not sure Walmart’s internal projections, but they threw out the number of 200k health care providers are members of Sam’s Club.  I’m a member of Sam’s Club as well, but I can’t remember the last time I was there.  My wife usually takes care of it.  I’m pretty sure many of these doctors are the same as me.

I do think this is a really interesting news item for Walmart.  Walmart has been doing a ton of things in regards to health care lately and so offering an EHR didn’t suprise me that much.  We have Walmart Clinics.  Free or cheap Walmart drugs.  Now we have a Walmart EHR.  Once they offer the Walmart PHR to compete with Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault, then we can really start to wonder if Walmart just has so much money they don’t know what to do with it.

Thoughts on Walmart, eCW and Dell EHR – A Doctor’s Perspective

Posted on March 13, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As promised, I wanted to share a few thoughts about the newly announced Walmart EHR package. I previously posted a nice summary of how the Walmart, eCW and Dell EHR will work. If you’ve never heard about the Walmart EHR, then go read that post and come back.

Offhand it would be really easy to criticize this move by Walmart (really Sam’s Club). I can just imagine doctors going down the aisle of Sam’s Club: toilet paper, candy bars, EHR software, oh yeah, I almost forgot the salsa. Honestly, does that sound right to anyone?

However, I’m certain that many people said the same thing about getting TVs, vacation packages and tires at Sam’s Club when they first started offering those items as well. Toilet paper, candy bars and disney vacation doesn’t sound much better.

All of this said, I still think the idea is crazy. I’m not talking about Walmart, eCW and Dell being crazy. I’m saying that any doctor’s office that chooses to buy this package at Sam’s Club is crazy. Let me explain.

I’ve often talked about your EHR becoming the life blood of your practice. Once you’ve implemented an EHR it becomes apart of almost everything you do in a clinic. I can’t think of any part of a clinical practice that isn’t affected by the implementation of an EHR. Doctors spend as much time on their EHR as they do helping patients.

Yes, I know it’s a sad reality, but it’s the reality. Other people might tell you different, but I don’t think they’re being very honest with you. Is this reason for concern? No, because you could have just as easily said that Doctors spend as much time in paper charts as they do helping patients. Why this is the case is the topic for another post. The point is that the EHR becomes the center of a practice. Still don’t believe me? Watch for a future post on the topic which will include more compelling reasons EHR’s the core of a practice.

Since EHR is the core of your practice, do you really want to get your EHR package at Walmart?

Seriously, think about that. You’re trusting your livelihood and happiness (yes, EHR affects both of those things) to a $25k package you bought at Walmart?

I’m not saying that eCW, Dell and Walmart aren’t great companies. eCW has an EMR product that’s been very successful and is an EMR that many should and would consider for their clinic. I love Dell products and recommend them to anyone. I just don’t see why you’d purchase it at Walmart instead of going directly to Dell and eCW.

Let’s just think this through. First, I’d expect that if I’m buying this EHR package through Walmart, then I’m getting a better deal than if I bought each of the items separately. This means less revenue for eCW and Dell from the start. Next, you take out whatever Walmart’s getting paid to make the sale. The question then remains, how can these companies sell their products cheaper than normal AND share the revenue with Walmart? The answer is easy. They’re going to find other ways to lower their costs.

Let’s think about ways that they can lower your costs:

First, they should have saved money trying to sale you the product.  In theory this is great.  Walmart’s taking care of the marketing and sales of the product, so that’s why the product is cheaper.  Of course, the doctors should be asking themselves if they want Walmart to be the one showing them how the Walmart EHR will work for them.  Ahh, but certainly Walmart won’t be the ones demoing the product to the doctors.  eCW will be taking care of all the demoing and “sales” of the product.  Well, there goes the money eCW was saving by using Walmart.   That basically relegates Walmart to a lead generated for eCW.

Second, eCW could enjoy economies of scale as they support more istances of EHR.  Let me translate what this means for you as a doctor: POOR Support.  Try supporting 25k physicians (number using eCW per NYTimes) spread across the country in every specialty imaginable.  It’s pretty much impossible to expect that eCW could provide personal and quality service to such a large user base.  Just think about how many people eCW would need to hire and train to be able to provide the type of support you’d like to receive if you’re a doctor implementing an EHR (eCW is hiring for those searching).  I’m pretty sure that calling them and telling them that you bought your EHR at Walmart is going to put you at the front of the support line.

EHR vendor support is so important to having a successful EHR implementation.  I’m familiar with a large eCW implementation that was having troubles getting the support they needed.  It seemed that this was probably due to the popularity of eCW.  Credit the eCW sales team for doing a good job selling the product, but if I’m a doctor I’m not throwing my ring into an EHR vendor that can’t support me because they’ve oversold.  Considering you’re buying a cheap (isn’t that Walmart’s motto?) Walmart EHR, don’t expect World Class support when you’re paying Walmart prices.

I could keep going with thoughts about this announcement.  Suffice it to say that from a doctor’s perspective I think you’d be crazy to take it.  Now, if separately you’ve made a decision to choose eCW and the Dell computers they offer and you can get it cheaper at Walmart, great.  However, what are the chances of that happening?

There’s so much more that should be said about this topic.  I’ll be following up with another post tomorrow about the Walmart EHR from an eCW and Dell perspective.  I think you’ll enjoy that post.

I probably should have also mentioned that eCW does have a strong community of users that can be leveraged for support as well.  The point of this post isn’t to lower eCW or Dell in particular.  This could have been any EHR software vendor and hardware vendor and I’d have said the same things.  And yes, I’m still very excited to try out the 2 new Dell dual touch tablets I ordered yesterday.

One final parting thought: if you buy the EHR package at Sam’s Club, does the Sam’s Club return policy apply?  Now that’s something that could change my mind.