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The Top 5 reasons why physicians move Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

May 20, 2020

Our leading EHR solution, CGM APRIMA offers a uniquely fast, flexible, and powerful EHR designed to complement and simplify your workflow, not hinder it.

Happy doctors who rely on CGM APRIMA EHR and Practice Management

Electronic health records (EHRs) have transformed the way healthcare professionals store, manage, and access patient information. In their initial creation, as part of a meaningful-use-criteria push to automate access to patient information, providers were hesitant to adopt them as the first EHRs were clunky and unintuitive. Thankfully, as technology progressed, so did the satisfaction rates of its users.

However, not all EHRs are created equal! Many of the EHR software systems out in the market still fail to understand their users and their needs. The healthcare environment has changed dramatically as new requirements such as risk-based population health management and patient engagement have become larger drivers of technology. This has pushed physicians to switch to different platforms.

In this article, we will explore the top five reasons why physicians move EHRs, shedding light on the challenges you face and the benefits you seek.

EHR User Interface and Usability

One of the key reasons physicians switch EHRs is the user interface and overall usability of the system. What does EHR usability really mean, you may be wondering.

In its simplest terms, EHR usability is defined as the extent to which a product can be used by its users to achieve specific goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. For example, usability goals might be time savings, reducing no-shows, managing claims, seeing more patients, etc. In an ideal world, their EHR platform would be able to help achieve one or more of these goals.

Yet, many EHR platforms have complex interfaces that can be difficult to navigate, leading to inefficiencies and frustration in workflows. Physicians require an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows for quick and easy access to patient data, streamlined workflows, and minimal disruption to your daily routines. 

As the market has matured, so has the user’s understanding of their own needs. Although speed and completeness of documentation will always be core needs, we are well beyond just digitizing notes.

Here are a few key EHR solutions that can help you accomplish your goals:

  • Clinical decision support
  • Risk stratification
  • Integrated appointment tools that include alerts to fill gaps in your schedule
  • AI-driven or ambient voice recognition
  • FHIR APIs to retrieve and share patient information with third parties such as ACOs, state registries, and more

Customization and Flexibility

Physicians often require an EHR system that can be tailored to their specific needs and workflows. Specialty providers and practices especially feel this need. For example, a rural health clinic that treats an elderly population with limited resources will have different EHR needs than an orthopedic practice. This distinction seems obvious, but some EHR platforms lack the necessary customization options, forcing physicians to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. 

The ability to customize templates, order sets, and workflows is crucial for physicians to efficiently manage patient care, documentation, and keep revenue flowing.

With home-based primary care, for example, a doctor who makes visits or house calls would need the following out of their EHR:

  • The ability to chart without Wi-Fi
  • HIPAA-compliant communication to send messages quickly and securely to any person or group in the practice
  • Device integration
  • Easy patient records access via patient portal
  • Patient grouping capabilities, e.g. adding patient sites or facilities; grouping house call patients by site, geography, zip code, and more

Looking for a specialty specific EHR? CGM APRIMA serves over 70 specialties thanks to our customized problem templates and wide range of specialty specific features. Your specialty is our specialty

Interoperability and Data Exchange

Interoperability is a critical factor in healthcare, as it enables the seamless exchange of patient information between different systems and providers. A few benefits of Health Information Exchange include safer and higher quality patient care, reducing medication/medical errors and abuse, eliminating paperwork, reducing health related costs, and more.

Interoperability has progressed beyond results interfaces. With the advent of patient consumerism, there has been an increase in consumer applications such as Apple’s HealthKit. There is a growing need to provide data automatically and securely to ACOs and population health organizations. Standards-based interchange such as USCDI data standards and FHIR are now key parts of any quality EHR.

Physicians may switch EHRs due to limited interoperability capabilities, hindering their ability to share data with other healthcare professionals or access patient records from external sources. Simply put, an EHR without true connectivity creates a barrier to care. 

Leading EHR & PM Software
Our leading EHR solution, CGM APRIMA offers a uniquely fast, flexible, and powerful EHR designed to complement and simplify your workflow, not hinder it.

Cost and Value

It’s no surprise that the financial aspect plays a significant role in physicians' decision-making process when it comes to EHRs. Some EHR systems have high upfront costs, ongoing maintenance fees, and additional charges for upgrades or add-on features. Most vendors now offer affordable subscription tiers based on functionality, provider type, and even full- or part-time use. These are easy to build into a practice’s budget and allow a practice to grow into their system over time. Physicians may consider switching to a different EHR platform if they find a more cost-effective solution that offers comparable or superior features and functionality. 

The real key, though, is knowing the value you will receive. There are a lot of over-priced systems—and there a lot of cheap ones, too—but they often lack the depth practices need as they grow into the system after the first few weeks of basic use and discover they are trapped. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

No system is perfect, but time in the market teaches the better vendors a lot in terms of functionality needs and how to create workflows that suit users. It should never just be about the prettiest user interface.

Evaluating the return on investment and the long-term value of an EHR system is essential for physicians in their selection process. Setting up key performance indicators (KPIs), customer surveys, and financial goals are a few ways you can keep a closer eye on your return on investment.

Support and Training

The level of support provided by the EHR vendor, and the availability of comprehensive training resources including self-paced, online tools can greatly impact physicians' satisfaction and success with the system. Inadequate customer support, delayed response times, or insufficient training can result in frustration and hinder the adoption of EHRs. 

It is also important to know who supports what. Many practices have multiple vendors that may interface with their EHR and when there is a problem, finger-pointing can be the result. Increasingly, vendors are taking on core functionality themselves because they can build tighter integrations that fit better with the workflows of a practice and likely also do it at a lower cost. Reducing vendor complexity is now a key driver of healthcare organizations.

Physicians may choose to switch to a different EHR platform that offers better support services covering a wider scope of their needs, including prompt assistance, training programs, and ongoing education to maximize the system's potential.

While EHRs have revolutionized healthcare, physicians' needs continue to change. User interface, customization, interoperability, cost, and support are among the top factors influencing their decisions. It is essential for physicians to thoroughly evaluate their needs and preferences before selecting an EHR system, ensuring that it aligns with their practice requirements and facilitates efficient, high-quality patient care.

Looking to switch EHRs?

CGM APRIMA EHR and Practice Management offers a single application to increase your practice’s efficiency. The flexibility of being able to set the system up to work for each provider will simplify workflows without hindering the ability to treat patients. CGM APRIMA learns your workflow and anticipates treatment plans.

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