MIPPA, ARRA, SEEDIE, HITECH, PQRI and CCHIT are just a few of the certification and incentive acronyms that doctors are being bombarded with these days. How can we expect a busy doctor to keep them all straight while using them to make an informed decision about health IT?
Fortunately for them the SEEDIE (Society for Exorbitantly Expensive and Difficult to Implement EHR’s) certification is bogus – albeit a humorous tongue and cheek reference to the confusion surrounding the selection of an expensive and demanding EMR solution.
We understand that it is difficult to select a vendor when there are so many choices on the market, but with some selection tips, and proper due diligence on your end, we hope to make this process less daunting. When evaluating systems, there are several important factors to consider.
Certifications are an effective way to benchmark and evaluate systems. These certifications make sure that vendors can substantiate claims made on marketing pieces and on their websites. Surescripts and CCHIT certifications are a perfect first step towards choosing the right system for your practice, but should not be the deciding factor.
Many systems look great on paper and can allegedly provide the same functionalities, when in reality the system’s workflow might not work ideally for your practice. The best resource you will come across will be speaking with doctors that are already using the system to get a sense of how it works in day-to-day situations.
A few hours of research could save you years of headaches down the line.
Prepare a list of questions that you want answered by vendor representatives you speak with.
- How many clicks does it take to write a prescription?
- How accessible is the software to my office staff?
- What are my options when I choose to upgrade to an EMR?
- Can this system interface with my current patient information? And at what cost to me?
- If my practice continues to grow, how will this system handle the changes?
- If I purchase, how long will it take to become fully operational?
- How much time will I need to sacrifice training my staff?
The bottom line is that certification requirements are a good first-step in the process of elimination, but do your due diligence to ensure you don’t end up with a system that is SEEDIE certified!