Finding the right cloud-based electronic health record (EHR) system for your chiropractic practice can be a major undertaking. That’s why it’s helpful to know what to do, such as considering your office’s setup, the electronic devices you use, and your patient’s database’s size. Thinking about all of these factors can help you select the best EHR for you.
Yet, it’s just as important to know what not to do when choosing a cloud EHR. This awareness can prevent you from choosing a system that is difficult to use or doesn’t meet your office’s needs. To keep this from happening to you, here are four of the most common mistakes chiropractic professionals tend to make when selecting a cloud EHR.
Mistake #1: Poor User Interface
User interface refers to the system’s visual elements or what it looks like on the screen. Although this may seem secondary to its ability to store your important information effectively and securely, if this interface is designed poorly, it can impact you in many different ways.
For instance, research shows that a poor user interface decreases customer satisfaction. Why spend your hard-earned money on a system that you know will make you unhappy? You shouldn’t, and you won’t as long as you know that this is one factor that you need to pay attention to when looking at a cloud EHR.
A poor user interface can also make more work for you. For instance, if the chart layout uses multiple pages, this increases the number of clicks required to navigate to your desired information. It’s the equivalent of having to flip through every chapter of a book to get to a specific page versus directly going that page number. It also takes longer to input information with a poorly designed user interface. There are little to no interactive graphics to assist with this process.
While looking at the user interface, also consider whether the cloud EHR is tablet friendly. If it is only designed for desktop use, you will need a computer in each exam room and you’re unable to walk around with your data in hand. A desktop-only design is also typically not touch-friendly, reducing your convenience even more.
Mistake #2: Old Technology
Another mistake that chiropractors tend to make when choosing a cloud EHR is that they go with a server company that uses outdated technology. This leads to slower page load times, which can be incredibly frustrating when you’re sitting and waiting for the information to come up instead of flowing seamlessly from one patient to the next.
What should you look for to help determine whether the cloud EHR uses older technology? If it operates on a development platform such as .Net, HTML, or PHP, this is a clue. Newer platforms—such as a .Net Core, which works with more operating systems and provides for more unique processing—are more technologically advanced, providing greater flexibility, more functionality, and a better user experience.
Mistake #3: No Guarantees
Does the cloud EHR offer any guarantees? Not checking this out beforehand can make you regret your decision to use that service at a later date.
The most important guarantee to look for is HIPAA compliant data export. The EHR absolutely must protect your patients’ private health information or it violates the HIPAA Security Rule. Also, ask whether exported data is readable or searchable. If the EHR doesn’t guarantee this, you can wind up spending a lot of time looking for the information you seek.
Other guaranteed services that can make changing your EHR less risky include offering a trial period and reasonable contract length. The first enables you to test the system before committing to its purchase fully. The second keeps you from locking yourself into a contract for an unnecessary length of time (under two years is best). This prevents you from switching to a new EHR without facing stiff penalties.
When considering guarantees, also look for unbiased 3rd party testing. This says that an outside agency has tested the cloud EHR and verified that it does what it says it does.
Mistake #4: Overcharging
The final mistake many chiropractors make when choosing a cloud EHR is selecting a service that, in effect, causes them to be overcharged. An example of this is when support is bundled into the package, leading you to pay for services you may not even use.
Some cloud EHRs overcharge by not including data management (backups or the migration of data) in their base pricing. All of these charges can quickly add up over time, especially if you have a large patient base, increasing your EHR bill dramatically.
Some providers charge excessively high prices for essential or critical functions. Shopping around and comparing a few different cloud EHRs will help you develop a better sense of which rates are fair and which ones may be off the charts.
Avoiding these four common mistakes can help you choose a cloud EHR just right for you and your practice. It also increases the likelihood that you’ll be happier with your purchase, providing a simple, intuitive, and easy-to-use recordkeeping system that serves you and your patients well for years and years to come.