If you are among the half of primary care doctors who have yet to purchase an EHR, you are feeling pressure to decide if an EHR is part of your practice’s future and which EHR is right for you and your patients. Because there are more than 365 EHR companies in existence, and I am sure you don’t want to spend each day looking at a different system, you will likely turn to the web. Just like in your personal life, you will most likely “Google it”. You are not alone; there are over 21,000 searches each month (and 250,000 each year) in the United States for EHR or Electronic Health Records, according to Google Adwords.
The Internet is a great place to start because you can search from the comfort of your home or office. The next question is what to look for. A best practice would be to use specific keywords. For example, if you are looking for an EHR and you also want it to be free, you would search for “Free EHR” or “No Cost EHR”. It is interesting that there are comparatively few searches for these keywords, with only around 1,400 searches each month for “Free EHR” and almost none for “No Cost EHR”. This leads me to believe that many people are just not aware of the free solutions available to them and/or the majority of EHR vendors do not have anything to offer.
You could take it a step further and search for an EHR solution for a specific specialty such as pediatrics. You would want to search for the keywords “Free EHR for Pediatrics” or “Free EHR for Pediatricians,” for example. This would help you find companies offering a pediatric-specific EHR for free. The search results are even lower for these keywords, with only around 325 monthly searches for a Pediatric EHR and almost nothing for Free Pediatric EHR. This is most likely because most pediatricians are not aware of EHR solutions specific to their specialty.
Below are a few best practices you should take into consideration when searching online for an EHR:
Use specific keywords
- Free, specialty specific
- Try searching for key features, like “EHR with patient portal”
Look up reviews on the company and its product
- Is the company true to its word?
- Is the product all that is claimed?
Request a free online demo
- Most companies offer a free demo of their EHR
- They are provided online via video software such as Go To Meeting
Request Additional information
- Hardware needed
- Cost associated with the EHR
- The cost annually to implement and use their EHR
As a physician you have a very limited amount of free time each day. Most of it is spent seeing patients, reviewing charts, returning calls and running a practice. Using specific keywords and best practices will allow you to optimize your time and focus your attention on what is most important…your patients. So when you start your search for an EHR, I recommend thinking about the most important criteria needed in an EHR. Remember to use specific keywords, including your specialty, combined with the search term “EHR” or “electronic health record” to find potential vendors. Once you narrow the list to the vendors that meet your criteria, follow these search best practices to find the best EHR for your practice.