5 Steps to Selecting EHR Software

The time has come to upgrade your old paper-based medical record system to the electronic health record (EHR).  Many providers have been hesitant to take on the task of converting from the paper-based medical record system to the electronic health record. Making the change can be time-consuming and costly. 

An electronic health record (EHR) refers to an individual medical record including the patient's health information (PHI) in digital format. Of course, you want to select the best EHR software for your organization.  There are five simple steps to the selection process.


Identify Your Needs

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Create a list of all the capabilities you will need your EHR software to have. Evaluate your current system and determine what you will need to improve it.

  • Accuracy: Medical errors in a paper-based medical record system can sometimes be related to incomplete documentation and illegible handwriting. 
  • Speed: With a digital record, access is virtually unlimited.  Physicians can have access to test results almost immediately.
  • Security: With all patient information in digital form,  providers are able to track clinical issues more effectively allowing them to easily identify areas of risk. 
  • Low costs: Paper medical records have higher costs due to the necessity of more personnel to manage, access, file, and maintain paper charts.
  • Patient Safety
  • Meaningful use 

Research and Compare

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Research and compile a list of at least 10 different EHR software vendors. Create a spreadsheet of all vendors and what they have to offer so you can have a clear picture to base your decision on. Make sure you include the cost of each system, the features they offer and whether they are web-based or an on-site system. Once you have evaluated all the vendors on your list, eliminated the ones that don't meet your budget or don't meet all of your needs.


Schedule Several Demonstrations

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Contact all the vendors you selected in step two to set up a date and time for you and your selection team to review the EHR software. Have everyone on your team take detailed notes.


Decision TIme

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Discuss with your team their impressions of the EHR software programs offered by the different vendors.  Ins some instances, you may want to visit other facilities to see how well the software operates in a live environment. Keep three things in mind when making your decision.

  1. Ease of use
  2. References
  3. Terms and conditions.

Negotiate Your Contract

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Once you've decided on the best EHR software for your organization, it's time for negotiation. Be sure to request that your vendor include these things in your contract.

  • Education and training
  • On-going support
  • Multiple license
  • Short implementation timeline

Product Reviews

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NextGen Healthcare's NextPen

NextGen Healthcare's NextPen introduces a digital pen designed to capture and enter data into the electronic health record (EHR).

Medsoft's HybridChart

Medsoft HybridChart is a hospital rounding solutions module designed for the medical office. This new rounding software offers efficient new communication and tracking software to simplify the rounding process.

Intuit Health's Patient Portal

Intuit Health's Patient Portal is an anytime, anywhere interactive resource that provides information and increases patient participation in scheduling appointments, completing registration information, obtain lab results or ask questions, and pay their bill.

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