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10 Hidden Costs of EHR Software


EHR TCO – Prepare Yourself for 3x or 4x Sticker Price

This writer provides an excellent overview on EHR hidden costs when selecting a new or replacement system. He lists 10 surprise areas, but I would mainly emphasize items 2, 5 and 9:

Workflow redesign

For me, this is easily the most time consuming aspect, for two reasons;

1. You are performing new and different procedures with more detailed steps. I recommend a full process engineering round. Inevitably, this comes off as “you’re doing something wrong” to the doctor. Doctors don’t like that.

2. As you’ll see in numerous other guides for EHR implementation, one of the most important steps in the process is key stakeholder buy-in. The physician is the most important stakeholder. Don’t solve this problem by eliminating doctor participation.

Reduced productivity

Implementing a complex system is a little like learning to play pool or learning to snowboard.

You have to break down each and every move to the point of examination and reassemble your skills back to a nice flow. During this time you will not be productive.

Don’t forget to plan for that slow-down.

Data migration and conversion

Fortunately, because I come from a programming background with companies that deal in large datasets, I have often solved this problem for others in a seemingly easy way. It is not easy.

Old systes lack new data fields and new systems do things differently. You’ll be lucky to get what I call the ‘customer master’ core. If done right, you won’t have your front office staff hand entering the data from one system to another over a period of 6 months.

Plan this step correctly.

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