EMR selection and visiting/surveying/querying current users
Dr. Rob – board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics – has a balanced post about EMR’s and his experiences on his blog “Musings of a Distractible Mind”.
One of the steps he suggests before selecting an EMR product is to visit an existing installation and ask open ended questions about their experience with the product: “How did they do it and how hard was it?”.
I generally agree and recommend that several existing installs be systematically surveyed and queried, not limited to implementation aspects.
While useful, this is still difficult to do well, methinks, for many reasons. I don’t sell or endorse EMR’s but know of several instances where the vendors have heavily discounted their products to the early customers in exchange for assurances. Of course, they can’t ask the physicians or their office managers to lie - they have an agreement that any negative experience or dissatisfaction has to be communicated to the vendor right away. This puts the practice/office under some pressure.
Then, there are other aspects such as changes in functionalities and module versions. Also, and especially these days, the product is constantly changing/evolving and a data point from the past may be more dated than you realize.
Finally, there are the concerns from the early adopter physician who may feel threatened or feel that his/her advantage is getting diluted by sharing the knowledge….it does happen.