Fundamentals: How To Choose Electronic Health Records Software

Mar 29, 2012


Fundamentals: How To Choose Electronic Health Records Software

Electronic health records aim to cut medical costs, boost efficiency and improve patient care. However, the transition from paper to electronic records can be daunting, particularly for small practices that have tight budgets and little expertise with software and computer networks. 

To help small practices make the transition, the federal government has created ­programs to reimburse practices that purchase and use EHR systems. Local organizations, called Regional Extension Centers (RECs), have also been created to help practices choose and implement EHR and demonstrate “Meaningful Use,” a set of criteria to show that EHRs are being actively employed by the practice.

This report provides a road map for small physician practices of up to 10 practitioners that are ready to investigate the use of an EHR system. The report describes how to find and interact with a REC and how to seek EHR reimbursement from the government. It also provides essential information on how to select an EHR vendor and product, including the initial planning stages, product evaluation and selection, and implementation. It also discusses the pros and cons of cloud-based EHR services, including issues of security and service levels. (S4280312)

Research Report