Changing your EHR is a big decision. We collected useful information and a few key recommendations to help out as you embark on this journey.

Switching Your EHR Package

What to Know When Switching EHRs

Changing your EHR is a big decision. We collected useful information and a few key recommendations to help out as you embark on this journey. Knowing what’s ahead of you when you begin the process to switch your EHR is important. It can help you plan and feel more confident in your decision. We hope the information we collected here can help you make these key choices. Our team can help eliminate the headaches in the process so you can enjoy the personal and professional satisfaction that comes with finding an easier to use EHR.

Amazing Charts Medical Practice Consultants are here to help! View our reference materials to assist you with what you should know and be aware of when switching EHRs. To learn more, please contact us for a free practice consultation.

Switching Your EHR Checklist

1. Assess the EHR functionality you are looking for
  • This time around, look for something that truly charts how you want to
  • Assess your pain points and use that as a guide
  • Speed: How fast is it to chart X in your current EHR?
  • Is there functionality you do not need/like?
2. Choosing locally hosted versus cloud-based systems – which is right for you?
3. Select an EHR
  • Is the EHR cost effective, expandable, easy-to-learn and easy-to-use?
  • Do they offer a free trial?
  • Do they offer some free training?
  • Do the implementation specialists have several years of experience helping practices switch EHRs? Do they offer Practice Management or billing options?
4. Understand the transition process (data transfer, implementation, etc.)
5. Training your staff on how to use the EHR efficiently
  • Efficient use is essential for productivity
6. Setting your practice up for success (add-ons, future training, etc.)

FAQ: Things to Consider When Switching Your EHR

Q: What should I look for when selecting an EHR?
A: There are many EMRs on the market, but only a handful are developed for small to mid-level practices. You should schedule a demonstration of the software to make sure it meets your needs.

Q: How much is going to cost?
A: You want something not too expensive, as you are trying to build your revenue stream and not go broke in the process.

Q: Is it hard to learn? Do they offer some free training?
A: You want to find an intuitive system familiar to your workflow, so you can hit the ground running. Free training at the start can also help round out any questions you have and make you more comfortable.

Q: Do they offer a free trial?
A: You want to be able to try the system before you buy it. Like test driving a car, getting your hands on the system before purchase allows you to truly understand the layout and how easy it is. You also want to try the full system, rather than a limited version, so there are no surprises.

Q: What transition support services does the vendor offer?
A: Switching EHRs takes effort. Some EHR vendors have more experience and provide more help than others. Evaluate how the vendor will help your practice change EHRs with as little disruption as possible. It is sensitive and complex to migrate patient chart data – find the right partner

Q: How will you host your software and data?
A: Another item to consider is how best to host your software. Many practices are moving to cloud based or cloud hosted EMRs. Others are sticking with the conventional “Office Hosted” option, where your database is stored on your practice’s main computer or server. Discuss what option is best for you with your implementation specialist.

Q: What kind of hardware/tools will your practice need?
A: Again, your implementation specialist will help you determine what hardware would be required to make your office run smoothly. It is very important to know what software and tools you will be using in your office prior to purchasing hardware so you do not overspend or buy equipment not suitable for your needs.

Common Reasons Practices Switch EHRs

1. Their EHR vendor is sunsetting the product and will no longer support it.

Amazing Charts is here to stay. Harris Healthcare is financially strong, and it practices the “Family is Forever” policy, meaning it doesn’t sell companies it acquires. Being a part of the Harris Healthcare family also means that clients can take advantage of the “Software for Life” philosophy. Regardless of which solution clients choose, they will receive the same level of service, support, and long-term technology protection.

2. Their EHR is not certified to meet the practice’s needs (CMS, MIPS, MACRA).

Amazing Charts is current with Meaningful Use certifications and continuously deploys resources to meet these CMS requirements, so it is a solution you can use confidently.

3. Their EHR is not user friendly and wastes time/money.

Some EHRs do not work well within a practice’s workflow and are too cumbersome to use quickly, meaning doctors, nurses, and other office staff spend more time in front of a computer screen than with patients. Amazing Charts uses a SOAP note format and resembles a paper chart, which requires fewer clicks and allows you to see more patients through the day.

4. Their EHR is too expensive.

A private practice is a small business. Amazing Charts was founded and built by a practicing independent physician who understood the financial challenges you face, and set out to create an affordable solution.

5. They are opening a new practice and want to use a different EHR.

This is a perfect time to make the switch! Read our “New Practice” guide here for more info and resources on the process.

6. Their EHR has data errors.

If your EHR is consistently creating issues with your data, it impedes your ability to run your practice smoothly. For instance, issues affecting MIPS data can be a major problem with CMS compliance.

7. Their EHR does not have a billing component.

As we mention above, a private practice is a small business. If your EHR is not able to effectively handle the financial part of healthcare, you are at an extreme disadvantage that will cause you to waste time and miss out on revenue. Make sure you get paid for your work!

8. Their EHR does not connect to practice’s state registry for immunizations / HIE interoperability.

Moving forward, there will be more of a need to connect to the outside world. Whether it be for immunizations, HIEs, or something else, Amazing Charts has decades of experience building connections with a variety of entities.

9. They need to switch from a server-based system to a cloud-based system, or vice versa.

Amazing Charts offers a variety of installation models that can be tailored to the needs of your practice. We do not force you to choose the way that’s best for us – we will work with your practice to determine the right fit. Whether you prefer to host the solution yourself (or do not have a great internet connection!) or want access anywhere, anytime, we can help.

Client Success Stories

Surgeon Cuts athenahealth EHR and Switches to Amazing Charts EHR

Dr. Gerardo Carcamo says previous EHR was designed “by admins for admins.”
Gerardo Carcamo
MD
Challenge: Working with an inefficient EHR system
  • Expensive: “There was a large fee for interfaces, and the percentage for billing was very high.”
  • Limited Customization: “I was told athenaClinicals was customizable, but I quickly found out it was highly limited.”
  • Stressful workflow: “My staff hated the basic functionality and workflow of athenaClinicals. Some of my staff quit because the EHR was so difficult and stressful.”
  • Work-life imbalance: “Every night I was in the office until 9 pm, finishing open charts.”
 
Solution: Amazing Charts EHR
  • Usable and efficient: “Because of its focus on usability, I’m able to see more patients in a day with Amazing Charts.”
  • Highly integrated: “Amazing Charts makes it easy to grab charts from hospitals and upload them into patient records.”
  • Customizable: “With Amazing Charts, my staff and I have complete control over what we can customize!”
  • Healthy work-life balance: “I’m not in the office late at night anymore. I’m able to get home after the last patient is assisted.”

 

Results
  • Carcamo’s staff is happy with the efficient office workflow of Amazing Charts
  • Customizable templates allow Dr. Carcamo to spend more time with patients
  • Carcamo now gets home in time for dinner and spends more time with family

Solo Pediatrician Finds EMR Bliss in Hawaii

Pediatrician Dr. Galen Chock was in constant pursuit of charting happiness until he found Amazing Charts.
Galen Chock
MD
Challenge: Finding the right EMR
  • Printed typed notes from visits and glued them into paper charts: “One night it hit me when I was doing my charting, and I knew there had to be a better way.”
  • Tried Eclipsys Medinotes, but building templates took too long: “It was all click, click, click; nose click, eye click. To be honest with you it was terrible. I wasn’t happy charting.”
  • Looked into EpiCare Ambulatory EMR, but it wasn’t a good fit for a small practice: “I couldn’t afford to have my patient load cut by 95 percent the first week, and 50 percent the second week. Plus, I’m a ‘little guy,’ so if I had a technical issue I would be put behind large practices in the queue.”

 

Solution: Amazing Charts EHR
  • Easy to use: “During my free trial, I charted a few patients in both Amazing Charts and Medinotes to see how they compared. Hands down Amazing Charts was simpler, faster, and more efficient.”
  • Interoperable: “My practice management system is great, and they were easily able to interface with Amazing Charts.”
  • Keep your current patient schedule: “When I implemented Amazing Charts, I had no change in patient flow whatsoever.”
  • Customizable: “I created custom health maintenance alerts to track metrics for PCMH compliance. My colleagues using Epic are stuck with paper or Excel to track these same metrics.”

 

Results
  • Received Inaugural Health IT Leadership Award presented by the Hawaii Health Information Exchange (HIE)
  • Captures better clinical data that can easily be translated into analytic reporting, and accessed at a moment’s notice
  • Became PCMH certified by customizing Amazing Charts for robust patient panel management
  • Receives high quality customer service from the Amazing Charts support team via email, chats, and phone whenever needed.

Clinician Rejects Multiples EHRs Before Discovering Amazing Charts

Nurse Practitioner Deanna Tolman’s experiences with EHRs were a nightmare until she used Amazing Charts.
Deanna Tolman
NP
Challenge: Finding the right EHR for her practice
  • Eclipsys MediNotes EHR was slow, awkward, and crashed all the time: “It was inherently slow because so many different screens were required to document a note. Plus, the system seemed to crash for several hours every few days.”
  • eClinicalWorks EHR had too many clicks: “…way too many clicks to document a note, and too much time wasted waiting for screens to load.”
  • Bond EHR reduced continuity of care: “As a result, many of my fellow practitioners can’t finish a note while seeing the patient. If the note isn’t finished, copies of the documentation can’t be given to the patient to take with them to their primary care clinician, and this acts to reduce continuity of care.”
 
Solution: Amazing Charts EHR
  • Easy to learn: “I started using the program that very day and was able to finish a note by the end of each patient visit.”
  • Affordable: “Amazing Charts was so affordable, I was able to purchase my own license and start my house-call practice.”
  • Convenient: “The program made it easy to document a meaningful note during a patient visit, printing out all necessary patient documents, including prescriptions, by the end of the visit.”
  • Usable: “My notes are extensive and detailed, and I love the ability to add free-form text in Amazing Charts.”
 
Results
  • Amazing Charts’ affordability made it possible to open a “micro-practice” in her hometown Aurora, CO
  • Customizable templates allow her to spend more time with each patient
  • Meeting the primary care needs of Americans under the Affordable Care Act

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