3 lesser-known pitfalls to avoid when changing EHRs

Doctor and digital devices

Many providers are familiar with some of the downsides when replacing EHRs, such as interoperability issues, training and costs of the transition. But there also are lesser known pitfalls of which providers should be aware.

Two physicians, Cynthia Croy, a solo practitioner in Joplin, Missouri, and Albert Fuchs, of a three-person practice in Beverly Hills, California, shared their lessons learned when changing EHRs in a recent article for Medical Economics. They warned about several lesser known risks, including:

  • The selection process: Don't rush it, Croy said. You may end up unhappy and getting rid of the new system fairly quickly. Croy ran into this problem with her second EHR system, and said she learned to spend six to eight weeks conducting research before going all in.
  • Be mindful of related contracts: Croy’s prior EHR system didn’t have a telephone appointment reminder system, so she used an ancillary provider for that feature. While her new system had that functionality built in, she had neglected to cancel her ancillary contract in time, causing her to have to buy out that contract--for several thousand dollars.
  • Managing chart migration: Fuchs learned the hard way that moving a few charts does not mean that they all need to be moved in the same way. The practice wasted hours having to clean up the system.

Additionally, Fuchs said, don't put off a switch. “We’re kicking ourselves for acting like a captive without thinking about alternatives,” he said.