The following set of factors is meant as a guide for physicians and Family-Practicians looking to purchase a specialty-specific, or in this case, a Family Practice-specific EHR.
The Size of the Practice
One of the most important factors in deciding and selecting which EHR to purchase is the size of the practice that is going to use that software. There are some EHR software which are built to handle large specialties, comprising of more than 15 physicians, while on the other hand, there are other software which are designed and built with the capacity to cater to medium or small practices which comprise of a smaller number of physicians. Therefore, it is imperative to consider the size of your practice, and see that to judge if the EHR you are currently looking to purchase can properly handle it, without compromising on quality.
On-Site vs Cloud Technologies
The advent in modern innovative technologies has led to the emergence of interoperability. A software or a system is said to be interoperable when it can exchange data with other systems, devices as well as organizations. Cloud technology, or SaaS (Software as a Service) allows for data to be exchanged with other systems and entities, jumping over the shackles of geographical boundaries.
Therefore, physicians either have the option of hosting the hardware at their practice, and software on their systems and servers, or, utilizing the benefits of cloud technology. Using on-site systems, physicians have to bear the costs of purchasing, maintaining and upgrading the hardware as well as the software, while if the system is on the cloud, the vendor hosts the data at their own servers, reducing the need for physicians to pay for all IT related expenses.
Awards & Certifications
For physicians looking to purchase Family-Practice specific EHRs, it is crucial to at first see their selected vendor has the proper credentials. Two of the most important certifications for any vendor operating in the HIT market are the ONC-ATCB (Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology – Authorized Testing and Certification Body) and the compliance with HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act). The ONC-ATCB certification tells you that the vendor is working in compliance with the regulations imposed by the government and conforms to the requirements and measures of Meaningful Use. HIPAA (Privacy and Security Rule) compliance on the other hand, ensures that your EHR is secure from the latest cyber threats, and that patient health information is well guarded from those who seek to misuse that information.