Chapter 2

Understanding What’s Available: The ABCs of EHRs

In This Chapter

Figuring out what’s best for your practice

Evaluating EHR components

Identifying EHR alternatives

Comparing tools for your patients

Communicating with the healthcare community

Take stock of your office needs and determine what, exactly, it is that you want from the EHR experience. Right now, the EHR may be operating as a mere concept in your staff’s minds, so to solidify it, you need to create a vision that includes your clinical and office requirements as well as patient needs. To do that, think about all those things in relation to what is actually available in the world of electronic health records.

In this chapter, we get you started evaluating your needs and your patient needs when considering an EHR.

Determining What Your Practice Needs

Everyone knows it’s ill-advised to go into a grocery store without a shopping list. When you do that, you run the risk of filling your cart with all sorts of products that you don’t need. Instead of eggs, milk, and bread, you end up buying a gallon of wasabi-flavored mayo (you saved by buying in bulk), a pummelo (because you’ve always wondered what it is), and a case of canned pumpkin (holiday baking is just around the corner, after all). So, although you feel completely prepared to make a boatload of wasabi potato salad and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, you realize that you have nothing to cook for breakfast today.

The same theory applies to the EHR. You really shouldn’t ...

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