Finding help outside the office

Other helpful resources are available to you outside of what your vendor can provide. Additional help is available from Regional Extension Centers (RECs), other health systems, and professional organizations. See Chapter 3 for help finding your local Regional Extension Center.

Regional Extension Centers provide a range of services that you might get free or for a few thousand dollars, depending on whether you qualify as a priority provider and how services are packaged. Some of the post–go-live services the REC might offer include

Community forums to learn about local best practices

Consulting services to improve your use of the EHR

Loan programs for new hardware, software, or support services

Interface development for labs, radiology sites, or hospitals

Reporting support for immunization registries or national organizations

You can also look to health systems or hospitals for more assistance. They can help you with the following:

Vendor management: If the hospital is using the same vendor, it can leverage its size and relationship to manage the vendor to set and maintain stringent performance benchmarks for both the technology and professional services, such as project management, system configuration, and training.

Facilities and ongoing training: Many hospitals offer a place where you can look at the system and figure out what works best for your practice when you are thinking about adding features down the road. Hospitals and health systems ...

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