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Electronic Health Records For Dummies by Anita Samarth, Trenor Williams

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Ongoing maintenance and support

When your EHR is up and running, you have to keep it healthy. The software has to be maintained with updates, quality checks, and security add-ons. Software and hardware, like new cars, can become obsolete as soon as they are developed — someone is always designing new technology. Chances are your vendor will continue to update software systems based on such factors as emerging technologies and ever-changing legislation.

You also want the support of your vendor rep to make sure that your practice’s questions are answered and your team members can use the software to full capacity. You will likely pay a fee for year-to-year vendor/tech support, with the typical annual fee running close to 18 percent of your software costs for an EHR that you are hosting at your practice. In an ASP/SaaS model, both licensing and ongoing support costs are built into your monthly fees.

tip.eps Many EHR vendors include a year or two of software maintenance and support in the upfront system cost as an incentive, so be sure to ask your rep if that is possible. At a minimum, make sure that you’re not paying for upgrades within the first two years of implementation or for Meaningful Use capabilities.

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