EHR SoftwareIn our previous blog , Choosing the Right EHR Software for Your Practice — Part I,  we discussed both cost and platform, which are two of the four elements to consider when choosing Electronic Health Record (EHR) software. In this blog post, we’ll cover EHR interface issues as well as EHR training and support. EHR Interface Adopting an EHR should improve your documentation and allow your practice to run more efficiently so it’s important that your EHR be easy to use and comfortable and intuitive to interact with. Some questions to ask yourself when reviewing the user interface include:

  • Is the interface well-organized, attractive and easy to follow?
  • Does it integrate well with your computer’s operating system and your preferred broswer?
  • Can you easily read the labels, menus and text?
  • Does it have drop-down menus or open-fields to type data in and do you prefer one of these over the other?
  • Are standard menus and templates suitable for telemental health practice?
  • Is the software easy to customize?
  • Is there a point and click option for video-conferencing sessions?
  • Are default templates similar to the ones you might already be comfortable with?
  • How many default fields are required for every encounter and are they relevant to the work you do?
  • Does the software offer handwriting recognition, dictation, and touch-screen technology?
  • Can you use a tablet and stylus to write your notes or enter data?
  • Do peripheral data sources such as tablets wirelessly integrate with the software or will regular data-uploads be necessary?
  • How easy is it to add scanned data to the EHR?
  • Is the interface intuitive, comfortable easy to navigate?

EHR Training and Support

  • The process of adopting your EHR will be greatly enhanced with dedicated training and support. You will need to know:
  • What type of training is included with the software?
  • Does the vendor offer a library of easily accessible online tutorials?
  • What opportunities for one-on-one training are available?
  • Can the vendor come to you for on-site training?
  • What kind of tech support is available?
  • How easy is it to reach someone when you are having a technical problem?
  • What days and hours is live support available?
  • Is support offered by telephone, email or online chat?
  • Are customer service or technical support contacts pleasant and easy to understand?
  • Are help menus intuitive to access and follow?
  • Is the software popular enough to have user groups and online forums to discuss issues and questions?
  • Does the software come with a manual that is indexed, easy to access and understandable at your level of technical expertise?
  • Is a maintenance contract required to receive technical support?
  • Is the software updated regularly and do they offer free assistance with uploads?
  • Does the vendor publish a regular newsletter offering tips and new information?

Whether you decide to purchase an Electronic Health Record now or later, we encourage you to speak with as many experts and learn as much as you can before investing.

Please leave any other questions or comments below.