Sometimes a health care provider may not be satisfied with his/her current EHR software system and may decide to switch to new and better EHR software solutions. The dissatisfaction may be due to less functionality from the current software and difficulty in using the software. A switch to a new EHR Software may seem like a promising option in terms of better user interface and features that improve workflow efficiencies.

According to an article published in Medical Economics, there are significant costs associated with switching to a different Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software system. The costs include both hardware and software costs and these costs are usually higher than the anticipated costs by the practitioner.

Costs of switching EHR Software

Research and Negotiation Costs

These costs are realized even before the implementation of EHR software. Physicians have to research different Speciality Specific Electronic Medical Records (EHR) Software vendors in the market. Then the next step involves staff members to test and review EHR Software to see the functionality it may offer to the medical practice.

Initial EHR Software Costs

In the first year of switching to an EHR software system many costs add up these include, implementation, hardware, training, and software licensing costs.

Fees in the EHR Software Contract

The EHR and Practice Management (PM) Software contract contains

  • Subscription Fee
  • Support Fee
  • Maintenance Fee
  • Coding System Fee

The contract furthermore mentions how much the fees will increase each year. Usually, a typical annual increase of 5% is charged to users which isn’t cheap.

Unexpected EHR Software Costs

Unexpected upgrade costs may be expensive. Regulatory standards keep changing which requires software updates. Hardware upgrades may be realized when the new EHR Software might not work well with old printers, computers, and devices. Practices should also be prepared to pay for

  • Integration Costs
  • Insurance Verification Application Fees

EHR Software Consulting Services

Some practices may seek the services of professional consultants to help with negotiating the contract and to overall help with the EHR Software switch. These consultants charge about $2,500 and that too for early advice.

Conclusion

A practice may have an implementation plan but despite it, unanticipated costs will be incurred and the practice should be prepared to pay for the costs if they want an effective EHR Software change. Cloud-based EHR Software options are available which requires minimum hardware requirements with automatic updates, this eventually turns out to be an affordable option for many practices.

Resources:

(2020). Retrieved 1 May 2020, from https://www.medicaleconomics.com/business/true-cost-switching-ehrs

Weekly, P. (2020). Considerable Costs Associated With Switching EHR | Physician’s Weekly. Retrieved 1 May 2020, from https://www.physiciansweekly.com/considerable-costs-associated-with-switching-ehr/

Avoid Unexpected EHR Costs. (2020). Retrieved 1 May 2020, from https://www.carecloud.com/continuum/avoid-unexpected-ehr-costs/