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For some time now we've helped our private practice clients with a range of optimizations, one of which includes EHR. If you don't know already, EHR is often pitched to you at a relatively low monthly price (by per provider & locations), but when the bill arrives, the bill is much higher than the rep discussed. But why?
EHR is the gateway drug to a wide variety of other technical platforms that, in and of themselves, seem innocuous, but when added together the sum total can be potentially crippling. For example, a practice may want to add patient messaging, oh, that's an extra cost! Only $50 per month per provider? Okay, add it.
I need digital intake forms, or a patient portal, reputation management, appointment confirmations....you can see how this a la carte system can get expensive quickly?
The question today is not if you need some of these features, most of them provide value, but whether it makes more sense to use a fully-integrated EHR product or an alternative option.
One example is from a client that was using the EHR's Appointment Notification system specifically. They were sold on the integration of the product, so they "flipped the switch" on the extra monthly fee. They would soon find out it was less than an ideal solution.
"We could not do simple things like set appointment reminders 48 hours in advance, only 24, which meant that we had no time to fill those empty slots on cancellation."
Integrated may appear "easier to implement", it's certainly easier to buy, but often they don't provide enough options to fit the practice, the practice has to accept the limitations.
Similar issues the client had was the inability to customize messaging, like a preparation email for surgical patients, or the ability to attach digital intake forms, provide a copay price, a link to the patient portal, automated calls...and so on. This is a high-end EHR system mind you.
The biggest problem we had is that we were having to call over 100 patients a day which cost us a lot of time. The confirmation system was only being used by some of our patients because it was so limited.
So the trade-off is integrated and easier to purchase, the cost is the limited options for YOUR PARTICULAR BUSINESS.
So what is the alternative? Instead of buying products, hire services. A product may work, it may fail...a managed service can be tailored to your practice and continuously monitored by a team of experts that actually know what to do with the results. It's often priced similarly, but they become extended resources for the practice whereas a product becomes another tool to learn and manage (with an already time-strapped staff).
Med Practice Hero built its business around this concept.
We saw that most practices we were assisting had a number of extra EHR features they were paying for, but either didn't know how to use, use properly or the product didn't work as required. - Med Practice Hero
In response to this problem, Med Practice Hero has developed its own system by which Appointment Confirmations, Review Management and Email Marketing can be completely tailored to how the system operates, and without a long-term contract! Their Review Hero® system is making waves!
EHR systems can be very powerful tools when used properly, having a team that understands which products to flip-the-switch on, which ones can be implemented seamlessly into the practice and how to utilize non-integrated services to optimize the patient flow is why so many are turning to companies like Med Practice Hero.
We'd recommend buying services, not products. A product makes you conform to it, a managed service is conformed to you. In addition a service is continuously monitored by a team of experts that actually know what to do with the results.