Choosing an Electronic Medical Record
Selecting an Electronic Medical Record for your practice can be a daunting task. There are numerous vendors and EMR products on the market that offer a wide range of features. An organized approach to selecting an EMR can help offset some of the stress inherent to the task. This section of the website provides resources to help you select an EMR best suited for your practice needs.
Know What to Look For
First, it will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the various features and characteristics that EMRs have to offer. Once you know what to look for, you can then look at your own practice and evaluate the needs that your EMR will need to meet. We have provided a list of common features/characteristics of many EMRs to help you get started. Think of it as your EMR 'glossary'.
Characteristics of an EMR
Make an Organized Comparison
After you have educated yourself on what various EMRs have to offer and have chosen the most important features you would like to have for your practice, it is time to start comparing various products. Most EMR vendors will have lists of features their products offer. They may even offer product demonstrations. As you review each product, it is helpful to keep track of which EMRs have which features, and how they match up. Using a table to help compare these features across different EMRs can be a helpful way to facilitate this process. We have provided a blank table to help you get started. Just select the features most important to you (from the above characteristics document) and find them along the left margin. List the prospective vendors you are considering across the top. As you review EMRs you can use the table to keep track of features and annotate your impressions.
Blank Table (Excel version)
Blank Table (PDF version)
With preparation and education, choosing an EMR can be an exciting and rewarding process. Hopefully these tools will help you as you navigate this process. Good Luck!