There are many issues a physician should be aware of when choosing an EMR. Some are in regards to the features and functionality of the EMR software, some in regards to the service levels provided by the vendor. Others involve costs and whether the vendor is compliant with the current standards in the province or state in which the physician operates. There are also other issues that are not normally discussed at the point when a clinic is looking for a new EMR because they are not something that physicians think of at the time of purchase, and these issues can come back to haunt the clinic later in time. However, the proper time to address them is before you are signing a contract! That is because one of the areas you will encounter these data issues is when, in the future, you want to move to another EMR – and then it is too late to try to negotiate with your current vendor.
This issue is only going to increase in importance as EMRs move from being a place to record a patient’s medical record to being an incredibly important source of medical data for research and improving patient care. This shift is already well underway and will only snowball over the next few years.
Disclosure: TimeAcct is a company that specializes in EMR data extraction, so we have an interest in seeing that data is open and accessible. Because of our line of work, we have experienced most of the data issues out there in terms of EMR data.
Vendors Locking Data
Ability to Export ALL the Data
Effects of Custom Data Type