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EHR shopping: Tips to help you find the best system for your practice


For dermatologists considering an EHR purchase, experts offer the following tips:

Key Points

National report - For dermatologists considering an EHR purchase, experts offer the following tips:

Along with support for proper coding, he advises seeking a product that offers heavy graphic input capability, with interplay between graphics and text so that users enter data only once.

George Poggioli, M.D., Ph.D., a Centennial, Colo., private practitioner, adds, "Visit offices similar to yours that have the EMR so you can see how it impacts the workflow. For example, is the physician entering the information, or did the physician have to hire another staff member to do this?"

Also, he advises, "Don't just ask the physician how they like the EMR." In most offices he's visited, "The staff used the EMR."

Along with physicians' local backup, "Secure, major-company backup is critical," and this backup must be backed up in multiple ways.

"Do not get frustrated because there is a significant learning curve," Dr. Crutchfield says. If forced to practice medicine the old-fashioned way, "knowing what I know now about the convenience and ease of EMRs, I'd probably choose a different field," he says.

Disclosures: Dr. Siegel is a consultant to Encite and a shareholder in DermFirst EHR Enterprises LLC, which is developing EHR interfaces in conjunction with Encite. Drs. Kvedar, Poggioli and Crutchfield, and Ms. Woodcock, report no relevant financial interests.

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