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Implementing EHRs
Selecting or Upgrading to a Certified EHR

Selecting an EHR System

After your organization has narrowed its list of potential electronic health record (EHR) vendors to a few potential choices, you should conduct vendor selection site visits with other providers for each potential EHR choice. Site visits with other providers will help your organization learn more about your potential choices and gather lessons learned from your peers.

Conducting a Vendor Selection Site Visit

The first step is asking potential EHR vendors for lists of providers who have successfully implemented their EHR products and contacting the providers to schedule time to visit the providers in person. For best results, try to find organizations similar to yours in terms of specialty, geographic location, and size. It’s also helpful to find sites through channels other than potential EHR vendors. You can connect with your local Regional Extension Center or local provider organization to find additional sites.

After you select the sites, you can use the following guidelines to ensure your site visit is productive.

  • Prepare a list of questions in advance.
  • Carefully select your site visit team. Your team should include someone from each department in your organization (including the administration, billing, and clinical departments) as well as your EHR implementation team leader. Your EHR implementation team leader can navigate the site visit and take notes.
  • Pair up manager with manager and physician with physician so your site visit team can ask detailed workflow questions specific to your organization’s specialty, geographic location, and size.
  • Visit the sites while they are seeing patients and observe a patient visit from check-in to check-out at each site. Remember, you should follow all HIPAA procedures when participating in patient visits.
  • Ask the host sites to schedule group meetings during the site visits to discuss lessons learned and best practices.
  • Exchange contact information with each site in case you need to ask follow-up questions.
  • Schedule an internal debrief after each site visit to discuss findings.

For More Information

For more information about selecting an EHR system, see the following resources.