EMR/EHR Selection and Implementation Guide Plans

The more I read comments on this blog and on EMR forums, I realize that there’s a real need for some sort of simple but effective guide to understanding the EMR selection and implementation process. Basically, I’m talking about a mix of showing a realistic picture of selecting an implementing an EMR. A discussion of the realities faced by almost everyone implementing an EMR. This of course would be coupled with some strategies to avoid as many problems as possible. However, hopefully it would also help doctors have a better vision of what they can expect in the EMR selection and implementation process.

DrQ from EMRUpdate was one of my motivations for wanting to do this, so I feel I should give him some credit.

So, this weekend I’m going to start the process of creating a guide for just this. It may end up being a couple guides. Possibly one for EMR selection and one for EMR implementation. It won’t be comprehensive (that’s impossible). It will hopefully provide some value to those interested in entering the EMR selection and implementation process. Yes, process is the right word.

We’ll see how it all comes together. Don’t expect anything earth shattering if you’re well informed about the process already. I’m sure I’ll pull a fair amount of material from what I’ve posted previously on this blog and in articles I’ve written around the web. I also be tapping readers of this website and other EMR forums I participate in the process of creating these guides. My strongest trait isn’t that I know everything about the process, but I feel like I’m surrounded with an amazing online community of EMR users.

I’m still a little undecided on whether I’ll charge for it or not. I guess we’ll see how it all comes together and then decide. Regardless, I want to make sure that whatever money or even time is spent reading the guide returns a value to the reader.

Ok, so thanks for letting me think out loud on my blog. I certainly want to welcome everyone in on the process. Let’s start by hearing 5 lessons learned during your EMR selection and/or implementation process.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • We have a 12 step guide on our blog – feel free to use in any way that would help you. The biggest issue we see is that physicians often jump into demos before they have really thought about exactly why they want EHR, how much they want to spend and key selection criteria. Its a little like driving by automobile dealerships and test driving all the cars before you’ve really decided why you want a new car and what is really important to you.
    The other issue is getting hung up on lots of features you may never use, or that even get in the way, and not focusing on the things that you will need to work easily and well all the time. Again with my car analogy, would be like focusing on how easy it is to change a flat tire even though you don’t plan on having that happen often and even when you do, you’ll use an autoclub and not do it yourself.
    Good luck with the guide.

  • Our biggest lesson learned:

    We have 2 offices seperated by 20 miles, connected by a T1 line. This set up has and was always was effective in both runnning our EMR and connecting the 2 offices.

    While upgrading to a newer version of our EMR, the newer version was so “fat” or in other words “so savy” it suddenly ran as if you were using a 20 year old operating system. We were dead in the water. The vendor was caught with their pants down for a 2 office setting. The eventual solution was to operate on a Citrix platform from the remote office (the one where the server wasn’t). It cost an additional $12,000, 1.5 years after already investing and implementing an EMR. It was frustrating, but we got through it. Ultimately, it solved some remote connect issue we were having from the hospitals and home, and now frankly, I think it was a blessing. We enjoy the fast, secure and remote accessibility to our server and EMR via low band width with Citrix.

  • Oh yes, the beauty of “upgrades” to your EHR. This is exactly why this blog will never go out of style. Even once there’s 100% EHR adoption, there will still be plenty to talk about between switching EHR software to managing EHR upgrades effectively.

    I love your positive outlook on your experience. I think it says a lot about you and why you’ve been successful implementing an EHR. Attitude has a lot to do with success and failure in an implementation.

    The multiple office is an important question in the EHR selection process. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Also, watch for my post that will be published on Monday comparing EHR to pregnancy. I think you’ll relate to it.

  • Clyde… Thanks!

    Oh CRA*!

    You mean as the CCHIT certification requirements grow that the size of the software package grows… to the point that 2 offices connected by a T1 doesn’t work?

    And the software gets so big it will not run on the office PCs the practice bought last year?

    Figures. We are so SCR****!

  • Hi John and Catherine,

    Thats great guide for EHR implementation and selection process. I agree with you all this needs to be a well though out process as it affects your business model which in case of Medical practice has adverse consequences on its patients.
    I had come across a great wiki page on this topic. Though the comparison chart is not complete with all the top vendors yet it gives a sense of direction for such comparisons and selection. I would invite all you to contribute to this wiki page and make it as resourceful as possible.
    Wiki page link

    Hope to see your contributions on the wiki. pages

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