EMR Selection and Implementation Books

I’ve had in mind and been approached by a number of people about writing a book about the EMR selection and implementation process. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I’ve had in mind to write some e-Books. I like the e-Book better than a hard copy book, but maybe if I combine all the e-Books it would make a nice hard copy book as well, but I digress.

The good news is that I’ve started writing. I was actually amazed at how quickly and easily the content has come so far. I’m also quite happy with the value that it could bring to someone looking into the EMR world. Although, I still have a ways to go.

One person that was interested in me writing this book send the following outline for the EMR Selection and Implementation book. I’d love to hear people’s feedback on items that are missing and items that aren’t worth discussing from this outline (sorry the formatting isn’t very good on the web).  Please be as candid as possible.  Not to mention if you think that a book or set of e-Books like this would be useful.  Also, if you sign up for the EMR and HIPAA email subscription you’ll be sure to get the latest updates with what’s happening with this book.

(1)   Introduction

  1. Why I am writing this book
  2. Intended audience (small physician practices)
  3. EMR versus EHR explained

(2)   EHR Myths and realities

(3)   Is an EHR right for me?

  1. Physicians must “sold” on going to EMR
  2. Pros and Cons

–          Information everywhere

–          Better charting

–          Decision support – better decision making

–          More efficient office

–          Fewer staff

–          Paperless office – no costs for paper, charts, office supplies

–          No lost charts

–          Reporting

–          Longitudinal view of patient chart

–          Reduced transcription costs

(5)How to evaluate EHR software

  1. Templates
    1. How to change templates
  2. E-prescribing
  3. Lab interface
  4. GUI/usability
    1. Going “in and out” of a patient note
  5. Specialty specific versus general
  6. Choosing between ASP and C/S
  7. Patient Portal

(6)   Other considerations in choosing an EHR

  1. Independent versus integrated practice management
  2. Data conversion (if necessary)
  3. Data format (will you get database structures)
  4. Vendor stability/age
  5. How long has the HER been offered?
  6. Flexibility on installation timing?
  7. What code is the HER written in (.net, etc)
  8. Who owns the data?
  9. ICD-10 upgrade costs
  10. KLAS reviewed/recommended?
  11. Outstanding lawsuits?
  12. Reference sites
  13. Vendor support
  14. HITECH warranties
  15. Price of system (including ALL SW, HW, installation & training)
  16. Outyear licensing fees


18. Negotiating the contract

(7)   Other Items

  1. Tablets, laptops or PCs
  2. Choosing an IT company
  3. Internal versus external IT
  4. ASP or C/S
  5. Speech recognition
  6. Peripherals – Fax servers, scanners, cameras, printers
  7. Networking
  8. Other software – email, MS Office

(8)   EHRs and HIPAA

(9)   The selection process

  1. Physician champion
  2. Selection committee
  3. Vendor shootout
  4. Time necessary to select
  5. Final negotiations

(10)                       Installing and implementing

  1. i.      Planning & project management
  2. ii.      Expert users
  3. iii.       Training
    1. onsite versus remote
    2. iv.      “Big bang” versus gradual
    3. v.      Interfaces
      1. Labs
      2. PACS
      3. Devices

6. Backup and Disaster Recovery

  1. The network
    1. i.      Infrastructure
    2. ii.      wired – wireless
    3. iii.      WAN
    4. iv.      Server
    5. v.      Other devices

(11)                       HITECH Act explained

  1. Medicare vs Medicaid
  2. Timeframe benefits are paid
  3. Who is eligible
  4. What is CCHIT?
  5. What is a certified EHR?
  6. What is meaningful use?
  7. Important dates in the future

(12)                       Useful references

  1. Blogs
    1. i.      EMR and HIPAA
    2. ii.      EMR and HER

3.    etc.

2.   Websites

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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.


  • A book (paper) for small practices should be in the manner of “EMR for Dummies”. The main thing is to give the reader enough knowledge to have the confidence to act with sufficient additional provisos to assure that they don’t come to any real harm. That is a book many would read and benefit from. If a reader gets into the subject in a big way, he or she can buy a frequently updated ebook from you to load up on all the latest differentiators.

  • Charles,
    Glad to hear your opinion. Do you think that the above outline would “give the reader enough knowledge to have the confidence to act with sufficient additional provisos to assure that they don’t come to any real harm.” If not, what’s missing and what isn’t needed to reach that goal?

  • You may want to add Order Sets and any kind of alerts/reminders for preventive maintenance. And, depending on the type of practice, a Case Management feature may be helpful. And Referrals management.

  • Pat,
    I’ve actually already added Order Sets to the part I’ve written which lists the potential benefits of EMR.

    Case management and referral management is interesting. We do A LOT of that at my day job. How much of that is done in a standard practice and which things should I cover in an e-Book about EMR in regards to that?

  • I think that Referral Management should be in the guide. Case Management is helpful for Occupational Medicine and physicians dealing with a lot of Workers’ Compensation or Motor Vehicle Accident cases.

  • To begin with, consider the difference between medical staff interested in making a good decision for their practice and someone like you or me. For us, egregiously sloppy usage of terms to describe products or services is like shooting rats, fun and a public service. Medical staff are not going to approach this with relish. They need a realm of discourse set out for them sufficient that they can navigate safely and work out where they need to go. Think of it like this, “what terms should they be able to handle with sufficient facility that they could go into an hour long EMR sales meeting and not come out with their pockets turned wrong side out and a poor recollection of how that happened.” It isn’t so much the number of terms as the points where they can be aligned to mislead.

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