EMR Vendor Recommendations

Every couple months I get someone asking me if I could recommend any good EMR vendors. It makes complete sense why someone would ask this question. They want to try and narrow their search down from the 300+ EMR vendors that are out there. That’s an incredibly daunting number to consider and so everyone’s trying to narrow down their EMR vendor search (see also my previous top rated EMR companies post).

The problem with this question, is that the answer is different for every clinic. Why? Because every clinic has very different needs and every EMR vendor has very different capabilities. The key is to be able to match the capabilities of the EMR vendor with the needs and culture of the clinic.

EMR software is not like email. I can easily recommend that a business who wants an email system sign up for the free Google Apps email. That email (essentially gmail) blows every other email out of the water (especially with the free price tag). EMR software isn’t like that. There are a few dozen (at least) EMR vendors that have really amazing software depending on your clinics needs. For me to recommend an EMR vendor without knowing more about your clinic would be a tremendous disservice.

I would recommend those interested in selecting an EMR to purchase my EMR selection e-Book. It walks someone through the process of selecting an EMR based on their own clinical needs and business requirements. Plus, it educates the reader on the various EMR options so that they can assess which type of EMR software would be right for their clinic.

I guess this is why I get all worked up when RECs create a “preferred EMR vendor” list. It’s just ridiculous that they think they can do an RFP or some other EMR vendor evaluation that can somehow take into account the thousands of different clinical practices that exist in their area.

Of course, I haven’t resolved the need that people have to narrow down the list of 300+ EMR vendors. The full answer is in my EMR selection book I linked above. One part of that answer is to use an EMR selection website like Medical Software Advice or EMR Consultant.

Neither of those services are perfect at finding matches either, but it’s a decent place to start in narrowing down your EMR vendor list. At least they try to understand your clinic before making EMR recommendations. Plus, just because they provide you a list of 5 EMR vendors doesn’t mean that you can’t look beyond the list. Treat those lists as a good starting point for evaluating EMR vendors. Then, if there’s still not a good match you can keep looking.

The message of this post is to be wary of anyone that tries to recommend a specific EMR when they know nothing about your individual clinical needs.

Full Disclosure: Both Medical Software Advice or EMR Consultant advertise on this site, but they don’t know I wrote about them on this post. I just suggested them since I think they provide a good service.

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.

6 Comments

  • It’s a bit like going to the librarian and asking “What books should I check out?” Or even asking an auto reviewer, “What car should I buy?” You might have your top picks, but maybe the person asking has specific needs. For example, you wouldn’t want to recommend a two-door compact to someone with a big family, or who requires handicap assistance. I do wish there was an easier way to guide people on how to choose an EHR, considering the number of resources new car buyers have to weedle down their options.

  • Great analogy Michelle. That illustrates the challenge very well. Maybe on the cash for keys program they should have created some RECs to help educate car buyers on the process. Then, the RECs could have had a preferred list of cars for people to choose from. πŸ™‚

  • Jojo,
    Wow, a document that doesn’t mention MU and certification. No wonder the document is so incredibly useful and interesting. Thanks for sharing. That does ask a lot of good questions which are worth considering as you select and get ready to implement an EMR.

    Thanks for sharing it.

  • One further step in the EHR selection process, I’d say, is finding out what the vendor’s customers have to say. Clearly seeing the product in use at another practice by doing a site visit is helpful, but if there’s not another practice nearby, a good unbiased resource for user input is the KLAS report. (www.klasresearch.com) It’s free for providers to login to and there providers can compare their top vendors of their choosing to see not only customer’s comments, but how the vendor’s product rates overall in the industry and comparitively. I absolutely agree that each clinic is unique in their workflow and needs and a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to apply.

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