; what to consider when purchasing an EHR system
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what to consider when purchasing an EHR system

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The healthcare IT provisions of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, passed in 2009, earmarked $32 billion in incentives for hospitals that demonstrate "meaningful use" of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. These provisions have created a feeding frenzy of sorts in the healthcare IT industry. The following suggestions for making an EHR purchase are based on the experiences of Crittenden Health Systems of Marion, KY: 1. Begin the search with the "right"-size vendors. 2. Beware of vendors of high-end systems that are offering "community hospital pricing." 3. Share the costs with end users, and involve clinicians in the selection process. 4. Consider all of the costs. 5. Be sure to factor in the costs of additional internal staff that will be required to operate the EHR system. 6. Don't rush into an EHR purchase. 7. Don't ignore an incumbent vendor. 8. Don't replace the hospital's entire revenue cycle applications. 9. Don't over-rely on demos and RFPs.

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