Medamation Discusses Customization for EMR Software

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While the government is urging clinics and practices to switch to electronic medical record software, physicians are slow to embrace the new technology. Dr. Jeffrey Gersbach of Medamation MD discusses how customization in EMR software can help to ease the transition.

While the government is pushing a program that urges clinics and practices to switch to electronic medical record software, physicians have been slow to adopt the new technology, listing prohibitive training cost and disruption of daily workflow as their two main reasons.

"For physicians in small- and medium-sized practices, the cost of an EHR system -- not just the dollars spent on the hardware and software, but the time lost on training and conversion to a new system -- makes implementing these systems a financial impossibility for their offices," said David Dale, MD, president of the American College of Physicians, in an article in AMNews.

Dr. Jeffrey Gersbach of Medamation MD (http://www.medamation.com) discusses how customization in EMR software can help to ease the transition.

"Breaking old habits is a huge concern for doctors contemplating the switch to an EMR software system," Gersbach said. "This is especially true for multi-doctor clinics, because each doctor in the group has their own preferred way of doing things and it is hard to get them all to agree on one method.

"Most facilities looking to implement EMR software want to do so with as little disruption as possible. The facilities that don't want to implement change are using the training, cost and workflow disruption as their biggest excuse."

EMR software that allows customization to meet the requirements of each physician in the group helps reduce many of the concerns about workflow disruption. Instead of having to adapt to the software's style, physicians can adapt the software to their style, which eases the transition to a new system.

Gersbach said that the more the EMR software can be customized to end users, the better the chances of adoption.

"The more familiar the software is to a user, the less time they will need to spend learning it," said Gersbach." That way, their practice is back to normal within days or weeks rather than months."

Many EMR programs adopt a one size fits all mentality and offer little in the way of customization by the end user. In these cases, any customization must be done by the company and at significant cost to the customer. Typically, the changes made are for the entire group rather than each user in the group.

A few EMR software programs allow individual physicians in a group to freely customize the program at will to meet their needs. This way, the start-up configuration can be used initially and over time, continually changed, tested and experimented with in order to find the most efficient way of doing things for each user.

The options available for customizing EMR software are just as important as the basic functions of the programs. This is especially true for multi-doctor clinics where the problem is compounded. Some EMR software programs are very intuitive, allowing each physician to customize templates themselves. Others are more complicated and require significant outside help to make changes.

"Not all EMR software have customization options," Gersbach said. "Some will charge you extra for each customization, or they won't offer any customization at all. So you're stuck trying to change the habits and work flow of each doctor to meet the requirements of the software rather than the other way around. Make sure you find EMR software that offers all the customization options you need for a quick and painless transition."

For more information about electronic medical records and EMR software customization, visit Medamation online at http://www.medamation.com

About Medamation
Medamation, Inc. is a physician-owned company that has been in existence since 1999. Medamation is committed to the development of affordable world-class electronic medical record (EMR) solutions for physician practices of all specialties and sizes, including multi-specialty clinics and emergency departments. Each product offering has been specifically designed and thoroughly tested by a team of doctors and programmers to address all the needs of the users and to overcome the shortfalls of other charting systems.

Press release provided by Xeal Inc. (http://www.xeal.com)

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