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  1. Software is only as good as your support. When we signed on with AMS they delivered everything to us that they had promised and then some.
    Family Practice Clinic
    South Georgia
  2. AMS is an extension of our office staff; they are “in the office” when we are “in the office”. Our computer problem is their computer problem and they take their problems seriously.
    Family Practice Clinic
    North Florida
  3. I will always be available to discuss the positive impact AMS has had on my ability to manage a practice and to discuss the gratitude I have towards the staff, who never make you feel anything except important and appreciated.
    Pediatric Clinic
    North Florida
     
  4. You will not find any other support/service company that ever compares to AMS. They get to know their clients and “cater” to their clients’ needs.
    Family Practice Clinic
    North Florida
  5. AMS’s expertise, professionalism and timely manner in getting our office turned around and back on our feet (after working with another support organization) was impeccable and outstanding.
    Family Practice Clinic
    South Georgia
     
  6. I would recommend AMS to other practices because the support is local and they help us any time we call, whether over the phone or by making a site visit.
    Office Manager
    Pediatric Clinic
  7. Many times AMS has shown great patience with my staff and me while resolving issues. I cannot say enough about AMS and would highly recommend them to anyone.
    Office Manager
    Orlando, Florida
     
  8. I was so impressed that I made the deal before they left my office on the day of the demo, and NEVER regretted it! Not only did the system work better than expected, the transition was extremely smooth, and we had full support from that point on.
    Pediatric Clinic
    North Florida
  9. I worked on another product and it was horribly slow; support took days to call back. I suggested AMS,  we streamline the practice and worked more efficiently. I would recommend AMS to anyone. The personal touch with knowledgeable staff is vital to operating an efficient practice.
    Neurology Clinic
    Central Florida
  10. If you’ve ever had good service from a vendor like AMS and then switch to another vendor, it will not take long to realize what you had. Believe me; I know from experience, AMS is the BEST!
    OB/GYN Clinic
    South Georgia
  11. After working with AMS, it’s frustrating to work with other vendors. We are used to getting help with problems. Other vendors put us off or minimal help. It’s frustrating. I would definitely recommend AMS to other practices. They help you immediately; they don’t put you off until later.
    OB/GYN Clinic
    Over 15 Years AMS Customer
  12. The EDI service provided by AMS has drastically cut down on the amount of time our office spends following up on the status of insurance claims.
    Pulmonary Clinic
    Savannah Georgia
  13. There is no comparison to the support and service provided by AMS. AMS offers friendly, courteous service and is always available to help resolve an issue. I would absolutely recommend AMS because customer service is their primary goal.
    Office Manager
    Pulmonary Clinic
     
  14. AMS has supported us for 10 years and if there is ever a problem, they fix it immediately; and we have had very few problems.
    OB/GYN Clinic
    South East Georgia
  15. I would recommend AMS to other practices; if one person isn’t able to address our needs, they always direct the call to the person who can help.
    Pediatric Group
    South Georgia
  16. AMS provides a quick response to any problem. They know their stuff.
    OB/GYN Clinic
    South Georgia
     
  17. We really like the AMS EDI solution, the turnaround time is just a matter of days. Claims can be worked and processed easier and faster. Our insurance clerk has worked on other EDI solutions that do not offer all the features of this product; she loves the AMS EDI solution.
    Family Practice Clinic
    South Georgia
     
  18. It would be one thing to give this type of recommendation if I had done this with AMS only once, I have moved to different locations in Florida. Nothing has changed… the product AND the people are the best I have ever worked with….
    Office Administrator
    North Florida
     
  19. AMS understands that we are the reason they are in business, and they are always there when we need them. This has not been the case for our other support organizations.
    Family Practice Clinic
    North Florida
  20. I have been through 3 conversions in the past 7 years, as I have moved to different locations in Florida. Nothing has changed… the products AND the people are the best I have ever worked with…
    Office Administrator
    Jacksonville, Florida
  21. I would recommend AMS to other practices. They provide reliable customer service.
    OB/GYN Clinic
    South East Georgia
     
  22. Before working with AMS we worked with another vendor but their support was not as timely; they always had to come to the office for repairs which resulted in additional expenses and downtime.
    Pulmonary Clinic
    Southwest Georgia
     
  23. AMS is different from the other vendors we have worked with. AMS has an experienced staff and reasonable support fees, unlike other vendors we’ve had. I would wholeheartedly recommend AMS to other practices.
    Office Manager
    General Surgery Clinic
  24. I have worked at three different practices that were supported by AMS and none of their systems were ever “down”.
    Office Manager
    Neurology Practice
     
  25. I have been in the medical field for 25 years and have used numerous support companies. I have used AMS for 10 years and they have proven to be the most efficient and helpful company I have worked with.
    Office Manager
    Family Practice Clinic
     
  26. I have worked with Automated Medical Systems since December 2002. I cannot offer enough praise for the dedication and integrity of the company and the staff.
    Office Administrator
    Northeast Florida

     
  27. AMS has the same employees helping me today as were helping me in 2004, when they first became our computer support vendor.
    Office Manager
    Neurology Clinic
     

Solution Spotlight

Common Mistakes in Selecting an EMR PDF Print E-mail
Written by Webinar Editor   
Friday, 07 October 2011 20:18

Common Mistakes in Selecting an EMR  

As government incentives for adopting healthcare technology have rolled out across the country, we have seen a rise in the number of medical practices interested in purchasing a certified Electronic Medical Record system. For most practices, this is their first EMR, and as a newcomer to the EMR marketplace, it's hard enough to select the system that will actually fit their needs, meanwhile all agree on one system. Having limited knowledge of the marketplace and knowing only what you've been told, it's hard to ignore the noise and get down to the facts in order to make the correct buying decision. Making the wrong decision on your first EMR is extremely costly, not just in capital, but in lost time and resources. If your first go round isn't a success, then you must factor in the cost of evaluating systems a second time, lost productivity, revenue, and cash. Not to mention that many vendors are locking customers into multi-year contracts. Automated Medical Systems will be doing a 7-week series on the most common mistakes medical practices make in choosing an Electronic Medical Record and how your practice can avoid them. See our first mistake to avoid below. 

Purchasing Based on Price

While price is an important factor to consider, it shouldn't be THE deciding factor in your EMR decision. Purchasing an EMR is just like purchasing any other product-you get what you pay for. The cost to implement a second system because your first system failed will far outweigh the "great deal" you got on the first go round. If you can find a system that works for your practice, then you will see a return on your investment within the first year of use, regardless of incentive funds. The key is to find an EMR that suits your practice's unique workflow and processes, one that will expand as your practice grows and changes, and a system that provides the flexibility for each provider to document as they see fit. Don't sacrifice quality for cost-consider an EMR an investment in your business.  

Cutting Costs by Cutting Training

Training will often make or break the success of your EMR implementation.  Many vendors offer "free web training" or all the training you need in one day, on-site.  Don't be fooled.  An EMR implementation is a major undertaking that is going to require buy in from each and every member of your staff in order to be successful.  Having staff listen in on webinars isn't going to cut it when they actually have to see patients with an EMR while dealing with all of the other complexities of delivering patient care.  One day of on-site training is hardly enough time to review all of the capabilities of an EMR, more like an extended demo, allowing little if any time for questions and concerns.

Instead, develop a practice-specific training plan with your EMR vendor based on your practice's needs.  In a large office, training may need to be broken down by job responsibility so that each staff member learns the skills needed to perform their day-to-day job functions.  Smaller offices are more likely to have employees that wear different hats throughout their day, and therefore each employee may need more comprehensive training.  Opt for hands-on, on-site training to reinforce skills and job functions. 

You will also want to make arrangements to conduct a "dry-run" without real patients before you go live.  This allows everyone to practice without the pressure of seeing actual patients.  Lastly, schedule your EMR vendor to be on-site with you on go-live day, and possibly a day or two after.  There are going to be scenarios that you don't think of until you are in the moment seeing a patient and you don't know what to do.  Having your vendor on-site the first few days you're live can help relieve some of that stress and anxiety for both the providers and staff.  Bottom line is to make training a priority.  You can have the greatest system that has all the bells and whistles, but if you don't know how to use it, then it's going to be a failure.

Expecting "Out of the Box" Ready

Don't expect your Electronic Medical Record system to come perfectly suited to your practice. Each practice has a unique workflow and methods of delivering patient care and no EMR is going to exactly mimic your process.

What's important is that the system is easily customizable and doesn't require a computer programmer to make changes. Customization should be simple enough that your staff can make most changes with a bit of training. Ask during demonstrations if it's possible to make modifications, and if so, what all that entails. Address customization during training, and setup the system as you see fit before conducting your dry run. Those delivering patient care should be involved in this process - don't just leave it up to the office manager! A nurse or tech that spends a lot of time with the provider is a great asset to utilize during initial setup. Tweaks can be made as you go along and providers get more familiar with the EMR.

Finally, make sure someone takes the lead on system maintenance so that if future changes are needed, you aren't totally reliant on your EMR vendor to make them for you. After all, once it's all said and done with, this will be YOUR system.

Not Asking About Ongoing Support

The ongoing support of your chosen Electronic Medical Record vendor will be key to your ultimate success and satisfaction with your system.  Some vendors will spend one-on-one time with your practice during training, but then support going forward is outsourced.  If outsourced, be aware of the possible language barrier when explaining complicated issues and that follow up is typically poor.  The last thing you want to do is spend your day sitting on hold just to get a simple question answered.  Also be aware of deals where support is "free."  Nothing is truly free, and even if it's free to you, the quality of support will likely equal the price tag...very low! 

You want a vendor you can trust to take action if you need assistance, especially after go-live.  Ask about support before you sign on the dotted line, and talk to customers of the vendor to see what their experience has been with support.  If you can get local or regional support, even better.  Local or regional support is more likely to understand the issues you may be facing in your office, such as new regulations imposed by state government.  They are also likely to be just a hop, skip, and a jump away should you ever need them to come on-site for an issue.  Ask how long the vendor has been in the EMR business.  Chances are, if they've been around for more than a decade, then they plan on sticking around.  Lastly, ask anyone who's had bad software support before and they'll tell you, it's well worth the money for good, stable support!

Expecting "Perfection"

Most practices think that once they install an Electronic Medical Record system their documentation problems will magically be solved.  Many times, an EMR will actually bring to light problems that have been left unresolved for years, adding frustration to an already challenging implementation process.  Don't expect documentation to immediately be perfect, rather think of the project as a continuous improvement process.  Some of the frustration can be alleviated by assessing workflow before go-live and taking the time to redesign those processes to fit in an electronic world.  Reassess every so often what and how information is being charted and stored in a patient's electronic medical record and think of ways to improve upon it.  Ask staff for input and implement ideas that improve efficiency and documentation. 

Not Keeping Current with Technology  

Once your Electronic Medical Record system has been purchased and implemented, you're up and running successfully, continually improving upon your documentation processes, you're set, right?  Wrong.  Technology moves at the speed of light these days, and if you don't keep current, then you'll soon find that your investment is obsolete.  You must ensure that you keep both your EMR software and supporting hardware current with technology standards and minimum requirements.

You can start with keeping your software up-to-date by paying your software annual maintenance fees.  During the sales process, ask potential EMR vendors if annual maintenance includes all updates and new releases and make sure you understand the fine print.  For example, are Meaningful Use modules additional?  If a major software upgrade is required, is training on new features and enhancements included?  You'll want to keep your system updated, especially if you're seeking incentives and requirements change.  You may also want to take advantage of new features as you become a more experienced EMR user in order to continue to streamline processes.

Also consider incremental investments in your hardware to keep it current.  In a traditional client/server environment, you'll need to consider both your server and computers, as well as your network infrastructure, especially if you have any mobile computers.  Implement a hardware recycling program in your office.  As hardware ages, replace it with current technology and move the older hardware to areas where processing capabilities and memory usage aren't as taxed.  By incrementally replacing old hardware, you won't be in survival-only mode if you have any sort of hardware failure.  If you decide to go the hosted route, you will still need to make considerations for your computers and network infrastructure. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:54