Physical Therapy EMR Selection | Making the Most of the Demo
Buying a new physical therapy EMR either to automate current manual processes or as a replacement for the current software is certainly a significant decision that cannot be taken lightly. When it comes to making informed decisions during the EMR selection process, the vendor demo remains front and center. The goal of the demo is to try and assess the overall fitment of the EMR software for the rehab therapy practice and determine how well it could function in a real-world environment with unique processes and exceptions to the rule. Not an easy task to accomplish by any stretch! Impossible, some might add. Suffice it to say that detail and nuance are clearly crucial when it comes to the demo. When practices share information about their needs ahead of the demo and enable the vendor to try and tailor the demo to address specific practice requirements, the demo becomes so much more meaningful. Here are some steps that should help make the process more effective and the time well spent.
Create the EMR Demo TeamForming the demo team should come first. The team should be chartered with the responsibility of implementing the best fit product, start to finish. It should ideally have representation across various functional areas including the front desk, clinicians, billers, office managers, and clinic owner(s).
Collate Practice NeedsThe next step should be to identify and prioritize practice needs across functional areas including intake and scheduling, care delivery and documentation, billing and collections, patient payments, referral management, and so on. Classifying the list of needs into high, medium, and low priority requirements should provide a good baseline for the initiative.
Prepare EMR Selection MatrixBased on the needs assessment, the next step should be to prepare an EMR scoring matrix to rank competing products. This should ideally be a detailed list of attribute groups, individual attributes, and attribute weights that denote their priority. Factors could include:
- Fit with practice needs (high, medium, low)
- EMR functionality and performance
- Ease of use and graphical interface
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Pricing and terms of payment