For schools considering solutions to electronic charting, picking an Academic EHR system can be overwhelming. Once you choose a product that fits the needs of your school, there are still dozens of factors to consider. To make the process easier, we've compiled some points to ask your sales representative when reviewing products.
- Implementation Time: When you choose any new product for your school, implementation time is an important deciding factor. If you're going to be paying for institution or seat licenses, its important to implement as soon as possible so your school doesn't lose money during setup. Before making a decision, ask any sales representative directly "how often does implementation usually take?" and "what is your lead time?". Some electronic charting systems require a setup period to create your school's account after purchase. Other systems will have a wait for training and/or a large learning curve.
- Customer Service and Support: It's important to find out exactly what type of assistance is available if you do end up having technical or implementation issues. What type of support does the product offer? If your instructors have a technical issue, how are they able to reach a support technician? If faculty would like to discuss usage/teaching ideas, is there anyone available to do so? Do students have access to phone or email support and if so, is it 24/7?
* On a side note -- make sure the product you choose does not charge for support or customer service. It's impossible to anticipate what type of assistance you'll need ahead of time so it's best to play it safe and choose a product that includes support if needed.
- Training: Once you decide on a product, is training available for your staff? Many of the schools we work with have had issues with new products because of limited buy in from instructors. Oftentimes, low buy in is related to a lack of training and a large learning curve for new systems. Make sure the product you choose offers real training (not just a short webinar).
- Compatibility and Technology Requirements: Most EHRs available are now web based which means limited setup. It's important to find out if the system you choose has any compatibility issues with different browsers and/or operating systems. If it is not web-based, what is the installation process and will you be able to install it on your current hardware without the assistance of your school's IT department? Ideally, you'd want to find a product that's web-based and will work on any browser and any operating system regardless of device. That way, your school's IT department will never have to get involved.