The decision to implement an EHR system is critically important to your agency’s current and future client care initiatives and strategic business goals. It pays to plan everything in advance so that implementation can proceed with minimal bumps along the way, including any surprise costs. One major part of your planning process is to identify EHR system costs so that you can budget appropriately.
What are EHR system costs?
There are two types of installation that require different costs: an on-premise or a hosted solution. On-premise systems require you to purchase hardware and have IT staff to support them, while a hosted solution has a different cost structure because it’s managed and maintained by the host.
With an on-premise solution, costs mainly include the hardware and software needed to operate the system, licenses, and upgrades. These costs are included in a hosted solution.
In addition, there are costs associated with training your staff on the new EHR system and the EHR implementation process itself, including any setup and data migration you may need. Finally, there are ongoing costs post-implementation like hardware and software maintenance and upgrade costs and ongoing support for both. A hosted solution, however, includes routine upgrades and enhancements at no charge as well as basic support.
Educate yourself on EHR technology and EHR system costs
The best way to educate yourself on the true EHR system costs is to ask targeted questions in your Request for Proposal. For on-premise systems, ask for a breakdown of EHR system costs for everything from hardware and software requirements to the installation and training of your new system, along with ongoing maintenance in the future. For a hosted solution, ask what is included in their quote, like periodic upgrades and system enhancements and the level of ongoing support offered.
On-premise EHR system costs encompass your capital expenditure for these categories, so it’s important to get as comprehensive a breakdown as possible before you sign an End-User License Agreement with an EHR system vendor.
Plan for EHR implementation
There are ways to plan for any loss in productivity during EHR implementation to help you mitigate its effect. One way is to identify a Project Manager who handles everything from training staff and clinicians to managing data migration and resolving issues during and after implementation. This leaves your other administrative staff available to process billings and reporting, while clinical staff is available to see clients and monitor their treatment plans.
When you have one designated point person in your agency dealing with the implementation process, not only does it streamline communication with the vendor, but it also helps the rest of your staff and clinicians function in a “business as usual” mode to mitigate any loss in productivity.
Plan for future expenses
As your practice grows in the future, you’ll incur additional expenses over time. You’ll need to purchase additional equipment for new staff and train them, but there are ways to decrease your IT support expenses over the long haul.
Specifically, if you choose a hosted EHR software solution, the vendor is responsible for maintaining, upgrading, and monitoring your system. This saves you the expense of needing IT support staff on-site to handle these issues for you. In addition, it relieves you of the time commitment needed for these responsibilities so you can focus on client care or adding new services to your practice.
The Remarkable Health difference
With Remarkable Health’s innovative CT|One EHR system, you get a comprehensive and fully integrated EHR platform that provides everything you need to manage your organization and serve clients efficiently and safely. As a fully hosted platform, CT|One doesn’t require onsite IT staff to maintain the system; our expert engineers manage, maintain, upgrade, and monitor your EHR system for you.
Not only does CT|One save you the time and expense involved in managing an on-site EHR system, but it offers efficiencies that will let your clinicians focus on serving clients and instituting new programs rather than taking time away from client care for administrative burdens.
Contact Remarkable Health today for a CT|One demonstration to see exactly how we can help you improve client care, streamline your revenue management, and boost your bottom line.