EMR Implementation — How Long Should it Take?

“How long will it take to implement an EMR in my practice?” This is a question being asked by thousands of providers across the country as they try to implement an EMR in time to collect EMR incentives. This is not the only question, but it is an important one as there is a deadline to qualify for Meaning Use incentives in 2011. It turns out providers have a lot of misconceptions about the timeline to implement an EMR.

Providers who are eligible for EMR incentives must use a certified EMR for 90 consecutive days in 2011. Therefore, the latest you can start using an EMR system and hope to collect the full incentive, is October 1st, 2011.

As the Account Manager Team Lead at Practice Fusion, I have helped oversee thousands of successful EMR implementations. If there is one thing I know well, it’s what it takes to successfully complete the process. The Account Management Team is here to provide you with all of the resources you need to go paperless. Practice Fusion is here for you from the day you sign up. We make sure all your practice is trained, your free e-prescribing is set up and you are integrated to the regional and national labs you use. We also introduce you to our growing community through our forums, and put you in touch with our support team (which was rated ‘outstanding’ by our users). Ongoing support and training are all-important facets of choosing an EMR, but how long should this all take?

An interesting observation I’ve made within the last year and a half at Practice Fusion is that a lot of providers are signing up six to nine months before they intend to go live with Practice Fusion’s EMR because they think it will take six to nine months to complete EHR adoption. What ends up happening is that we train their entire staff, enable e-prescribing, labs, billing, and referrals within a couple weeks while they are still seeing patients! Also, since there are no servers to buy and maintain, or software to install, a practice is often able to use the computers they already have to run their EMR. Providers end up being months ahead of schedule because Practice Fusion is unlike any other EMR out there.

So, how long should it take? Well, it turns out it depends which vendor you talk to. The reason I’ve seen providers expect six to nine months or more to implement an EMR, is because they’ve done their research. They’ve contacted other vendors, received price quotes and contracts, and have been told that there is a back log out there of more than four months to actually implement those EMRs in their practice.

When providers come to Practice Fusion they have this general sense from the many vendors they’ve spoken with that implementing an EMR will take several months. The reason you can implement Practice Fusion in a matter of weeks and not months is because there is nothing ever to install, it is easy to use, and we take care of all the integrations for you. Practice Fusion guarantees you will have a certified EMR to qualify for 2011 incentives. No other vendor can do this because they cannot guarantee you will be far enough ahead on their waiting list. Best of all, since we’re free, you get to keep every cent of your incentive money. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but this is a game changer.

Sabas Rodriguez
Account Manager — Team Lead
Practice Fusion EMR

Sabas helps lead the Account Management Team at Practice Fusion assuring users successfully implement Practice Fusion’s Web-based EMR in their practice. You can reach him directly with any industry or implementation questions at sabas@practicefusion.com.

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