Strict Standards: Non-static method SEDatabase::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header.php on line 74

Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_database.php on line 175

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Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguageStorage::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 156

Strict Standards: Declaration of SELanguageStorageMysql::edit() should be compatible with SELanguageStorage::edit() in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/storage/mysql.php on line 255

Strict Standards: Declaration of SELanguageStorageMysql::get() should be compatible with SELanguageStorage::get() in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/storage/mysql.php on line 255

Strict Standards: Non-static method SECore::getSettings() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header.php on line 85

Strict Standards: Non-static method SECache::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_core.php on line 28

Deprecated: Non-static method SECacheStorage::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/cache/cache.php on line 66

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEDatabase::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_core.php on line 39

Deprecated: Non-static method SECache::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_url.php on line 66

Deprecated: Non-static method SECacheStorage::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/cache/cache.php on line 66

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload_multi() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_datetime.php on line 35

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 529

Strict Standards: Non-static method SESession::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header.php on line 103

Deprecated: Non-static method SESessionStorage::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/session/session.php on line 49

Strict Standards: Declaration of SESessionStorageNone::register() should be compatible with SESessionStorage::register($options = Array) in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/session/storage/none.php on line 16

Deprecated: Non-static method SESession::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_user.php on line 501

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::select() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header.php on line 150

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Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::info() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header.php on line 152

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 334

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::info() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header.php on line 158

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 334

Strict Standards: Non-static method SECore::getPlugins() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header.php on line 194

Strict Standards: Non-static method SECache::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_core.php on line 62

Deprecated: Non-static method SECacheStorage::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/cache/cache.php on line 66

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_semods.php on line 15

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_poll.php on line 16

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 559

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_poll.php on line 62

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_poll.php on line 64

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_poll.php on line 66

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_group.php on line 16

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 559

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_group.php on line 83

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_group.php on line 85

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_group.php on line 87

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_group.php on line 89

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_group.php on line 91

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload_multi() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_album.php on line 16

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 529

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_album.php on line 73

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_album.php on line 76

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_album.php on line 79

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_classified.php on line 15

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 559

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_classified.php on line 64

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_classified.php on line 66

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_classified.php on line 68

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_music.php on line 12

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 559

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_music.php on line 62

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_chat.php on line 21

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_blog.php on line 17

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 559

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_blog.php on line 65

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_blog.php on line 67

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_blog.php on line 69

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_event.php on line 15

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 559

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_event.php on line 67

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_event.php on line 69

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_event.php on line 71

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_event.php on line 73

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::register() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_event.php on line 75

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 151

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload_multi() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_gmap.php on line 10

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 529

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload_multi() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_article.php on line 10

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 529

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Mysql::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_forum.php on line 15

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::get_forum_setting() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_forum.php on line 46

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Mysql::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 954

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::get_forum_setting() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_forum.php on line 51

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Mysql::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 954

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_forum.php on line 79

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 559

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::get_forum_setting() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_forum.php on line 162

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Mysql::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 954

Warning: [MySQL] You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '`EmailQueue.*` FROM se_forum_email_queue `EmailQueue` WHERE 1 ORDER BY priority ' at line 1 (1064) in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_forum.php on line 166 for query "SELECT `EmailQueue`.* `EmailQueue.*` FROM se_forum_email_queue `EmailQueue` WHERE 1 ORDER BY priority DESC LIMIT 10" in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/mysql.php on line 614

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::get_forum_setting() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header_forum.php on line 186

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Mysql::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 954

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::exists() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/header.php on line 222

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 246

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::info() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/forum.php on line 15

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 334

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::get_forum_setting() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/forum.php on line 320

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Mysql::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 954

Strict Standards: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, non-static method SEP_TopicController::index() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/forum.php on line 333

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::can_read() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/controllers/topic_controller.php on line 37

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::moderator_decode() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 182

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::moderator_decode() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 183

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::moderator_decode() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 184

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Helper::mysql_pagination() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/controllers/topic_controller.php on line 156

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Helper::pagination() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/controllers/topic_controller.php on line 181

Warning: [MySQL] You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '`Bookmark.*` FROM se_forum_bookmarks `Bookmark` WHERE user_id='0' AND post_id='6' at line 1 (1064) in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/controllers/topic_controller.php on line 203 for query "SELECT `Bookmark`.* `Bookmark.*` FROM se_forum_bookmarks `Bookmark` WHERE user_id='0' AND post_id='6' LIMIT 1" in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/mysql.php on line 614

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::is_moderator() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/controllers/topic_controller.php on line 214

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::moderator_decode() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 8

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::moderator_decode() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 9

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::moderator_decode() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/lib/models.php on line 10

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Models::can_write() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/controllers/topic_controller.php on line 220

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Helper::set_topic_id_is_read() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/controllers/topic_controller.php on line 249

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Helper::set_global_page_title() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/forum/controllers/topic_controller.php on line 253

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Helper::getFlash() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/forum.php on line 363

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Helper::getFlash() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/forum.php on line 364

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Helper::getFlash() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/forum.php on line 365

Strict Standards: Non-static method SEP_Forum_Helper::resetFlash() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/forum.php on line 366

Strict Standards: Non-static method SECore::getLanguages() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/footer.php on line 11

Strict Standards: Non-static method SECache::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_core.php on line 96

Deprecated: Non-static method SECacheStorage::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/cache/cache.php on line 66

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::exists() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/footer.php on line 26

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 246

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::exists() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/footer.php on line 29

Strict Standards: Non-static method SE_Hook::create() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/class_hook.php on line 246

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::info() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/footer.php on line 54

Strict Standards: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 334

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::load() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/smarty/templates_c/%%25^254^254F85F9%%topic_index.tpl.php on line 6

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 686

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/storage.php on line 192

Deprecated: Non-static method SECache::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/storage.php on line 193

Deprecated: Non-static method SECacheStorage::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/cache/cache.php on line 66

Strict Standards: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/storage/mysql.php on line 177

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload_multi() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/smarty/templates_c/%%F7^F7F^F7F34188%%header.tpl.php on line 6

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 529

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::load() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/smarty/templates_c/%%F7^F7F^F7F34188%%header.tpl.php on line 7

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 686

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/storage.php on line 169

Deprecated: Non-static method SECache::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/storage.php on line 170

Deprecated: Non-static method SECacheStorage::getInstance() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/cache/cache.php on line 66

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_preload_multi() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/smarty/templates_c/%%3A^3A9^3A97F094%%header_global.tpl.php on line 6

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 529

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::load() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/smarty/templates_c/%%3A^3A9^3A97F094%%header_global.tpl.php on line 7

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 686
<br /> <b>Deprecated</b>: Non-static method SELanguage::_get() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in <b>/home/medbudd/public_html/include/smarty/templates_c/%%3A^3A9^3A97F094%%header_global.tpl.php</b> on line <b>13</b><br /> <br /> <b>Deprecated</b>: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in <b>/home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php</b> on line <b>614</b><br /> Welcome to MedBuddies.com ~ The newest way to communicate for healthcare
Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::load() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/smarty/templates_c/%%1E^1E0^1E0E3839%%header_openidconnect.tpl.php on line 4

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::_init() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/language/language.php on line 686

Deprecated: Non-static method SELanguage::load() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/medbudd/public_html/include/smarty/templates_c/%%5E^5E8^5E8B6AE6%%header_poll.tpl.php on line 4

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Electonic Health Records » Which EHR is for us?

Finding the Right EHR for Your Practice

Topics: 4   Posts: 0

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News flash: One out of five electronic health records programs is eventually uninstalled. Here's good advice for docs who don't want to contribute to that statistic
 
You've seen the handwriting on the flat-panel monitor--electronic health records will replace your dog-eared, sometimes illegible and often misplaced paper charts. Medicine is copying the banking industry, which moves your money around on one vast electronic network so you can snatch a $20 bill from any ATM in the world.  
    
And maybe now you're ready to buy a program that digitizes vital signs instead of dollars. It's not just a matter of storing that data on a hard drive instead of paper. An EHR (sometimes called an EMR, or electronic medical record) will make all clinical data easier to use, automatically compiling and displaying a list of a patient's current diagnoses, for example. And a typical EHR will not only digitize common tasks such as prescribing, but also help you perform them with more medical acumen, thanks to "clinical decision support"--artificial intelligence that enables your EHR to warn you about harmful drug interactions as you write a script, or remind you when a patient's due for a Pap smear or colonoscopy.
 
However, figuring out what software to buy requires, well, a software program. Roughly 200 companies sell EHR software for physicians that varies widely in terms of capabilities, ease of use, vendor support and price. Some can't export a chart summary to a different EHR system or tell you--and quality-minded insurers--what percentage of your hypertensive patients have their blood pressure at a safe level. Clinical decision support may be minimal or nonexistent. And while low-end systems will ding you for only a few thousand dollars a year, others can cost up to $50,000 per physician over three years, according to one estimate, when you include implementation, training, support and other ancillary expenses. And this figure doesn't include hardware.
 
"If you don't choose the right program, you can experience a pretty costly failure," says Atlanta internist Jerome Carter, M.D., whose consulting company NTM Informatics helps doctors avoid such failures, which are common. Roughly one out of five EHRs gets uninstalled, reports the Medical Records Institute.
 
So how do you select the EHR that's best for you? We interviewed Dr. Carter and other experts to come up with doctors' orders for your shopping expedition.
 
1. Analyze your needs, set goals.
 
Before you contact any software vendor, consider: What exactly do you hope to accomplish with an EHR? Answering that question means dissecting your office routines, pinpointing your biggest logjams--unfiled lab results, say--and then determining how computerization can eliminate them. You also can frame the question in terms of opportunity. Perhaps you want an EHR to produce data reports--like the percentage of diabetics whose hemoglobin A1c is under 7--that will qualify you for an insurer's pay-for-performance bonus. Once you set specific goals for your EHR, you'll know what crucial features to look for.
 
Involve your employees in this analysis, adds Dr. Carter, author of the guide Electronic Health Records (available from the American College of Physicians at ACPOnline.org for $64.95, with ACP members paying $10 less). "Your staff will use the new system just as much as you, so it should solve their problems, too," he says.
 
2. Consider a certified program.
 
One way to narrow down the field is buying  an EHR with a stamp of approval from the private, nonprofit Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology. This group certifies EHRs that meet 275 performance standards, whether it's the ability to write a prescription, maintain a log of who has viewed the chart as a security precaution, or exchange data with another EHR program. So far, CCHIT has blessed 146 office-based EHRs from 98 vendors, representing almost half the market.
    
Don't put blind faith in certification, however, cautions Rosemarie Nelson, a health care computer consultant in Jamesville, New York. "I've seen certified programs that perform miserably," Nelson says. Certification, after all, doesn't factor in user-friendliness (more on that later). Certified programs also tend to cost far more than uncertified ones and cater to the needs of large groups that can afford them. In contrast, small practices often get good results from inexpensive, less complex and uncertified programs.
 
Still, it's hard to ignore certification, especially when it's becoming a requirement. Minnesota, for example, has mandated  that all health care providers begin using EHR systems by 2015, with the extra stipulation that the software must be okayed by CCHIT.

 

 

3. Take advantage of specialty-group resources.
 
Web sites of major medical societies such as the ACP and the American Academy of Family Physicians abound with advice about selecting an EHR. They often include what resembles a preferred list of vendors as well as product reviews by doctors. Members of the Medical Group Management Association can find similar resources at its Web site, including an EHR selector tool.
 
You may be able to get your high-tech questions answered on specialty-group Listservs , notes family physician Lou Spikol, M.D., in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Sometimes a doctor will hear a complaint about a program only to discover on a Listserv that most users have never experienced it, says Dr. Spikol, a former consultant for the Center for Health Information Technology at the AAFP. "The wisdom of the crowd is not to be pooh-poohed."
 
4. Consult product rankings.
 
A health care IT research firm called KLAS constantly surveys EHR users to rate software vendors, focusing mostly on customer satisfaction after the sale. Poor implementation, training and support can doom an otherwise stellar program. Blunt questions like "Would you buy from this vendor again?" get to the truth. KLAS charges doctors $500 for its "Top 20 Best of KLAS" report, but you can research individual vendors at its Web site free of charge by completing a questionnaire about medical software, equipment or computer services that you use.
 
A consulting firm, AC Group, periodically ranks EHR vendors on factors such as software functionality (what companies say their products can do), price and customer satisfaction data from groups like KLAS. Soloists should focus on rankings in the one-to-five-doctor market. Summaries of software reports cost $49.95; AC Group charges you $129.95 for the whole shebang.
 
5. Test drive software.
 
You can sense a program's degree of difficulty--is the screen overloaded with buttons and tabs?--by viewing a demo on a vendor's Web site, but nothing beats giving an EHR a spin around the block yourself. That's possible by attending a medical-society conference and hitting the exhibit floor where EHR vendors have pitched their booths. Some companies may come to your practice for a show-and-tell session. Or ask a colleague with an EHR to let you click away.
 
To make these tryouts meaningful, use the EHR in a clinical scenario of your choosing--a patient who needs prescriptions for two chronic conditions, for example--as opposed to following a salesperson's lightweight script. All the while, evaluate user-friendliness, says Dr. Spikol. Is the program intuitively grasped, or does it defy medical logic? How many mouse clicks does it take to renew a prescription--2 or 12? How easy is it to look up an old blood pressure reading? Give employees a turn at the controls, since their opinions also count.
 
Take all these steps, and you'll able to identify three or four safe picks--and, ultimately, an EHR system you won't be unplugging a year later in a fit of frustration.

Editor's note: Next month's column will discuss how to select a champion from the field of contenders and close the deal.


PLUGGED IN

40
 
Number of years EHRs have been around

38
Percentage of office-based physicians with
partially or fully automated charts in 2006

20
Percentage of doctors with comprehensive
EHR software in 2008 allowing them to order prescriptions and tests, view test results, and chart patient visits.  
 

Award-winning journalist Robert Lowes has reported on the medical profession for 20 years.

 

Source: http://www.diversion.com/technologybusinessdetail.aspx?id=17&pageid=2 by Robert Lowes                  



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