Implementing Electronic Health Records: What Physician Practices Should Know Before Making the Investment

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According to the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP), 30 percent of physician practices are already equipped with electronic health records (EHRs), with another 10 percent expected to adopt EHRs by the end of 2007. There are several compelling reasons for physicians to adopt EHRs, including the electronic reporting requirement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) physician voluntary reporting program and the EHR component of the AAFP’s Future of Family Medicine project. However, the process of evaluating, purchasing and implementing an EHR system can be daunting to practices venturing into this territory for the first time.

To acquaint physician practices with the process of EHR evaluation and investment, the Healthcare Intelligence Network (HIN) is sponsoring “Selecting and Implementing an Electronic Health Record Vendor to Support Pay-for-Performance Programs,” a March 21, 2007 audio conference at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. For more information, please visit http://www.hin.com/cgi-local/link/news/pl.cgi?physicianehrpr

During this 90-minute live interactive audio conference, Dr. Joel Diamond, medical director of Diamond, Fera and Associates, and Dr. James R. Morrow, vice president and CIO, North Fulton Family Medicine, will provide physician practices with the key considerations of EHR implementation. Drawing from their practices’ own experiences in EHR selection and adoption, these physicians will clarify the following steps in the process:

– Determining whether your practice will recoup its investment in an EHR through pay- for-performance (PFP) programs;
– Starting the selection process;
– Avoiding the pitfalls in vendor selection;
– Selecting an EHR that includes the functionality to support PFP programs;
– Differentiating between various EHRs and the elements needed for successful PFP programs;
– Formulating an implementation strategy for an EHR system for PFP participation;
– Overcoming the barriers to EHR implementation; and
– Realizing a return on investment (ROI).

During the 90-minute audio conference, Dr. Diamond and Dr. Morrow will provide a road map for physician practices poised to select and implement an EHR that supports quality reporting for success in PFP programs and generates ROI within a reasonable time period. According to a study by The Commonwealth Fund, the average physician practice would recoup the cost of an EHR system and reap the financial benefits of the technology at the end of three years.

“Most physicians understand that integrating an EHR will greatly improve the efficiency and quality of care provided by the practice,” notes Melanie Matthews, HIN executive vice president and chief operating officer. “However, some practices are reluctant to take on the financial and technological risks without completely understanding the benefits, data entry requirements, time commitment and return on investment associated with launching this tool. This audio conference will address many of these concerns.”

The audio conference will be held on March 21, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. The 90-minute live audio conference includes a 30-minute question-and-answer period for participants. A recorded version on CD-ROM with a printed transcript will be available in early April, and the “On-Demand” audio conference re-broadcast can be accessed beginning March 23, 2007. To register and obtain additional conference details, please visit http://www.hin.com/cgi-local/link/news/pl.cgi?physicianehrpr

This audio conference has been designed to meet the needs of CEOs, CFOs, medical directors, strategic planners, physician practice management executives, medical management directors, PHO and IPA leadership, chief information officers, information technology executives, analysts and consultants.
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