New online tool helps practices evaluate dental EHR vendors
As electronic health records (EHRs) become an increasingly critical component of a dental practice or group’s operations and success, chances are that during the next year or two you will be faced with a decision of either purchasing your present software vendor’s EHR solution or evaluating one of the many alternative solutions on the market.
Even if your present vendor offers an EHR solution, you are doing yourself a disservice by not at least researching and evaluating other alternatives on the market. I receive calls every day from practices and groups that recognize their present vendor’s EHR solution might not satisfy their growing needs and want to at least see what else is available before making a final decision.
However, this evaluation and selection process can become very time-consuming and complex. Without proper knowledge, making a poor technology decision can adversely affect your operations for years to come. This decision-making process is crucial because the best EHR solutions not only provide an electronic patient record but also introduce functionality and support in areas such as clinical documentation, clinical decision support, ePrescribing, clinical task and workflow management, rules-based clinical alerts, electronic referral management, image integration, web portals and electronic patient education, among many other features.
So what is a practice or group to do? How can you minimize time spent, make informed decisions and select the best EHR for your clinical operations? You need to most efficiently navigate the maze of options available to you.
Having helped practices and groups evaluate and select both practice management and EHR systems for more than a decade, I can definitively say that if you follow a scientific and analytical process of first defining what your requirements are and then comparing features and functionality of various EHR solutions, you will have the best chance of selecting an EHR that is right for your needs.
In my years working with clients, I developed many tools to aid in the evaluation and selection of the appropriate software solution. So, as an educator in the area of dental software, I thought it would be beneficial to our industry to offer a basic online tool that would allow both providers and administrators the ability to compare and contrast features and functionality that various dental EHR vendors have to offer.
Based on my experience and work with practices and groups along with an understanding of where EHR functionality is going, I developed important feature sets, grouped them in categories and asked dental software vendors to respond as to whether they had certain features available. I then put all this information in a database and developed a user-friendly online interface so a practice or group could compare both features and vendors. This database will be updated continually as vendors update information about features and functionality they offer.
I want to thank all the vendors that spent time and resources contributing their information to this online EHR comparison tool. I’m confident those vendors that did not initially participate will see how helpful this tool is to the dental community and provide data in the near future.
For more information on the new site, DPR Group Editorial Director Kevin Henry sat down to discuss the benefits of dentalsoftwarecompare.com: