You’re sick of being nickel and dimed and want to make sure it doesn’t happen again when you commit to a new EHR system. Unfortunately, most vendors aren’t willing to educate people on the hidden costs that can be incurred when you switch. We believe transparency is the foundation of a lasting partnership with your practice. From why you can’t find a price listed anywhere to factors you might not have considered yet, we’ve put together a complete guide on hidden costs that you need to be aware of when shopping for a new EHR.
Part 2 – Are There Set Up Costs That Won’t Be Covered In My Contract?
The short answer is yes. Your contract will include a pricing model based off of your answers to the questions in Part 1 of this series, and it will also factor in your preferred hosting option. There are two basic pricing models that usually correspond to two different hosting options for EHR systems.
The perpetual license model is most commonly used for an on site hosted option. This is where servers at your practice host the system, and your practice performs the IT maintenance necessary to keep it up and running. The subscription license model is most often used when practices prefer a cloud hosted option. This option allows your practice to access the system over the internet, and the servers are located remotely.
However, each vendor has their own specific method of calculating license fees, so be sure to check directly with your vendor if you have a question. Both models can incur hidden costs related to set up that won’t be explicitly covered in a contract - Software Advice offers a more detailed general pricing model description that you can access here.
Most Common Hidden Set Up Costs
Here are the top four most common hidden costs you need to factor into your calculations regardless of pricing model:
- Customization – This involves creating templates, forms, or other items from scratch that most closely match your clinic’s existing forms and work processes.
- Integrations – This process develops connections between your EHR and PACS vendor or existing practice management system that aren’t already provided by your vendor.
- More Space - For cloud hosted systems, you might need to pay for more GBs of storage space if you see a large volume of patients. Also keep in mind you might need to upgrade your internet bandwidth to support all of your employees connecting at once.
- IT Staff – For on site hosted systems, you might need to hire additional IT staff to maintain the servers. They’ll also need to ensure your PCs, laptops, tablets and other hardware are updated and compatible with the servers at all times.
Extra time, manpower, and space are involved in all of the above costs, and there can be wide variation between practices. These costs are important to consider in terms of the baseline usability of your system. Taking the time to define exactly what you need for proper set up now can save you major, costly headaches down the road.
Next week, we’ll discuss other expenses you might not have considered related to keeping your practice up and running while your new system is being installed. Go to Part 3 here: