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 3 – What Else Do I need To Budget For?
Training costs are highly variable between vendors – after initial training and set up, it’s not uncommon for additional training hours to be billed separately. And there are passive costs associated with seeing less patients per day while your staff adjusts to the new system. Training is critical and will help those who need it most, but vendors often recommend scheduling at 50% capacity for at least the first few weeks after go live to ensure your staff truly understands the system. Some practices hire an outside project manager that specializes in software implementation to assist with the transition. This adds more to the initial costs of switching, but can reduce the time it takes your staff to get back to full capacity.
Data migration costs are often treated separately by vendors and incur additional fees. Depending on the volume of data and how much time it will take to complete, this can be a major expense. Also, consider the costs for maintaining your old system for at least six years to ensure you meet federal requirements. It might be possible to have your old system scaled down to a read-only version to do so.
These are difficult to predict because they depend on how healthcare reporting regulations change over time. Federal reporting requirements should be covered by an experienced EHR vendor in updates throughout the year. However, state and county reporting requirements vary widely, so you might be charged for updates to meet these particular regulations.
There are unanticipated expenses that always crop up as major projects move towards completion in any organization. Missing a deadline can result in longer downtime. Or there could be a particularly challenging piece to integrating your new system with your PACS vendor. And there are many variable factors in terms of human resources that will affect your practice’s productivity as you adjust. Those who become proficient in the system quickly will be able to get back to normal patient volume faster than others, and it can be difficult to predict exact timelines for staff proficiency.
Keep all three parts of this guide at hand when you’re looking for a new EHR system, and you’ll be able to anticipate extra expenses, budget accordingly, and make sure you never have another unwelcome surprise. Find Part 1 and Part 2 here.
And if transparency throughout the process is key for you as you continue your search, consider working with us as a vendor who holds the same values: