Press Release – 11/19/2009
The Single-Source Myth: The Strong Case for Separating EMR and Practice Management Software Selection
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Miami, FL, 11/19/2009 – Brickell Research is happy to announce an upcoming white paper and video series by Brickell Research president Peter Legorburu toward dispelling the costly myths and confusion being sown by many integrated PM/EMR system vendors. The presentations and white papers aim to help practices cut through the hype, protect current investments in EMR and practice management systems and deal with avoidable business risks associated with monolithic solutions.
The Single-Source Myth: The Case for Separating EMR and PM Choice
Why buying an integrated EMR/Practice Management System is good for the vendor but risky for the practice
by Peter Legorburu, President, Brickell Research, Inc.
As ARRA funds rain down on EMR vendors and practitioners feel increasingly pressured to choose from hundreds of EMR options, the case for integrated, monolithic single-vendor EMR/Practice Management (PM) Systems is one that favors the vendor at the expense of the risk-reduction benefits that accrue to healthcare practices from keeping loosely-related systems just that- loosely-coupled. The reason is simple though often not understood in light of vendor efforts to hide the risks behind well-practiced sales pitches: the most important functional relationships between practice management and EMR systems are well-captured by standards-based interfaces which allow different vendors’ EMR and PM systems to exchange mutually-relevant data. By getting practices to tightly couple their PM and EMR choice (a choice which would otherwise be made based on very distinct criteria- operational for the PM vs. clinical for the EMR), vendors know that their solutions become “sticky,” making it harder for the practice to replace either the EMR or PM system without disrupting the whole business should dissatisfaction set in.
By coupling the choice of EMR and PM and tying the same to a single vendor, the practice must deal with a significant, otherwise-unnecessary, disruption of either the clinical or operational side of the practice if either the EMR or PM portion of the solution doesn’t work out as hoped. This helps ensure that the vendor will be able to collect years of ongoing software maintenance revenue while the practice puts up with a an EMR the providers no longer want or a PM system that is no longer servicing the office well if one of the other system stops working out. Replacing either a practice management system or EMR is traumatic enough. If an EMR isn’t working out, however, why turn the billing and front-office operations on their heads? If AR is up and the billing system is not keeping financials in order, should clinicians feel pressured to give up the charting system they’ve worked hard to streamline into their practice of medicine? Replace both? At once? Should a practice ever put itself in a position to have to choose between organizational chaos on the one hand and living with a system or vendor that no longer serves the office or clinicians well on the other? The alternative is to choose best-of-breed systems and connect them using the common, standards-based interfaces that most vendors already offer!
In summary, the marketing hype coming from most vendors surrounding monolithic, integrated PM/EMR systems is self-serving at the cost of the short- and long-term interests of many healthcare practices.
Founded in 1991, Brickell Research develops, markets, and supports Windows-based medical practice management and scheduling software.
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Last Update: 11/19/2009
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