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DOCtalk by Dr. Gregg 4/9/12

April 8, 2012 News 5 Comments

EHSD-Resolving RFP

4-8-2012 7-43-44 PM

Since I first broke the news about Allscripts’ sunsetting of my current EHR (Peak Practice) about a year and a half ago, I have developed a severe case of a newly defined malady: EHR Hunt Stress Disorder (EHSD). I am worn down, drug out, and generally pooped. I can’t figure anymore re: local host versus cloud versus disruptor / innovator versus corporate clout versus Quippe-able versus app-able versus templates versus NLP versus digital pens versus etc., etc., etc. I just can’t. I’m done.

I have seen a slew of systems — some great, some not so much. I’ve seen apps and clouds and cool tech. I’ve even had some had offers to work with some vendors. But, in trying to decide, I think I have run headlong into The Paradox of Choice wall. Too many options have led me to the paralyzingly dissatisfactional funk of EHSD. Can’t find that “just right” one.

To fight my current dis-ease, I need a differentiator. To help me try to alleviate the doldrums inherent in EHSD, I’m putting out a Request For Proposal for a new trench grunt-friendly, EHSD-resolving EHR BFF.

Here’s the deal on what I seek:

1. A new EHR and a new EHR partner

  • I want a system that works reasonably well. It doesn’t have to do everything or look just exactly as I’d prefer…yet. (I’m experienced with the “let’s get from here to there” thing.)
  • I want a company that wants someone who will contribute to their development and success.
  • A must-have: a company that actually continues to care about small grunt-type clients after the check has cleared.
  • I’d like a company that “gets” the future, but respects history.
  • I need a company/system I can trust.
  • It’s nothing personal, but I’m not looking to make you the next millionaire. I’m a small town solo pediatrician, pretty much the bottom feeders on the medical pay scale. I need a system that has a cost low enough with value high enough to actually deliver that ROI you all promise.

2. Transfer of data from my current EHR

  • A must-have

3. Continuation of my current lab interface to Nationwide Children’s Hospital

  • Not a deal breaker. Ohio will soon have this connectivity enabled via its HIE, CliniSync.

4. Practice Management compatible with an outside billing company

  • Another must-have. I use an outside billing company (who accesses my current EHR) to whom I am exquisitely loyal. They have done some great things for me and are wonderful people. I adore them. (Not to mention that they have my AR turning every 19 days and 93% of all outstanding balances are less than 60 days.)

5. Submissions deadline

  • Tomorrow (no matter what day you’re reading this).

6. Disclaimer

  • All EHR vendors are eligible (except one).


Seriously, I’m tired of my EHSD. I’m looking to get EHR-healthy again. Whether we’ve spoken before or not, please submit your non-formal RFP (or questions) to doc@madisonpediatric.com.

(I’m sorta, kinda, not kidding.)

From the EHSD-weary trenches…

“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.” – Lily Tomlin

Dr. Gregg Alexander, a grunt in the trenches pediatrician at Madison Pediatrics, is Chief Medical Officer for Health Nuts Media, directs the Pediatric Office of the Future exhibit for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and sits on the board of directors of the Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP).

Comments 5
  • So, does the “PM-compatibility” mean that the EHR has to interface with your billing service’s preferred tool or is your billing service willing to work with/learn a different PM? If the former, you’ve just eliminated 90% of the market.

    Why do you think some of the smarter and more aggressive EHR companies were buying up regional billing services? It mean locking out dozens or hundreds of docs from using any other EHR product while having a captive audience to which to sell.

    There are only 2 EHR vendors, by my count, who focus specifically on small, private-practice pediatricians. Then there are a 1/2 dozen vendors who focus on the small practice market at all.

  • Chip, thanks for the comments.

    What I said was a PM “compatible with an outside billing company” which means I want my billing company to be able to access the system from a location that’s at a distance from my office. Maybe I should have just siad that remote access for the PM is essential.

    Currently, they don’t have a direct interface between my PM and their preferred system, but they can access our information remotely. They have done great using our current system and I’m sure would do just as well once we switch.

    The interface would be great, but not having to print billing sheets to send to them and allowing them to securely access our info online is the essential element.

    I hope that’s more clear.

  • …so, do they then enter your charges into their preferred system by hand? Just making sure I understand.

  • …they do now. Until we have a better way. It still beats paper charge sheets and, as I said, they have done a spectacular job.

  • My Advice: Seek out a VAR – Value Added Reseller that cares more about you and your practice then any BIG NAME EMR CORPORATION that only cares about its stock valuation on any given day.


    A VAR is an advocate for your practice – a Var’s many installs weigh more heavily than any one customer that the BIG EMR Corp has.

    A VAR deploys technology from several vendors and adapts these products and services to
    its customer specific needs

    A VAR partners with several product manufacturers and service providers. Though partnerships are formed, it is important to realize that a VAR is an independently owned and operated business that is not bound by any one corporation products, services and policies.

    A VAR is often located locally to the communities it serves

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