The Disconnect Between Reasons Providers Look for a New EHR and their Selection Criteria for the new EHR

Are providers who search for their new EHR with the wrong criteria destined to repeat the same mistakes?

As I reviewed the third round of questions from a potential new customer it occurred to me – these questions bear little, if any, resemblance to why they told us they’re looking for a new EHR.

Sure enough, I went back into our sales system and queried the reasons prospective customers told us they’re looking for a new EHR.  The most common were:

  • Their EHR is too cumbersome to use day in and day out
  • It was too hard to learn so they never really got on board
  • They couldn’t customize it to fit their workflow and/or documentation needs
  • They were nickel and dimed for the features they needed to achieve MU and/or MIPS
  • The system was slow
  • The system frequently crashed for long periods of time
  • Support was bad or non-existent
  • Their current EHR system or company was going away

Out of the last 20 prospective customers, I reviewed I only found one that listed product features as a reason they were looking for a new EHR.  ONE!

But when you look at the EHR selection process most practices use the vast majority of the time and energy is spent on product features – demo’s, questionnaires, more demo’s, etc.  

In one regard that seems to make sense – features are objective – they can be seen.  However, A – that doesn’t mean they really work well in real life (more on that below) and B – if your EHR has windshield wipers but it’s hard to use, and it’s slow what does it matter?

Speaking of A (features that don’t really work) we have an employee that came from another EHR company that told us his former employer had special employees to do demos because those employees knew where the “potholes” were – what buttons that he should not push because they would cause the system to error/quit.

So here’s a not so earth-shattering idea:  When you’re searching for a new EHR make your top criteria the antithesis of the reasons you’re looking to leave your current EHR then add in the things you like/want to keep about your current EHR and there you have your criteria.