Health information technology consultant Matthew Grob likes to compare implementing an EMR to buying a car. The sticker price might be $15,999, but once tags, insurance, warranties and other incidentals are added, it'll take at least $20,000 to get it out of the lot. And it will take more than $40,000 over the next five years to keep it on the road.
Similarly, many practices think the price quoted to them by their electronic medical records vendor is the total amount that EMR implementation is going to cost the practice. "And then reality sets in," said Grob, a solution partner with the health care consulting arm of EMC. But careful planning and budgeting can keep practices from sending their bank accounts into the red as the result of EMR adoption.
Many practices are discovering that cloud-based systems -- which eliminate the substantial cost of installing and maintaining servers in the office -- can be less expensive. But analysts said that even those require careful consideration based on cost and necessitate that a practice set a budget before signing a contract. With cloud-based systems, the budgeting is not just about what's spent up front -- it's what spent to keep it on the road.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc