Lora, thank you for the very thought provoking discussion, but when distilled down is the crucial point every physician struggles with, as you commented, “I think most docs don’t know where/how to begin.”
I cannot tell you how helpless I felt as a doc back in 2011, it was the middle part of the year, and I had an epiphany, either I get an electronic record so as to avoid the penalty, or I go out of business.
I spent several months daily researching on the internet, and every electronic record company was the next best thing to apple pie, but I could never figure out a price, have a chance to try it out, the web always funneled me into nothingness, meanwhile, my mind’s eye saw the convergence of my current way of doing things and not being able to do what I had grown very fond of doing over time.
Daily, pounding the keys of my computer to find the light to point me in the right direction, and getting closer to my demise without any solution in sight.
Then I stumbled upon a survey performed on physicians who had been using electronic records for several years, and the 30 most commonly used were analyzed quite cogently. The slipperiness of sales pitches and the silkiness of the funnel to nowhere were dispelled with reason.
After reading this survey, I could determine 3-5 EHR’s on either end of the spectrum, great for small practice versus large practice, seemed to be better than the rest.
So, I picked the few, I thought might best fit my needs in a small office setting, and focused on those, and eventually with a hope and a prayer, jumped into the one I am currently using.
The, ultimate tipping points for helping me decide, a very active user board to field questions, a 3 month free trial run, easy to implement, and darn easy to use. At the time I could not even hook up my printer to my computer, so a computer geek I am not.
So, Lora, your question is a fabulous one, and needs to be further accentuated, and my advice would be to try to find surveys performed on physicians as free from bias as possible, comparing and contrasting the most commonly used electronic records. And then isolating the 2-3 that best will fit your needs, and then go for it, once you tease out the right one.