It’s evident that quality EHR support can play a large part of a practice’s success. But what, exactly, does “great” support look like? It can come in multiple forms, but its key message is the same: great support helps clients make the most of the software they rely on. There are a few key support features that every practice should ensure its next EHR vendor offers before deciding on a new software.
One simple way vendors can provide great support is to have an abundance of educational materials for clients. No matter how hard a Support Team works, there are inevitably going to be times that clients will be unable to reach them. When instances like this occur, educational materials can help clients navigate at-home problems or set-backs, while also helping to promote optimal usability in the future. On-going client education can come in two forms:
1) Written Education
Written client educational materials assists practices through FAQs or troubleshooting issues, while they can also provide step-by-step guides on day-to-day usage of a vendor’s software. Depending on what services a vendor offers—just EHR, just PM, just billing, or a fully-integrated system— determines what sort of materials are needed. A commitment from the vendor to provide quality written education will significantly benefit the practice at every stage of using the software.
2) Visual Education
Of course, not every client learns best from reading, but rather watching the software in action. As a result, visual tutorials can be a valuable educational resource for practices to look out for when evaluating various EHR vendors . These can include everything from infographics to a dedicated online library showcasing key software features and how to take advantage of the system’s robust capabilities.
In an ideal world, all EHR vendors would provide both written and visual educational materials. And some do! But some offer either one form or the other or even none at all.
Client education is important, but arguably nothing impacts a practice’s ramp-up time and initial understanding of the software more than a quality implementation process. Vendors who have an in-house implementation team can give providers hands-on support, preferably through a single employee dedicated to the practice.
Most vendors opt for only a virtual implementation process in hopes of reducing costs for the client. However, virtual implementation only puts the practice at greater risk for a longer implementation process, and as a result, endure a longer ramp-up time before optimally using the software. Vendors that provide clients the option of in-person implementation and training can take the process to the next level and help the vendor to truly understand each practice’s unique workflows and preferences.