For Chief Information Officers, an electronic health record (EHR) is an essential tool for capturing, retrieving and transferring accurate patient records. It saves time and costs while improving the quality of diagnosis and treatment. EHR also streamlines the workflow of healthcare providers.

CIOs have two options when they want to choose a new EHR, to pick a ready-made option or to work with a vendor to develop a customized solution. Every healthcare provider or practice has unique needs and goals, so what works for one provider may not work for you.

Here is an outline of the things you should consider when you have to choose between an off-the-shelf solution and a customized product.

Off-the-Shelf EHR Systems for Chief Information Officers

Major EHR vendors offer their ready-to-use solutions to providers. They have most of the basic features required in an EHR system. This option may come with a trial period so you can use it and decide if it will meet your needs.

The Pros

A healthcare organization may opt for off-the-shelf software for these reasons:

  • Affordable up-front costs: The vendor distributes development and deployment costs among a large group of users, thereby reducing the unit cost of each product. So, such products are attractive to organizations operating on a limited budget.
  • A large number of features: Out-of-the-box solutions have a large array of features. Some of these may be useful as the practice grows.
  • Vendor support: Vendors usually provide prompt answers to end-users questions.

The Cons

On the other hand, these issues may make out-of-the-box solutions unsuitable for your practice:

  • Paying for unnecessary features: Most practices don’t need all the features included in an off-the-shelf product. In some cases, the features don’t exactly match their requirements.
  • Adding custom features is expensive: When an end-user needs to add new functionality to the solution, the additional expenses could be high. For instance, a practice may prefer voice recognition for data entry. Most off-the-shelf EHRs lack this feature.
  • The high cost of the upgrade and support services: Healthcare providers will need to pay for additional licenses, upgrades, support, and security patches. This usually introduces unexpected charges.
  • Inadequate security features: Some EHRs may not comply fully with strict security requirements. This may create dangerous loopholes that need custom solutions to fix.
  • Loss of productivity by clinicians: The main end-users may experience a loss of productivity while they learn the new software interface and become familiar with it.

Custom EHR Solutions for Chief Information Officers

Custom EHR systems are ideal for healthcare providers that have many special needs or unique specialties. The organization will need to work with a software development company to create the desired solution.

The Pros

Providers choose custom EHR systems for the following reasons:

  • Complete set of features: Custom solutions have all the functionality the organization needs.
  • Short adoption time: End-users can learn to use the product quickly since it was designed to fit the user’s workflow.
  • Security needs are fully satisfied: There’s no need for additional security customization since it fits the end-user’s security needs from the onset.
  • Single payment model: The customer pays only once and there are no additional license fees.
  • Support is built into the contract: The vendor gives the client full support. This is usually built into the contract and it’s paid for at once or periodically.

The Cons

Some organizations may avoid ordering custom EHR solutions for these reasons:

  • Higher prices: Custom EHR development usually costs more than off-the-shelf solutions.
  • Long project completion time: The solution can take a few months to develop and deploy.
  • Payment for upgrades: When the customer needs new features, they have to pay for them.

Do Your Chief Information Officers Need a Custom EHR Solution?

Get a free consultation with us. Call Roxiticus at (201) 590-4000 today or contact us online and we will schedule a time to speak with your chief information officers. We have completed over 20,000 successful projects since 1999. So we have the expertise and experience needed to satisfy your needs.