EMR Specialists for Dentists: 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing an EMR

Evaluating the ever-increasing EMR software options available is no walk in the park. Selecting the best software for your practice can be a tricky process if you’re converting from paper-based to electronic records for the first time.

While working as EMR specialists for dentists and hygienists, we’ve observed three common mistakes made by different practices.  Here’s how to avoid them.

1. Relying on ‘Nice’ Salespeople and Popular Vendors to Sell You Their Products

To successfully evaluate and choose an electronic medical record system for your dental practice, you must take charge of the process. Don’t be passive and allow smart salespeople to convince you.

Salespeople are trained to show you what will get you excited. They seldom work as selfless consultants who are ready to satisfy all your demands. So, don’t sit back and get carried away.

Remember that the process of converting dental records from paper to electronic form or from one EMR to another is a lengthy and costly journey. So, you must know what your practice needs and demand for it. To be in control of the process, you need to:

  • Set up an in-house EMR project committee
  • Develop a well-ordered list of requirements
  • Decide the kind of workflow scenarios you want vendors to show you before they present their demos
  • Prepare tough questions for the salespeople to answer
  • Dictate the pace during vendor demonstrations

2. Accepting Vendor’s Contract Terms Without Any Questions

Many dental practices don’t understand the long-term effects of the fine print in the vendor’s contract. They feel the vendor will act in the client’s best interest. Unfortunately, this is not so. The company selling the product includes language in contracts that is designed to provide a service and make a profit. There will be some aspects of the contract geared towards the bottom line of the vendor. So, you must:

  • Be sure that the terms of the contract will also be favorable to you, both now and in the long term
  • Understand all the words used and their legal implications
  • Be ready to negotiate the terms of the contract
  • Know that having a fair price is not the same thing as having a fair contract
  • Focus on issues that have to do with data conversion and long-term support

3. Failing to Monitor the Vendor & Hold Them Accountable During the Implementation Phase

Many EMR implementation projects fail because the practice assumes that the vendor will do everything required on schedule to make the project a success. While vendors want their clients to have a smooth and hassle-free transition to the new system, you must realize that there will be many challenges to overcome. So, you must:

  • Monitor all project timelines and periodic reports
  • Deal with little issues as soon as they occur, and don’t allow them to snowball into a crisis
  • Have regular status update meetings with your vendor
  • Maintain open communication with the vendor

If you form a solid partnership with your vendor during implementation, rather than leaving all the technical details to the vendor, you will get better results.

Get Help from EMR Specialists for Dentists

Do you need help, professional guidance, and advice for implementing a new EMR in your dental practice? Take the next step and contact HEF Solutions for a free consultation. We’ve handled thousands of successful health IT projects for medical and dental practices across the country, and we can do the same for you.


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