How To Choose An EMR

I know you all love Epic. I love Epic, too. Sometimes I miss it, but not really. These big box EMR are created for capturing billing and other data that are not relevant in direct care. They are a product of the insurance system. Thus, there is enormous price bloat in them just like everything else in the insurance system.

If you are starting a direct care practice, Epic and Cerner are simply too expensive. I do not see how you can be a profitable direct care clinic with an EMR like this. In fact, I wonder how much we’d be saving on healthcare, if hospitals weren’t paying so much for EMR’s, the cost of which is being passed on to patients and taxpayers.

There are some EMR’s that are affordable and made for direct care. I use It is straightforward and does pretty much everything I need it to. I wish it was easiest to extract data for outcomes analysis, but none of the DPC EMR’s that I know of are great in this way. It runs about $300/month. It is HIPAA compliant, you can text, call, fax and video call through it, you can order labs and receive them. You can create MACROS. Their customer support has been phenomenal.

Another EMR many direct care clinics use is Elation in combination with Spruce for communications.

I’ve heard some people use Cerbo.

In direct care, you actually get to spend more time with your patient than on documentation. Did you know in the insurance model, physicians spend 60% of their time on documentation and only 40% directly with patients?

My advice, do some research, pick a safe EMR, but do not get too overwhelmed by your decision. All of the ones I mentioned seem to be fine and your EMR should not make or break your practice (unless you spend too much money on it).