The recently updated TMA EHR Vendor Comparison Tool provides TMA member physicians access to an assessment of EHR products that have a solid Texas market base. It gives physicians a view of company information, product functionality, pricing, and interoperability capabilities when comparing EHR systems.

The revised tool reflects current information from some of the top vendors in Texas. The top nine vendors, which have at least a 3-percent market-share in Texas, were asked to participate. Not all of them chose to submit their information.

As physicians review demonstrations and hear about the latest and greatest from EHR salespeople, remember it is the contract that seals the deal and defines the future relationship. TMA cannot stress enough the importance of a good contract review. Seek the guidance of your attorney or one who is savvy with EHR contracts. 

Paying for a contract review may be worthwhile because:  

  • There may be hidden fees not disclosed during the negotiations but spelled out in the contract;
  • You need an exit strategy in case the relationship sours beyond repair; and
  • The contract should include terms defining how you obtain your data should you sever the relationship. 

With these issues in mind, TMA developed a helpful tool, EHR Buyer Beware: Issues to Consider When Contracting with EHR Vendors, an eight-page document featuring eight must-haves for physicians. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology recently made available another source, EHR Contracts Untangled: Selecting Wisely, Negotiating Terms, and Understanding the Fine Print. The 53-page document is more inclusive and covers information such as details about data rights and switching EHRs.

You can direct questions related to EHRs and other office technologies to TMA's Health Information Technology Department by calling (800) 880-5720 or by emailing HIT@texmed.org.

Action, Oct. 14, 2016