EMR and EHR Providers: Is Your Customer Support Ready to Rumble?!?!

The final rule on meaningful use was released yesterday along with final rule on certification of systems (although who is to do the certifying has yet to be determined). Since the first set of deadlines for obtaining government money is based on 6 months of use during fiscal 2011, software and hardware have to be implemented by next April 1st.

This means that EMR (electronic medical record) and EHR (electronic healthcare record) software vendors must be ready for the onslaught of new customers racing to get the system in time to get some cash. You will have:

  • a large number of people implementing a system that is new to them
  • a wide range of computer skills among the users
  • a short time to go live
  • and a need for your software to provide a secure, readily defensible legal medical document.

In a blog post from July 2009, Dr. Peter Polack outlines the requirements of a legal medical record that has been created and stored digitally. Unlike a hand-written document with a signature, the digital record offers more ways for change, inadvertant or not, of the record post-creation. If the record is ever used in a court of law, it needs to be completely transparent about who created, added to, or edited the document, the dates and times of these changes, and a clear identification of the type of file it is.

While developing a record keeping system for electronic medical records, have you given thought to how you are going to keep customer support from drowning? If you are not currently using a customer support solution or the one you have is inadequate, now is the time to acquire one that will keep track of customer complaints, inquiries, and suggestions.

This system should provide:

  • customer information management
  • knowledge management
  • ticket tracking capabilities
  • a way to alert you when tickets have been open too long, are of high priority, or other time sensitive or business sensitive information

Customer Information Management
Enter the customer information once. Then pull it quickly and easily from the system for future interactions with that customer. Don’t waste time re-entering the same information each and every time a customer calls in.

Knowledge Management
Make sure everyone can access the information they need to help your customers resolve their problems. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing the answer is available but is inaccessible because of non-integrated systems.

Ticket Tracking
Let’s face it, if this basic function is missing, you are going to be losing tickets left and right. As volume increases the chances of tickets going astray because the system is manual or is not designed to handle the load being imposed upon it increase as well. It doesn’t take long for this to lead to dissatisfied customers.

Part of ticket tracking is making sure the tickets are resolved and closed in a timely manner. Another part is making sure the appropriate party is notified when a high priority ticket is in the queue.

This is the Cliff Notes for what a support system should offer. But if any of these very basic capabilities are missing from your customer support system creating workarounds won’t help. April 1, 2011 may not seem close, but when EMR/EHR implementations can take months, that date will arrive in short order.

As Sally (Charlie Brown’s little sister) said of school:

“The first day of school doesn’t just roll around. It leaps right out at you!”

You need to address any shortcomings in customer support now or you will never catch up. Take a look at our customer support software, or look into someone else’s, but do…it…now. Before success kills your business.


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