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ily. These efficiencies can help with quality improvement studies and meet- ing surveyor requests. An EMR also helps ASCs meet clinical reporting and quality outcome requirements.

Choose Your EMR Carefully While it is a terrific first step to make the decision to switch from paper re- cords to an EMR, just as important is choosing the right system. We rec- ommend making a checklist of EMR evaluation criteria to help with the de- cision-making process. In this check- list, identify features of the EMR that are important to all of the stakehold- ers in your ASC. For example, if you are in a multi-specialty ASC, look for a system with components designed for your different specialties. If your staff is not technically savvy, it is im- portant to find an easy-to-learn and

easy-to-use, intuitive system. As an ASC, it is worthwhile to ensure that any system that you consider has the ability to provide the information re- quired for quality reporting and helps you meet regulatory requirements and standards. The

checklist that you create

should also include your expectations for the EMR vendor with which you will eventually partner. You will work closely with this company when pre- paring your ASC for integration of the EMR system, during system integra- tion and after integration of the EMR, when the system goes through periodic upgrades and updates. It is worthwhile to learn about the vendor company’s history, gather references, ask ASC partners of the company about their experiences using the system and ob- taining customer service, and make

a site visit to view the EMRs you are considering.

Don’t Fall Behind For many years, providers have used paper records. While a facility can still get by with those, for the in- creasing number of facilities that are competing for patients, physicians and staff, just getting by is no longer an option. An investment in an EMR system brings substantial tangible benefits and perceived benefits that further enhance the short- and long- term value of the investment.

Joe Macies is the chief executive officer and Thomas Pinelli Jr. is the senior vice presi- dent of product management at Amkai Solutions, Contact Macies at and Pinelli at



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