Starting from scratch: Choosing an EMR

Mike Jordan, MDMike Jordan, MD

“An EMR is going to be the lifeblood of your practice,” Mike Jordan, MD, was told by his practice consultant when he chose the EMR for his new pediatric practice. His consultant advised him to choose a vendor that would be reliable and one that would stick around. That was almost 10 years ago, and today Jordan is still using the same vendor.

Jordan was a hospitalist in Tampa in 2004 when he decided that in order to give his patients the level of care they required he would have to open his own practice. He hired a practice consultant to help him get started. “I don't think I could have done it without my practice consultant. I still see him on a regular basis. He was instrumental in making my practice successful,” said Jordan during a recent interview with PhysBizTech.

At their first meeting, Jordan and the consultant discussed using electronic charts. “It made no sense to start with paper,” he explained. His consultant was confident that within three months, Jordan would be up and running – and he was right. Jordan opened East Lake Pediatrics in August 2004. “I started from scratch, I had no patients, and so I had a lot of time to delve into the EMR, so by the time I got busy I was able to use the EMR very efficiently,” said Jordan.

Unlike today's technology environment, in which the market is saturated with EMR vendors, in 2004 there was only one vendor in Jordan's area -- and even less doctors using the technology, he added. Although this made the decision easy, Jordan said if given the same decision again today, he wouldn't change anything. Through the expansion of a second office and the hire of two nurse practitioners, two full-time doctors and one part-time doctor, the EMR has remained a constant. Jordan uses Vitera Healthcare Solutions for his EHR, PM/billing and practice analytics software. The company also manages the practice's patient portal on its web site.

“Without question good hardware and software,” is where you want to invest your money, he advised.