Monday, July 21, 2008

Network or Application - Which is more important?

Check out any EMR resource and you'll find tons of data on how quickly the EMR program responds. Unless you're a super-specialist, however, you probably see more than 10 people a day and the amount of time you spend in the EMR software itself is a few minutes per patient. Some of the major causes of headaches come not from the EMR software itself but network issues.

That means that the impact of printer issues, log-on, log-off and other network associated delays can chew up a serious amount of time (and anger) each time a user accesses the EMR software. For a fantastic description of a day in hell due exclusively to network issues check out FatDoctors post.

I am not trying to advocate against EMR (in fact I'm strongly for it) but when planning a deployment network design should feature just as prominently in the decision analysis as the type of EMR software. In our office, we had the network up and running for just over a year before we deployed the EMR. The goal for time on the computer should be about 10% of the total appointment time including any network issues (log-ins, printer choices, etc...) that need to be adjusted.

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