Cost is always at the top of referring physicians’ list when adopting an EMR solution, and there is no shortage of pricing and package options in the EMR market.
EMR adoption continues to rise, and connectivity or interfacing those systems falls next in line on the list of priorities for referring physicians. So when your practice is counting the costs, don’t overlook the price of interfacing. Costs passed on to your referring lab or labs can quickly add up. Many of today’s LIS’s (laboratory information systems) are well equipped to handle the HL-7 or version of messages, but the EMR vendor holds the key.
EMR companies charge for every interface, and this price doesn’t generally include development. Ask your vendor how much and how quickly they’re committing to serving your needs. Be aware that costs from the EMR before any work is done range anywhere from $3000- $10,000 and beyond. The development is separate and can range greatly as well. Ask your EMR vendor how much they charge and what that includes for results only interfaces (uni-directional) along with results plus order entry interfaces (bi-directional).
The other million dollar question to ask is, “How long does it take?” You may want to brace yourself for the response. Where in the queue of interface requests is your practice going to fall? In our experience at Pathagility we have seen vendors on both ends of the spectrum, ranging from loads of red tape and excuses, to vendors who are delivery and customer service minded. Ask before it’s too late, and make sure you and your lab partners know what the cost of providing connectivity truly is. If you are experiencing headaches associated with connectivity and interface delivery, be sure you have an advocate, a partner who is committed to communication and seeing the project all the way through to “go live.”