Have you outgrown your legacy system!?
by Leigh-Ann Renz, 8.6.13 - revised & updated on 6.8.15
What's a legacy system?
Basically, a legacy system is your “old” system: for example, the first EHR you started with five years ago that your organization has now outgrown. It doesn’t have to be software: a legacy system can be an old method, tool, or way of doing business. The legacy system may or may not continue to be in use, but even if it’s no longer utilized, it can continue to impact your practice because of the role it has played.
Some practices stick with their legacy system, for a variety of reasons: the investment in time and/or money made on the old system; a vendor lock-in situation where you must continue using a certain product until a contract is finished; or the inevitable challenges of changing systems, including data migration.
Is a legacy system harming your business?
"A legacy system may include procedures or terminology which are no longer relevant in the current context, and may hinder or confuse understanding of the methods or technologies used.” If you’re clinging to an outdated system, whether paper or electronic, that isn’t able to provide what you require - and/or is hampering for your workflow - it may be costing you much more than just its price tag.
Working around a clunky, inefficient legacy system not only wastes time, money and energy; this lack of streamlining may be causing you to miss out on significant profits and growth.
“I can now do my electronic billing that used to take days in a matter of minutes. No more searching for folders, spending hours on billing, trying to remember insurance authorizations. It is all here. Thanks to PIMSY, I am getting ready to add a therapist to my practice, because I now have the tools I need to effectively manage my clients, my billing, and more therapists. PIMSY more than pays for itself by streamlining my office, improving efficiency and reducing billing times.” (Seth Haney, Norcon Family Counseling)
It is time to switch?
Moving from a system that’s no longer working for you (whether it’s electronic or not) to one that does makes sense on so many levels, especially for your bottom line. One method to initiate the change and pave the transition is to compile a list of a few EHRs that appeal to you and have them show you how they're better.
Request a phone meeting, and share with them your top three pain points: those cumbersome tasks that challenge your staff the most. Ask the EHR vendor to show you how their system would tackle those hurdles, and you should see that retiring your legacy system will reduce cost, save time, and increase the practice efficiency!
More Transition Tips
1) Try to find an electronic system that offers tiers of service, i.e., a program that offers a range of plans from basic to feature-rich with corresponding pricing. This will allow you to start on a lower-cost plan with only the functionality you need now - but still gives you room to grow as the practice requirements change over time.
Finding a flexible system that grows with your practice saves you time, energy, training & support costs, and all of the other investments that come with switching systems.
2) Some EHRs are not practice management systems, which means that you have to utilize multiple pieces of software in order to run your business. Try to find an EHR that is also a practice management system, bringing as much under one roof as possible.
The more you can have all of your organization’s needs (calendar & scheduling, billing services, payment receipt, appointment reminders, payroll, document management, ePrescribing, practice planners, HR, etc) integrated into one comprehensive system, the easier your workflow will be. Not having to patch together multiple pieces of software frees up your time & energy to treat your clients and grow your business.
Mental Health EHR Resources
What about PIMSY?
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current mental health EMR, or whether you’re on paper and researching behavioral health practice management systems: PIMSY offers 3 different tiers of functionality. Moving between the tiers is seamless, so you can start basic and then effortlessly bump up in features as your business grows and its needs change.
Also, PIMSY’s Q&A technology allows you to customize the program to your specifications, allowing for even more growth and flexibility in one system for the long haul. PIMSY is both a mental health EHR and practice management system, so you don’t need two programs to cover your bases: it’s all integrated into one efficient system!
(click here to access this article as a pdf)
Leigh-Ann Renz is the Business Development and Marketing Director of PIMSY EMR. For more information about electronic solutions for your practice, check out Mental Health Practice Management Software.