Be Your Own IT Guru
Selenke, Jim, Medical Economics
Many physicians worry that if they install an electronic health record system, they will also have to become computer geeks to keep it operating. I've learned that you don't need to be IT-savvy, but you'll be happier if you are.
I have always been a person who likes a challenge and is willing to try something new to en- hance my patient care. I made the decision in 2004 to purchase an EHR as I launched my own private practice in Iowa, and I installed it in my two offices with the help of my computer-sawy son and his friend. It was the first time I learned what a "Cat 5" cable was.
The following week, my EHR vendor installed the software and trained the staff through internet classes. We went live one week after opening our practice.
An early problem with a wireless printer and laptop- followed by a phone call to a local network specialist and a $150 bill- convinced me that I had to become more IT-literate in order to control costs and maintain efficiency. It would be cheaper and faster to fix problems myself, and since I was the one who chose to buy an EHR, it was incumbent on me to make sure things ran smoothly.
I've learned a tremendous amount over the last five years about how our IT system works and how to correct the problems that occasionally crop up. …