The Benefits of EMR in Selling a Medical Practice
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is now a reality. From the largest hospitals to the smallest rural practices, medical records have now gone digital. What does this mean when you are preparing to sell your medical practice? There are certainly benefits to having the right EMR, and a good one, before you even put your practice up for sale.
Maybe you and your staff had an EMR system you really struggled with or that did not work well for your practice. Perhaps it was hard to learn or did not have some of the security features you were looking for. Whatever the reasons you might have struggled, it just did not work.
Hopefully before you put your practice up for sale, you have replaced it. If you haven’t, you may want to. While you may be leaving, your staff might be staying behind to work for the new owner or at least through a transition period to help with training and helping patients adapt.
Either way, you don’t want to sell a practice with a poorly functioning EMR that even your staff struggles with. Not only can this hurt the value of your practice, but it can make it challenging for the new provider to keep continuity of care.
Medical records are not technically part of the sale of a practice. They can’t be. You are obligated to let patients know you are selling and give them the option of taking their records with them to a new doctor. If they do want to stay, you will need their consent to pass along their records to the new doctor.
If they do not specify where they want their records to go, and they do not give consent for them to go to a new physician, you are obligated to hang on to them for a period of time. The laws vary by state, so check with your state medical board will help you determine how long this is for your area.
The good news is that with a good EMR system, this does not mean dozens of cardboard boxes you must store securely somewhere. Instead you can store them digitally on an encrypted hard drive or other HIPPA compliant device.
The benefits of a good EMR when you are selling your practice are many. Sending records to new doctors is easy, and maintaining records you need to keep is also pretty simple. However, the potentially ugly part comes if the individual purchasing your practice has a completely different EMR system they want to stick with. Sometimes this transition goes smoothly for both patients and practices, but in other cases it does not, and can be time consuming and even result in potential data loss. To prevent this, take a few precautions on your own.
- Back Up Your Data: Once records have been fully transferred you can destroy it, but maintain a backup just in case.
- Cloud EMR: If you are using a cloud service for your EMR system, keep your accounts open and records maintained throughout the transition.
- Over-communicate: Keep patience and other individuals informed of any hiccups in the process and reassure them that a resolution will be reached.
For the most part, EMR is a great thing, and a fantastic help for doctors and medical clinics alike. However, there are down sides and things that can go wrong.
When selling your practice, have a good EMR and use it to your advantage. Be prepared for the worst, but expect the best. Have questions about how to sell your medical practice, how to market it, and what that looks like? Get in touch with us here at Rogerson Business Services to see how we can help you sell your medical practice.