Top 5 Fears of Switching Optometry EHR Software

Cindy Braden

VP of Business Development, RevolutionEHR

If you’re like 70% of optometry practices, you have software in your office that encompasses everything an eye care business needs, from scheduling and billing, to optical and exams. Likewise, you might also find yourself relating to many of those practices that feel both underwhelmed by and stuck with their current system. If so many doctors are unhappy with their current software, why are they often hesitant to change to something better?

In conversations with multitudes of doctors over the course of many years, I’ve found there are essentially 5 main reasons why practices continue to use software they dislike. Here are the top 5 fears of switching optometry EHR software and why these justifications should not hold you back from changing to software that will not only benefit your business but also support you in providing optimal patient care.

1. Fear of change and learning something new.
Fear of change is something that we have to deal with our entire life and is certainly understandable. But hindsight being 20/20, imagine if you let fear hold you back from the big changes and opportunities in your life. If you want to move forward, you’ve got to be willing to embrace change. You managed to get through optometry school and you’ve already learned one software program. You will be able to learn and thrive in new software. When you make the move to a program that is a better fit for your practice you’ll be surprised how quickly the new software becomes the norm. The most telling proof I heard from a doctor about 6 months after his practice switched is “I wish I would have done it sooner”. You can do this. Don’t let fear of change hold your practice back.

2. The devil you know is better than one you don’t.
I often hear from doctors suffering with insufficient software, “No software is perfect, at least I’ve figured out how to survive with this one.” Although there is a lot of truth in the fact that no software will be perfect for every doctor, getting through your day without having your software “do you in” is probably not an acceptable standard for the electronic health record and practice management software that touches every aspect of your practice. You and your staff likely spend 8-10 hours a day using the software. It also manages all of your finances and patient care. Isn’t your business important enough to spend some time making sure you have software that can help elevate your practice and patient care? I’d suggest with everything it does, making sure you have the right software in your practice is likely one of the best things you can do for yourself, your staff, and your patients.

3. I’ve invested too much in my network and equipment.
Implementing software, setting up networks, and integrating equipment takes a lot of time. The thought of changing software and having to walk away from the money and time spent can feel daunting. I remember when I saved up to buy my first Blackberry. I was in my late 20’s and I worked hard to treat myself to the most advanced technology I had ever seen. I loved that thing. I’d flip up that antenna, pull out my stylus and organize my life. How much better could technology get? Pair it with my flip phone and I felt unstoppable. When I bought my first smartphone my nephew had to help set it up for me. Many times that first week I wanted to go back to my Blackberry. Now I can’t imagine life without my smartphone. If we refuse to walk away from old technology, we are missing out on potentially life-enriching change.

4. I’ll lose my data and stored information.
This is the fear that probably has the most merit. You likely have years of patient data, documents, and images stored in your current software. Most companies are able to get much of the data, but no one gets it all. The transition no doubt can be difficult, but in the long run it’s worth it. Especially if you don’t love your current software. When you know in your gut that someday you’ll be switching don’t spend any more time putting data into a program you will be leaving. With over 70% of practices currently using an EHR, software vendors have become experts on moving your data over. Partner with the right one and start putting your important patient and business information in a software that you’ll be sticking with for a long time. And when selecting a new company, pick one that manages your data well in case you ever need to switch again.

5. My staff refuses to change.
As a practice owner, you have likely put your entire livelihood into your practice and its success. Hopefully your staff feels like family to you, and you to them. With that said, everyone needs to be on board with what is good for the business and good for patient care. When your team is invested in the success of your business, they will embrace the move to software that will help the business achieve all it’s meant to accomplish. I can’t count how many times after a staff has received a demo of our software that they become the one pushing the doctor to make a change. Engaged staff will see the benefit and drive its success.

If your current software has you looking to switch to something new, don’t let fear hold you back. As RevolutionEHR customer Dr. Craig Sylte so candidly put it, “If you’re actively looking around for something else, it’s time to switch.”

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