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Published 3/1/2008
Steven E. Fisher, MBA

Take advantage of practice management primers

Has your practice made the switch to electronic medical records (EMR) yet? Are you investigating picture archiving and communication systems (PACS)? Before you make any decisions, check out the free online primers, prepared by the AAOS Practice Management Committee.

EMR Primer
The EMR Primer debuted at the 2007 Annual Meeting. It includes an introduction to EMR, provides a glossary of EMR-related terms, spells out the pros and cons of an EMR system, and discusses how to implement an EMR system. If you haven’t yet adopted an EMR system, the primer can help you make a decision and provides you with questions to ask vendors, a review of the Request for Proposal process, and a look at who offers EMRs, recently updated to reflect vendors at the AAOS 2008 Annual Meeting.

A sample evaluation form, as well as advice on negotiating a contract and overcoming obstacles, round out the contents.

PACS Primer
If you didn’t make it to San Francisco to pick up a free copy of the PACS Primer, you can still download this newest addition to the Primer series. The PACS Primer includes an introduction to PACS, an overview of the pros and cons of implementing a system, an explanation of acquisition options, a description of the Request for Proposal process, issues to consider when selecting a vendor, a glossary of PACS-related terms and acronyms, and a list of additional resources.

Free podcast also available
A special podcast on EMRs, developed as a companion to the EMR Primer, can be downloaded for free at the online Practice Management Center. Moderated by David A. Halsey, MD, the podcast includes interviews with attorney Marilyn Lamar, EMR consultant Rosemarie Nelson, and Academy member Michele Zembo, MD, MBA.

You can download the EMR and PACS Primers from the online Practice Management Center at www.aaos.org/pracman (password-protected). Click on “Private Practice Operations,”and “Information and Resources.” The electronic version of the EMR Primer includes an interactive evaluation form that lets you enter the data and receive an automatic rating for vendors and their systems.

“Implementing Digital Radiography,” which is part of the Practice Management Consults series, is available in both MP3 and CD formats. To order the CD, contact AAOS customer service at (800) 626-6726 or e-mail custserv@aaos.org; to download the MP3 version, visit the AAOS online store at www.aaos.org/products

Steven E. Fisher, MBA, is manager of the practice management group. He can be reached at sfisher@aaos.org or (847)384-4331.