EHR before retirement?

October 8, 2010

Understand whether it is wise to institute an electronic health records system just prior to retirement.

Q: I plan to retire from my solo internal medicine practice within a couple of years. Should I go ahead and integrate an electronic health record (EHR) system now to add value and make my practice more marketable?

Because conversion of your paper charts to EHR is best done on a progressive basis as patients come in, it easily could take you the whole 2 years to do the full conversion. In the end, you might have converted to a program not desired by the buyers, in addition to having reduced the earnings, and, therefore, the value, of your practice. If you were planning to remain in practice for 5 years instead of 2, then it might well be worthwhile.

Answers to readers' questions were provided by Medical Economics consultant Keith Borglum, CHBC, of Professional Management and Marketing. He has been a licensed practice broker, appraiser, author, and management consultant to physicians for more than 25 years; is based in Santa Rosa, California; and practices nationally. Send your practice management questions to medec@advanstar.com

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