Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting Started With OSCAR - What You Need

To get your practice up and running with OSCAR, You will need to consider and source the following products and services.
  1. OSCAR servers – The typical clinic will deploy two redundant and resilient OSCAR servers in the office and, optionally, a third server at an offsite location for automated offsite backup. Your practice is a real time environment and you can not afford to have your EMR halt whilst humans continue to show up in your lobby every few minutes. Server redundancy and a robust backup strategy is a good thing.
  2. OSCAR support – You will need an annual support contract to ensure that your practice continues to run smoothly. This support is just as critically important as having a robust server backup strategy. You should ensure that your annual support includes telephone and email support, annual software updates and 24/7 emergency coverage.  
  3. OSCAR training – Both practitioners and staff will require specialized training to enable them to efficiently and correctly use OSCAR. You should plan for a minimum of staff training consisting of 2 x 3 hr sessions to cover basic functionality and 2 x 3 hr sessions to cover basic billing. Practitioner training commonly consists of 2 x 3 hr sessions to cover basic usage. Both practitioners and staff may elect to receive additional advanced level training. 
  4. OSCAR installation – Considering the risks associated with having a poorly installed EMR sitting exposed on an unsecured network, you should consider professional installation and configuration. You should ensure that you are comfortable and confident in your environment's security before entering any sensitive medical information into your EMR.
  5. OSCAR data conversion – Most established clinics move their demographic information into OSCAR. Some clinics will additionally move their billing histories, their appointments and schedule histories, and/or their electronic patient charts. Conversion continues to be "more art than science", and so it is important to understand what you will convert and what it will look like when it arrives on the new system. 
Depending on what infrastructure you currently have, there are additional items that you may need to purchase beyond the EMR that are not included above. These items may include additional user workstations, laser printers, documentation scanners, magnetic card readers and an uninterruptable power supply. In addition, your office will very likely need to be connected to the Internet, and additional phone lines may be required for billing and labs access.

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