The following is from the Sally Mckenzie e-newsletter. I think she is exactly right.
…..before opening the checkbook or whipping out the credit card, practices need to develop a technology plan and a budget. Without a plan, it is easy to be seduced by the latest model of this and the greatest model of that only to end up with a mishmash of excellent equipment that is, together, an inefficient jumble of circuitry and microprocessors.
………….those practices that are pointing and clicking their way to higher profits and greater productivity have planned exactly how they will use the technology – from the flow of patient and practice information through their practice management software to the clinical software and equipment that enables the practice to enhance diagnostic capabilities and treatment acceptance. In addition, these practices have a budget and they live within it.
Without a budget, the cash outlay for technology can quickly become overwhelming for the doctor and the practice.
Sally advises a 5% annual budget for technology. I agree that is a good average. The budget needs to include training and upgrades as well as new systems. I suggest a minimum technology budget of 3% up to 7% for aggressive offices.
See her web page HERE with archives of past newsletters