Should you consider a free EMR / EHR ? Or a small budget EMR instead of one of the big names? Perhaps we should rephrase the question: why would you not consider a small budget EMR or a free EMR?
Who you are and how large your medical practice is weigh heavily in such considerations. If you are a large practice seeking medical practice software, and you are connected to a large medical center, receiving data from scores of already automated EMR hospitals and centers, going for the free or the cheapest EMR option is foolish: what you have to gain from easy interoperability with many programs and centers is well worth what you pay for more expensive and expansive EMR.
But if you are a smaller medical practice connected with fewer medical centers, you may be foolish not to consider less expensive options. If the choice is between no EMR or a free or inexpensive EMR with fewer bells and whistles, how could you not consider these lower-budget EMRs? Some of them are ONC-ATCB certified and can qualify you for Meaningful Use payments from the US Government. And, just by virtue of their smaller reach, they may be easier to learn and to administer.
There is a fine line between taking other peoples’ experience into account when making decisions for your practice, and looking over your should for approval every time you make a medical software decision. Compare electronic medical records, check with peers, and use your common sense.