Change opens up new possibilities as well as interesting, sometimes frustrating, hurdles for an organization to overcome. Unless a healthcare setting has people willing enough to tackle various challenges of EHR implementation. This will likely prove more difficult to launch it successfully.
Here are some EHR implementation tips providers can follow to make their transition over to digital health records implementation easier.
A strategic plan for implementing EHRs should include a set timeline for addressing potential barriers, facilitating communication, and training. Create a budget that clearly shows any associated costs to add these into an EHR investment. Factor in security risks when choosing security policies during EHR system implementation.
Providers need to choose an EHR system that can be customized to unique aspects of their practice via templates. An EHR system with cloud-based services allows providers to get paid more for their patient care in a much shorter time. Moreover, choosing an EHR system that is user-friendly maximizes productivity among work staff.
Rural community hospitals and critical access hospitals can utilize cloud computing technologies. This will ensure excellent staff support not present in the local community. Additionally, it can reduce the upfront investments, including IT costs and EHR hardware.
Furthermore, instead of seeking funding from local banks, community and rural community hospitals can apply for grants and loans from the government and non-profit organizations. They can also turn to national and local lenders who extend credit offers and loans for EHR systems in the private sector.
Frankly, some medical EHR systems are just too complicated to navigate through. Busy private practices and overloaded clinics and hospitals have little time set aside to learn how a new system works from A-Z. Multiple screens and menus and unclear navigational steps wastes time and creates havoc for physicians and nurses trying to process their patients’ medical notes. Without fully understanding how to use an EHR program, the productivity of medical staff will inevitably go down.
There are several technical hurdles that can prevent EHR implementation from taking place. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, healthcare providers located in rural areas experience more difficulty trying to implement EHR. This is due to connectivity issues compared to their urban counterparts. Other healthcare providers who may be older, belong to a specific region or who are not computer savvy may be reluctant to switch from paper to digital records if they feel that their present method is better.
Privacy has always been an issue with the handling of medical records handling for patients and providers alike. This is especially true when it involves digital implementation. Although retrieving paper records from a file cabinet or box may be tedious, this form of record keeping never leaves providers open to lawsuits. Additionally, it violates patient privacy due to cyber security threats. Privacy concerns associated with EHRs are unauthorized records access, record tampering or the loss of data due to a man-made or natural disaster.
Addressing potential EHR hurdles early on minimizes the need for healthcare providers to deal with an array of system issues later on. Establishing realistic expectations of a new system’s capabilities is helpful. Especially when searching the top EHR systems that optimize a practice’s daily functions.