According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 89.9% office-based physicians are using any EMR/EHR system. About 72.3% of these physicians are using a certified EMR/EHR system. Indeed, implementation of EMR (electronic medical records) is vital, but a potentially troublesome process. It is one of the trickiest phases of the electronic health records (EHR) adoption journey. Throughout this process, it’s easy to succumb to frustration and take shortcuts.
The benefits of deploying a new EMR are numerous and the system itself is invaluable for all areas of a healthcare organization. However, there are countless pitfalls that lie in waiting for even the most careful organizations. The result? Healthcare organizations could end up having problems with their EMR later on. The key to avoiding these problems is to take the time to properly plan and execute the implementation of EMR. Here are some tips for how to do just that:
1. Plan out the implementation of EMR.
Implementing an electronic medical record system is a multistep process. Healthcare organizations will need to create checklists of all the steps that must be completed in order for the hospital to successfully convert from paper records to digital ones. Each task should specify who among the healthcare providers, managers, and IT staff will be responsible for its completion. These checklists will help the organizations avoid missing any steps in the process and will also serve as a reference later on when they need to implement changes or make additions to their system.
2. Create a strategy for training staff members on EMR use.
Once a healthcare organization or hospital has decided which electronic medical record software package to use, it’s time to create training materials that explain how providers, nurses, technicians, and other staff members can use this new system effectively. It’s important to make sure that everyone who will be using the EMR is trained on how to use it, especially if they are unfamiliar with electronic medical records systems. While the implementation of EMR software is designed to make it easier for healthcare organizations to manage their data, it’s still a complex system that requires time and training to learn how to use it effectively. Once the implementation process is complete, staff members will need additional training sessions on how to use their new EMR software.
3. Choose a provider who can help with the implementation of EMR.
It’s important to choose a vendor that specializes in EMR, as these companies understand the software and how to make it work best according to the healthcare organization’s needs. Healthcare organizations should also look for a company that offers support services, including training and maintenance. This will help ensure that the software is working correctly and that staff members are able to use it effectively upon implementation.
4. Test out the new EMR system.
Once all of the tasks are completed, healthcare organizations should test out the new medical records system to ensure that it works as expected. Create an action plan with a timeline that allows for ample time for testing and troubleshooting before going live with EMR. This will give healthcare organizations an opportunity to identify any bugs or other issues from the implementation of EMR before these issues cause problems for patients and staff.
Achieving success in all phases of the implementation of EMR requires a sound, strategic plan. A good implementation strategy doesn’t need to be overly complicated. Following the key steps above to rollout can alleviate a number of common EMR implementation pitfalls.
Furthermore, migration is a complicated process, and experts who have done it before can help you avoid pitfalls. The MediQuant team has successfully completed thousands of EMR data migrations for both large and small healthcare organizations. We understand the challenges that come with data migration and have developed a way to overcome them. Contact us today to learn more about our services.