Basics of EHRs Implementation-The Benefits of Gradual Adoption
Although the costs associated with implementing an EHR system are high, it is difficult to ignore its benefits. Therefore, healthcare professionals and organizations need to ensure that the electronic health report system is implemented in the correct fashion.
Assessing the Practice
Before implementing EHRs, the practice should be assessed. Doing so will help in the identification of the goals of the EHR system. The practice should be assessed on the following points.
- The administrative processes should be documented, organized and efficient.
- The clinical workflows should be mapped out clearly.
- The staff has to be comfortable with the use of the latest technology.
- A high speed connection to the internet is a must.
- The process of collecting and reporting data has to be smooth.
- Financial capital will be necessary in order to buy the necessary hardware.
By rating the practice on these points, a clearer understanding of its status and condition will be provided. At the same time, it will help in defining the major goals required to improve it. In most cases the goals will be associated with the satisfaction of the patients and the efficiency of care provided. However, the most important goal will be to improve the healthcare care provided.
It is important to take into account the future of the practice during the EHR implementation process. There are bound to be differences brought about by the system and you need to outline what those changes should be. There will be three major areas where the difference can be felt.
- Difference for the patients.
- Difference for the staff.
- Difference for the healthcare providers.
Defining the Goals
The goals must be documented and defined as early as possible so that the decisions regarding EHR implementation can be made according to them. Of course, the goals will have to be continuously reassessed as the implementation proceeds. This ensures that the transition to the new system is smoother and easier for all the staff and the practice.
It is recommended that the goals should be set in areas which are the most important to the practice. They should be meaningful and definable. Some possible goals may be in the areas of revenue, clinical or work environment. At the same time, having a goal in all of these areas will ensure that the practice processes are balanced after the EHR implementation. The goals should help the practice and the staff as the transition takes place.
- Goals should have a specific aim in ensuring a positive difference for the practice and patients.
- They should be measurable.
- Goals must be achievable so as to be viable.
- At the same time, they must relevant to the practice.
- The goals must be defined alongside a time limit. Otherwise achieving them can become difficult.
It will be easier to implement the EHR system if there is a designated team to take care of it. The management staff of the practice or clinic can form a team to lead the change. It is important to have a positive outlook and a strong leadership to smoothen the transition process.