Nearly anyone associated with a medical practice has heard the horror stories about the EHR system that took years to implement… or the one that was so difficult, or glitchy, or frustrating to use that the practice had to dismantle it and start over again at great expense.
Or… well, no matter what shape the final messy, costly, painful outcome takes, the start of the story is usually always the same: those responsible for selecting the system failed to take advantage of years of prior experience and “lessons learned” to ensure their EHR implementation was counted among the successful ones.
And, in fact, at this stage of EHR adoption there ARE success stories we can learn from. We’re no longer in the early adopter stage of medical practice automation, so as you begin to think about your own EHR project, whether you’re installing for the first time or upgrading to a new system, keep in mind several truisms that are common to EHR implementation success stories. Doing so will allow you to begin enjoying the advantages the right EHR can provide sooner:
• Success Lesson #1: Remember that there will be regular people using the EHR, not computer programmers or database experts.
Keep users foremost in mind when choosing an EHR. Make sure the EHR under consideration is both intuitive to navigate and comes with the training and support needed to help both physicians and staff become comfortable and confident in using it quickly.
• Success Lesson #2: Beware the “dazzling demo.”
Rushing into an EHR purchase prematurely because you “fall in love” with a particular system is all but guaranteed to be an expensive mistake. This is not to say that an impressive demonstration of a system’s capabilities is a red flag, but it can’t be the only criteria you use in making a decision. A checklist that helps you distinguish between functionality that is nice to have versus functions that are critical to the practice can be invaluable. Many practices have found it helps to create a spreadsheet that allows them to lay out the various options they’re considering side by side and score them based on the criteria that’s most important to them.
• Success Lesson #3: Since nearly every practice inevitably changes over the years, ensure the EHR you choose is flexible enough to do so as well.
An EHR should have the built-in flexibility necessary to adjust to changes in the practice’s composition. An overly rigid system could force providers in the practice to adjust to meet the EHR’s needs, rather than the other way around.
See on blog.imagine-md.com