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Achieving a successful EHR implementation requires careful consideration of the medical practice, processes and the right technology.
Achieving a successful EHRimplementation requires careful consideration of the medical practice, processes and the right technology.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1, in 2011, 55% of physicians had adopted an electronic health record (EHR) system.
The CDC has also reported that themajority of physicians who adoptedan EHR system (85%) were either verysatisfied (38%), somewhat satisfied (47%) with their system, while 15% of providers were either very dissatisfied (5%) or somewhat dissatisfied (10%) with their EHR system.
Those seeking to achieve meaningful use and ARRA federal incentive payments must adhere to a set of standards that include workflow documentation processes. Certified EHR systems help satisfy these requirements as they have received a more robust, integrated inspection than non certified systems. Such EHR systems are designed to follow proper workflow that is both safe for patients and productive for users. In contrast, bad workflow is synonymous with extra work and creates an opportunity for error.
The key is removing wasted effort and opportunities for error or failure by Plan out your implementation schedule. leveraging the technology for routine functions and using your trained staff for the thinking. For example, if you require four layers of approval on a chart, where one or two is sufficient, you are just perpetuating wasted effort. Bad workflow is trying to implement what was done with the paper trail and trying to force it into the electronic form.
To implement a successful EHR, users must not be married to former, familiar ways of doing things on paper. Most of the time this perpetuates bad workflow. That is one of the top reasons for why the government is pushing so hard to convert practices to electronic – because physicians demonstrate meaningful use by following best practices of healthcare as managed by and within the EHR.
It is important to step back and take a fresh approach that aligns well with ‘big picture’ goals. Try to focus on improving bad or cumbersome processes and make sure you have chosen an EHR solution that can optimize productivity and results across the entire practice, not necessarily for just one role. If you take this holistic, integrated approach to medical practice optimization, you will succeed not only financially, but also in improving the patient experience and staff job satisfaction.
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