Realize EHR Implementation is a Process
The goal is not implementation; the goal is not even successful attestation to Meaningful Use. The goal is more effective and safer care for patients, better workflow for staff, and better quality of life for physicians.
Choosing an EHR
See it from a user perspective, not a vendor perspective. It’s better to see a practice similar in size and specialty using it in a patient encounter.
Before buying an EHR, ask whether it is certified by one of the approved certifying agencies for Meaningful Use. Also, choose a vendor that is financially stable, committed to upgrading its product to meet Meaningful Use requirements, and will be around for years to come
Make Sure you know how the EHR System Operates
Ask potential vendors about issues and the ability to modify the EHR software as needed. Also ask vendors if they’ll be able to provide support, such as coming onsite to correct a software problem, should a compliance issue arise.
Consider the Full Costs
The number the EHR rep throws out at first may actually be about one-third of the true overall costs of implementation. In addition to the technology costs, there are other costs to consider, such as training the staff and reduced productivity for the first few weeks of implementation.
Prepare yourself and Your Staff for Change
Successful implementation means opening up yourself and your staff to changing the way you do things at your practice.
Know your Starting Point
You’ll need to have an honest assessment of your staff and providers’ computer literacy level, workflow issues, clinical needs, budget, and office layout before determining what software and hardware are right for your practice.
Find your Champions
A practice identifies champions on both the clinical and the administrative side, who foster the enthusiasm of those people so that they naturally step into leadership roles.