EHR implementation can be a complicated process for physicians and their staff. There are many technical details to keep track of, numerous people who need training, and an abundance of new software. To help you navigate this process smoothly and successfully, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 EHR implementation challenges and how to overcome them. An effective EHR implementation plan is essential to the success of an EHR implementation project. If you’re considering implementing an EHR system or want to know more about your options, read on for our top tips on implementing an EHR effectively.
- Define the Why:
The first step toward an effective EHR implementation is to define the why. The why is the goal or purpose of the project. The why should be tied to organizational goals or business objectives. It should address one or more of the following questions:
- Why is your organization implementing an EHR?
- What are you hoping to achieve?
- What problems are you hoping to address?
- Why do we need EHR?
- Why now?
- Why are we selecting this vendor?
- Why does our organization need this EHR system?
If you don’t know the why behind the project, it won’t be easy to create a plan that aligns with your organization’s goals.
- Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience will help you create an EHR implementation plan that meets their needs. Who are your users? Physicians, nurses, administrators, or other staff are likely using the new system. Knowing their user type will help you select the right EHR platform. Rather than lumping everyone into one category, try to break your users into different groups. Rank the groups by importance, and design the implementation process around the top group members. Doing so will help ensure that everyone’s needs are met. Nurses, in particular, might be resistant to change, so consider providing them with extra assistance. Find out how they want to be involved in the EHR implementation process. Assist them with any training they need to feel comfortable using the new system.
- EHR Vendor Research
Choosing the right EHR vendor can make or break your EHR implementation. Get to know the vendors in your area to determine which would be the best fit for your organization. To do so, create a vendor selection checklist. The following criteria can help you select the right EHR vendor for your organization:
- Experience – How long has the vendor been in business? How big of a company are they?
- Products – What vendors does the EHR provider use? What products are available? What kind of functionality will you get?
- Pricing – How much does the E-HR cost? Are there any hidden fees or other charges?
- Support – How will the vendor support you throughout the implementation process?
- What level of support do they provide?
- Security – What type of security does the EHR have in place? Does it meet federal and state standards?
- Organizational Readiness
Before you even consider which EHR platform meets your organization’s needs, you must ensure that your organization is ready for the change. To do so, review your readiness checklist to ensure you’re ready to implement an EHR system. Questions to consider include:
- Is the staff ready for the change?
- Is the leadership ready for the change?
- Is the organization ready for the change?
- Do we have the resources and funding to support an EHR system?
- Get Ready for Electronic Healthcare Record Implementation
You’ve chosen an EHR, and your organization is ready for the change, so it’s time to implement the system. Before you do, however, you need to get ready for EHR implementation. Doing so will help ensure a smooth transition to the EHR system. How do you get ready for EHR implementation? Start by determining how you plan to implement your EHR. There are two primary implementation methods:
- Complete Replacement – Replacing all existing systems with a new EHR system.
- Hybrid – Integrating parts of the current EHR with the new system.
Next, determine how and when you want to implement the system. When is the best time to go live with the new EHR system? Depending on the size of your organization, this could take anywhere from a few days to a few months.
- Select an EHR Platform: Don’t be Afraid to Walk Away.
Now that you’ve narrowed your EHR vendor options, it’s time to select an EHR platform. You’ve likely narrowed your options to two or three EHR vendors. Each vendor has a different EHR platform, so now you must select a platform to meet your organization’s needs. How do you select an EHR platform? Take the following into consideration:
EHR System Cost – How much does each EHR system cost? What is the total cost of the EHR implementation?
EHR Functionality – What functionality does each EHR platform have? How does each EHR system meet your organization’s needs?
- Staff Education and Training
It will likely be a disaster if your organization does not have an effective training program before implementing an EHR system. – Instructors – Who will be providing the training? Are they qualified to teach? – Training curriculum – What topics will the training cover? Will it be comprehensive? – Student-to-teacher ratio – How many students will the trainer be responsible for? – Location – Where will the training take place? – Length – How long will the training last? – Frequency – How often will the training take place?
- Go-Live Timing and Roll-out Strategy
Once you’re ready to launch an EHR system, you need to determine how and when you want to go live. It would help if you also decided how and when to roll out the new system across your organization. To do so, create an EHR implementation plan and follow it. The following steps can help you create an EHR implementation plan:
- Define the project – What is the name of the project? What are its goals? Who is the project manager?
- Determine the path – Where do you want to go? What path will get you there?
- Create a timeline – When do you want to start the project? When do you want to finish the project? What milestones need to be met?
- Identify resources – What resources do you need? Who will be involved?
- Assign roles – What is each person’s role? What are each person’s responsibilities?
- Patient Comes First
When making your decisions regarding your EHR implementation, consider how it will benefit patients. In a system of healthcare based on values that are based on value, the needs of the patient are the most important consideration. The largest user base within the EHR software is the person using it.
- Working with Experts
To ensure the success of the implementation of EHR, seek out help from experts with deep knowledge of the hospital’s processes and the EHR protocol for interoperability. Make the most of opportunities to learn from the leaders who have efficiently implemented EHR systems within a healthcare facility. It can help you anticipate the obstructions in the path and solve them swiftly.
For healthcare providers, EHR implementation isn’t an untested integration procedure. A valid users-certified EHR system is the norm in the current healthcare environment and poses a threat to healthcare providers. EHRs are one step closer to providing high-quality health care when there is proper EHR implementation.
There are a lot of obstacles to the successful implementation of EHR that a proper plan and strategic implementation can overcome. In addition, the EHR system must be adapted to be compatible with the current routine of the physician. In addition, it will require help from health IT professionals experienced with clinical practice workflows and not impeded by the challenges associated with EHR systems. Interoperability improvements will continue developing patient-centered healthcare strategies and allow providers to be well-informed about their patient’s health conditions. EHR is set to take off in experiencing technological advancements in the coming years.
With Hucu.ai, you can securely communicate with network partners, patients, and approved patients’ family members in one universal system, in addition to using HIPAA-compliant instant messaging for facility internal communication. It can also be integrated into your EHR to boost your staff’s efficiency. It includes built-in features that simplify communication between staff/collaborators working in different organizations but caring for the same patients.