Prior Planning Increases EHR Adoption Success

Successfully adopting an EHR requires planning before actual implementation. It is a management project that requires incremental changes in addition to technological advancement in the way work is done. Routine practices in workflow may experience disruptions while modifications occur and this may cause some resistance to advancing to a new electronic records system. Steps can be taken in advance of the EHR to ease the burden of transition and increase acceptance by physicians and staff.  Listed below are some strategies to develop and practice as implementation nears:

  • Standardize forms and charts: immunizations, medication, history
  • Reduce printing: utilize the computers for access to schedules and saving documents electronically.
  • Consider hiring an Information Technology specialist
  • Start using electronic signatures for transcription
  • Identify areas of redundancy in the practice that can easily convert to electronic reporting such as paper logs.
  • Investigate electronic faxing.
  • Develop consistency in medication ordering and follow-up orders.
  • Build a patient portal on the existing practice web site, if there is one.

Making small, incremental changes before actually implementing and using an EHR will make all the difference in the success of the system as well as increase operational productivity and workflow. Your new EHR is an investment that will need to adapt in the changing technological environment as electronic records become more prevalent among health care practices and organizations.

Lessons Learned:

  • Pre-plan implementation and transition to electronic health records  for future success.
  • Standardize work processes to reduce redundancies.
  • Orient and train staff effectively to increase efficiencies and productivity.

Nelson, R. (2011, March). Leverage your EHR investment. Medical Economics, 88 (5), 32, 37-38. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from Research Library. (Document ID: 2312512741).