Recent technological advancements in the last decade have disrupted the healthcare sector in numerous ways. Storing patient information manually in folders is gradually being replaced by Electronic Health Records (EHR). The migration from document-based storage systems to electronic health records is among the most remarkable transformations in the health industry. Since the introduction of EHR in 2009, around 79% of qualified providers in the United States are leveraging new digital health technologies.
EHR software has been rapidly adopted globally, and for a reason. It enhances patient care, minimizes costs, and increases efficiency. However, implementing this software requires robust planning and execution to mitigate the challenges that health organizations may encounter. This article will shed light on several mistakes you should avoid when integrating EHR software and provide solutions you can employ to tackle these issues. Continue reading to learn more about these mistakes.
Proper implementation is fundamental to the successful implementation of any novel technology. Many companies execute every stage of integrating EHR but fail to exhaustively train their employees and other stakeholders. For some clinics, especially the smaller ones, putting in additional hours of training means taking hours away from “real” work. This often leads to employees using the popular statement, “I don’t know how to use this.” However, your organization is responsible for developing and delivering the appropriate training for users to perform their routine work efficiently. If you have issues conducting the right training, you can consider employing the services of a reliable Epic consulting firm to ensure all the end users are trained and are familiar with the EHR system.
Lack of usability
Providers often find it difficult to adopt if your organization’s EHR cannot fit into your workflow. The EHR system doesn’t conform to the one-size-fits-all rule, as a therapist’s workflow differs from that of a cardiologist and vice versa. Therefore, design flaws or inadequate training could make using your EHR software difficult and fatally impact patient outcomes.
It would be best if you viewed EHR integration as a collaborative process requiring the commitment of all team members, including IT vendors, providers, physicians, staff, etc. Communicate your larger vision of the integration process with all stakeholders and work towards implementing it. This will help you integrate on time, with great usability, and within budget.
Ignoring the importance of data privacy
Another mistake you should avoid during EHR integration is ignoring the data privacy concerns of the provider and patient community. Most stakeholders are concerned with the risk of their data leaking due to a cyberattack or natural disaster. The government has imposed a national policy that protects the confidentiality of a person’s health data. If there’s a security breach, your organization may be entangled in legal hassles and could spend millions to settle the dispute.
To avoid this mistake, you should align your team with the EHR’s integration process, and leaders must act proactively to ensure due diligence. Prepare a group of experienced leaders in integrating new IT systems in various sectors to guide the integration team. This will help avoid any security breaches in your organization’s system.
The Bottom Line
An electronic health records system is an effective tool with much potential yet to be discovered. While it offers numerous benefits for healthcare organizations, several mistakes could impact the EHR’s integration process, including insufficient training, a lack of usability, ignoring privacy concerns, and more.
To avoid these mistakes, organizations must design a comprehensive integration plan involving all stakeholders, ensure data quality and accuracy, monitor and assess progress, train users, and work proactively to address any challenges during integration. Use this guide to understand how to avoid mistakes and have a seamless integration experience.