Define EHR

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Define what you want. While the term EHR includes an array of products, the functionality of each system varies significantly. Don’t skip the important step of establishing expectations for what your practice wants and needs from an EHR system. For example, if participation in the government’s EHR incentive payment program is on your agenda, narrow your choices to systems certified for the program. Then, consider the features you want – a customized template; a fully integrated billing, registration and scheduling system; and a management dashboard, for example. Make a list of the features and delineate your “must-have” from your “nice-to-have” functions. Use this list to develop a request for proposal (RFP), and distribute it to vendors.…show more content…
An EHR implementation may require changes in workflow. Get everyone excited about the implementation by discussing the benefits of each new function the system will bring. Receptionists will love the newly streamlined patient arrival process that no longer requires walking each patient chart to the rack; triage nurses will appreciate having each patient call documented, as well as the elimination of delays in pulling charts. Consider carefully all aspects of the workflow. You’ll gain the greatest benefit from your EHR by planning what you want the flow to be post implementation – instead of trying to duplicate the flow you had with the paper system. If you anticipate participating in the government’s EHR incentive program, consider each criteria for meaningful use so that you can weave these criteria into your clinical and administrative workflow. Develop a “what the EHR means to me” for each staff member. Seeing those changes in print will help them recognize the impact of the new system on their role (and ensure that they understand and follow the new workflow patterns that you are counting on them to help execute). Combining this communication with details about the system’s roll-out will help establish expectations and reduce fears about the implementation

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