Implementation of an EHR is multifaceted and only a very small part is the actual installation of the hardware and software. The human element, the culture, the readiness for change, are all critical parts that will make the difference between successful implementation or one that is not so successful. Being unsuccessful translates to frustration, loss in staff and patient satisfaction and, yes, increased costs.
When choosing an EHR, it is incumbent upon the organization to perform due diligence in the selection of an efficient, effective product that is preferably beyond the beta version. But even while the selection process is proceeding, the culture issues must be addressed. The reality is that bringing in an EHR changes forever the way medicine is performed in a facility. Processes will definitely be affected from the patient level to the board of directors.
The key to success in implementation is not layering the EHR over inefficient processes. Clean up the processes so that they will align with the EHR and your chance of success increases greatly. Form should follow function, so obtaining an EHR from a vendor that is willing to work with you is also critical. Then, or course, a solid and realistic training program is designed and supported.
Change in the way the organization views their records, change in the way they communicate internally and externally among providers, change in the way they communicate and interact with patients, all this and more affect a successful EHR implementation. Realistically, the EHR system chosen is only chapter one and it is up to the organization to fill in the rest of the book.
Advance ConsultingBothell, Wash.