Strategies & Best Practices For EHR Implementation - A Complete Guide

December 19, 2022

Strategies & Best Practices For EHR Implementation - A Complete Guide

The implementation of electronic health record systems have driven substantial improvements in patient outcomes, revenues, and healthcare efficiencies over the past few years. Despite being largely indispensable in a medical setting, a faulty or incorrect implementation can have disastrous consequences, which is why EHR implementation has turned into a specialised field of its own.

Coming under the purview of healthcare information technology, successful EHR implementation requires a series of strategies and best practices, developed over 1,000s of projects, and their varying outcomes. 

In this article, we aim to provide a brief primer on some essential strategies and best practices to ensure seamless integration and successful outcomes for healthcare organisations and practitioners.

The Goals of A Successful EHR Implementation

Irrespective of the broad range of use cases, practice types, and solutions, the goal of a successful EHR implementation project can be boiled down to the following,

Seamless Transition

While changing systems between old to new, the resulting friction or disruptions should be kept to a minimum.

Effective Communication

Clear lines must be established between vendors, and all relevant stakeholders.

Quick Adoption

Practitioners, care-teams, and other stakeholders should adopt the EHR solution quickly, with little-to-no hesitations.

Unlock Value

The benefits of the EHR implementation, and the value unlocked by the same must be evident straight-away.

Reduce Errors

The course of implementing an EHR system is rife with pitfalls, and when it comes to healthcare organisations, such errors and pitfalls must be brought down to the bare minimum.

The Best Practices For A Successful EHR Implementation In 2023

With the above-mentioned goals in mind, here are certain strategies and best practices to achieve successful EHR implementation,

1. Create An EHR Implementation Committee

To ensure perfect communication, and points of contact to deal with and address issues, there needs to be an EHR implementation committee

This committee must be empowered to take any and all decisions necessary for the successful implementation, all the while being responsible and accountable for the results and outcomes of the same.

The members of this committee should ideally include the project manager, the leads, developers, quality assurance professionals, along with certain nominees from the customer’s side.

2. Build A Roadmap

The EHR committee should then be tasked with building a roadmap for the implementation with a strict timeline. 

A roadmap should essentially include all essential tasks that need to be completed, the deadlines for the same, while assigning responsibilities and accountability accordingly.

3. Training

As the implementation process continues in full-swing, with challenges recognised and dealt with by the committee, another team should start parallelly working towards training the staff, addressing their concerns, and recording their feedback.

4. Go-Live Roadmap

The process of going live requires a roadmap of its own, with a clear understanding of critical aspects, and additional testing and monitoring systems to deal with the same.

Bugs and issues are part and parcel of this, and the only option is to identify and deal with them as and when they keep arising.

5. Support & Feedback

Once the solution is effectively deployed, the committee should still stay on top of its functioning while tracking key metrics and indicators. 

There will likely be issues or errors that keep inevitably cropping-up, especially in the initial few days that need to be dealt with. 

Following this, it is essential to take feedback from all stakeholders, while changing and optimising the system accordingly.

Final Words

Healthcare IT is often unlike any other, and requires extensive planning and forethought given the implications of mistakes and failure. 

The above-mentioned practices should lay the foundation for an effective implementation, but most actual projects require a lot more grunt work and come with substantially heightened levels of complexity.

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