Proven Tips for EMR Implementation

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Published: 01st November 2012
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Deciding to implement an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system in your practice sends the message that significant changes are being made when it comes to procedures used to manage patient records and workflow. A comprehensive system is created to ensure that both efficiency and precision are improved, so that better patient care can be provided. After choosing a system, and almost as important as which EMR system is selected, is the way in which the system is implemented. For the best results, thorough planning should be done with regard to implementing EMR, including understanding government standards and training of the staff.

Understanding Meaningful Use

Comprehending Successful Use Electronic Health Records(EHR) standards are not only made clear by system creators and users; The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services specifically classifies meaningful use as “…one piece of a broader Health Information Technology infrastructure needed to reform the health care system and improve health care quality, efficiency and patient safety.” As a component of your implementation strategy, this definition can assist you in identifying the core principles within your own practice for using EMR to improve workflow and patient care. Devising a Meaningful Use protocol will highlight the importance of the investment that you and your team make in Electronic Health Records management. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 can garner you extra money if you are a "meaningful user" whose practice is well-managed and sufficiently patient-focused.

Get the Entire Practice Involved

Engage Doctors, Nurses and Administrative Personnel The clinical work performed by a doctor is largely dependent upon support of the nursing and administrative staff. The system will operate with more efficiency and produce a better work flow if key personnel are included in its implementation. Staff members who are actively involved in choosing and implementing the new EMR system can use their own experience to contribute ideas, which will improve the patient experience across the board -- starting when they first come in and continuing right up to their eventual evaluation and treatment regimens. Staff Training Is Critical As the EHR system is being implemented, it is crucial that the staff be trained well. As the go live date nears, you can plan training classes and workshops to really ensure that the launch succeeds and isn't too frustrating. For larger organizations like hospitals and clinics with several physicians, it may be wise to offer a number of workshops at various times that work well with staff schedules. In the same manner, inside marketing plans should be devised so that staff can be educated in different aspects of the new EMR software. A smaller institution might want to run training after work hours, so that clinical hours aren't used for that. When you offer continuous training as the system is updated, your personnel stay interested and current with what needs to be done. Trying to cover everything in one training course can be overwhelming, so eliminating that issue can keep workflow on schedule and maintain productivity.

Prepare a Plan B

Have a Backup Plan In PlaceThe truth is that being prepared for surprises is crucial to just about any business system, so it's necessary to have a backup plan. Thinking ahead to what a system crash might require will ensure that you don't face a catastrophe unprepared in the future. If you have a backup EMR system available, your practice can continue its routine without interruption while issues are addressed and your main system is repaired. EHR systems truly have a significant effect on a medical practice, and developing a plan for implementation that is well thought out will make transition and integration easier to deal with. Any practice that decides to utilize an EMR program needs to begin with these best practices.

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