By Matt Wilson, Aegis HealthTech
An electronic health record is a digital format of a patient’s medical records. With paper documents rapidly becoming obsolete today, EHR implementation has become the need of the hour for many.
The Seven Steps to Implement EHR
Before an EHR system is implemented, there is a need to evaluate the financial and employment status of the firm. If the firm is at a stage where technological advancements can be made successfully and the employees are capable of learning how to manage it, only then the implementation should be processed. Also, the ability of the firm to afford the infrastructure required to implement the electronic health record should be taken care of before it is implemented. This way, the process can be a smooth transition for both the firm and its employees.
2. Setting goals and assigning roles
Every long-term implementation must begin by setting up goals that will be fulfilled within a timeframe. The goals will take into consideration the present and future impacts of the implementation of electronic health records on the firm, making it easier to avoid having any unplanned issues in the near future. Once the goals are set, roles can be assigned to each member of the staff, with clear guidelines on what needs to be done.
3. Find the cost
The average cost of an electronic health record system is around 12,000 USD, which includes the software, the hosting servers, the security measures, maintenance, support, and upgrades of the system. For more advanced features, the cost may be even more. If a healthcare firm is positive about being able to afford that, then they can go ahead with the process. Consulting a legal and financial counsel before making a final decision on the price would be smart on the part of the firm.
4. Find the best equipment
As the process progresses, the best equipment to host the electronic records must be implemented. This includes having ample space for its proper housing so that technical issues can be minimized. Similarly, overwhelming an under-trained staff with a high-tech system of technology would be in poor taste for the firm. Therefore, the staff should be properly trained to manage and access the new system without any violation of the HIPAA regulations.
5. Picking a good EHR software
After the needs of the firm are assessed properly, picking a good electronic health record software company becomes the next important step. Have them install the software for and provide training to all the employees to teach them how to use the new software.
6. Make the best security arrangements
When implementing an electronic health record for patients, a re-visitation and revaluation of the HIPAA regulations will become necessary. Going online with patient records is a big risk if a firm is unable to provide the necessary security to safeguard patient records. A leakage of a patients’ medical record is strictly dealt with under the HIPAA regulations and without proper security measures, the firm will be putting themselves up for serious legal trouble. Electronic health records make it much easier for identity thieves to steal information if proper security measures are not put into place.
7. Make revisions and improve the software
Once the software is in place and fully functional, it will need to be constantly revised and improved in accordance with the changing needs of the firm. Make regular plans for revision and assessment of the software as well as for fixing any bugs. Regular upgrades as and when necessary will keep the system from going obsolete.
Thus, if you take note of these 7 steps and follow the same, you will be able to successfully integrate and EHR implement the same.