Since the push to deploy electronic health records (EHRs) began in earnest with passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, health IT vendors have encountered and overcome many organizational and technical challenges to implement complex repositories of clinical and administrative data. This being the case, health systems seeking to implement EHR technology can learn valuable lessons from the experiences of early adopters.
For example, one essential first step before undertaking an EHR implementation is to establish the end goals, or “technology intention,” of the solution to be deployed. A consensus understanding about both the specific EHR technology that is needed and what it is expected to accomplish should serve as a framework for the entire project.
Healthcare organizations that wish to achieve a successful implementation should be prepared to ensure the following five EHR integration imperatives are addressed:
Secure organization-wide buy in;
Understand unique organizational data and workflow requirements;
Connect disparate IT systems based on standardized data terminology;
Map data sets to enable the exchange of health information; and
Leverage customization capabilities
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