It’s no secret that the world around us is getting more and more digital, especially post-pandemic. The fact is, if you’re a Provider and you’re still using paper records, you are lagging behind. However, making the paper-to-digital switch can be intimidating—we get it. If you’re new to EMR and considering EMR integration for the first time, or simply switching systems, this guide is for you. Here’s everything you need to know about EMR systems, including five tips for successful integration.
You know those paper medical records you’re keeping? EMR is just those records, but digital. They’re used to record a patient’s treatment and medical history. EMR allows physicians to have all of their records in one place and makes those dusty old file cabinets obsolete. Among other benefits, EMR gives its users more accessibility, reliability, safety, and patient management while leaving less room for human error or lack of memory.
Convinced yet? If you’re ready to tackle EMR integration or want to make the switch off of your current EMR system, here’s how to do it.
Contrary to popular belief, switching to an EMR system will not completely disrupt the flow of your office when done properly. That’s not to say the switch will be easy, but it can be smooth if you follow these steps.
Not all EMR systems are built the same. Make sure the one you choose is user-friendly and customizable. You’ll want everyone in your office to be comfortable with it. If your current EMR system isn’t benefiting you, it’s probably due to poor design and/or complicated navigation. Don’t make the same mistake twice.
Proper EMR integration necessitates the evaluation of your current practice and careful planning. You don’t want to throw a new system in when your employees aren’t ready for it. Set aside time for a testing plan and ensure that everyone knows their way around the new system. If you’re switching from an old EMR system, make sure that your employees understand the differences in the new system.
Transferring files from paper to digital takes time; start slow. Expect the integration to take anywhere from six to nine months. Your first priority should be to convert essential information such as patient medical history and their most recent lab tests. Don’t hesitate to adjust the workflow where necessary and keep the morale of your staff high by demonstrating your appreciation and encouragement during the transition.
Most, if not all, EMR software vendors offer training sessions for their system. Set up a time for you and your employees to be trained and to learn the ins and outs of the new system. Ask the vendor for the optimal practices for using their systems, as well as how to handle any bugs or glitches that may occur.
Find someone in your office who is tech-savvy, experienced with managing initiatives, and designate them as the project manager. This will give your employees a helpful resource to turn to if they run into issues with the new system. Learning time will be decreased and confusion will be virtually eliminated.
At Blue Eagle Consulting (BEC) we believe that information is the lifeblood of the healthcare industry. We strive to provide healthcare organizations with the right individuals crucial to making large software investments perform as expected. If you’re looking into EMR systems or switching from your current system, give us a call today and let us deliver the consultants you need to help implement your new system.