Taking the Plunge, Or Getting Out of the Water and Diving Back In: EHR Implementation Tips

While the final 50 or so percent of ambulatory physicians decide whether to implement electronic health records and others re-evaluate their technology plans, which may include switching the systems they use, it seems like as good of a time as any to continue the series I started about the steps that need to be considered when selecting an EHR.

At this point in the process, you’ve obviously gained the understanding that it’s an arduous process and requires a great deal of planning. But, you know that. You’ve done the planning and you’re beyond examining how implementing the system will affect your practice’s workflows.

So, when you’re gearing up to finally take the plunge, or if you’ve decided to get out of the water and dive back in, the Office of the National Coordinator provides the following guidance for moving forward with these EHR implementation tips.

Here’s a concise breakdown:

The best time to protect yourself from a poor decision involving the vetting and purchase and an EHR is during the shopping and review process. Take time at the beginning of the process to ensure you know what you’re getting, what you’re paying for and, ultimately, what type of vendor partner you’re going to get once the ink on the contract has dried.

One comment on “Taking the Plunge, Or Getting Out of the Water and Diving Back In: EHR Implementation Tips”

Thank you so much for following this important issue for all of us. I’ve read each of your posts on this rapidly unfolding topic and have found few other sources as editorially in agreement with our practice’s philosophy. We do not treat populations and do not perform clinical studies. We treat patients one at a time, we read and appreciate the diligent work provided by medical researchers to determine most effective treatments and cannot imagine every physician in the country becoming his or her own researcher just because they have the data. The inherent suggestion that every doctor in the country will begin to somehow to conduct research based on his practice’s limited outcomes experience is only surpassed by the fallacy that insurance carriers will be able to amalgamate this data into meaningful clinical protocols for their enrollees. The irony is that the academic physicians have not seen this as a greater threat to their role in researching and developing treatment protocols. Perhaps they are less concerned about where to data originates and more interested in the epidemiological significance; i.e. more patients = more data = more significance, despite the fact that most of the controls and even validity may well be totally lacking from this more data.

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