If you ask doctors, you’ll hear that electronic health records (EHR) have been both the best thing and worst thing to happen to medicine in the past 40 years. Having real-time information at your fingertips is an incredible advancement, but it’s only helpful if you can see what you need to diagnose and treat your patient. Healthcare providers consistently state their frustration with the lack of consistent, accurate data within the EHR system.
Without accurate data in the patient’s chart, doctors struggle to provide accurate and appropriate care. That’s why clinics and hospitals need to go the extra mile and customize their records in the following ways:
Invest in consulting to configure software
It’s too much to ask of our healthcare providers for them to become IT and software experts. Accessing records of earlier care and making accurate diagnoses is dependent on doctors and providers’ ability to input and extract relevant information quickly.
Even a lively family physician practice needs assistance to set up and configure an electronic healthcare record system. Even with technical staff, it’s unrealistic to expect them to configure and customize a highly complex software system to suit a unique workflow. As organizations upgrade or adopt new technology, they are relying on artificial intelligence or a technical sales support representative to migrate data.
Data is only as good as the input
Without expert configuration and data migration, the accuracy of the data is in question. Patient records need to be correct, and it needs to appear in the right place in the record. Relying on a software program to migrate data accurately may preserve your data, but if it doesn’t populate the proper fields, it’s not useful.
Efficiency is key
With only 20 minutes to see each patient, the data needs to be more than accessible. Many small offices find it cost prohibitive to fully take advantage of the software system’s features and discover it’s even more challenging to configure and customize the software to meet its full potential. Although the cost is a prominent factor, the value of a properly configured and deployed EHR is priceless.
Hire a consultant
Setting up an electronic health record is a complex endeavor. Innovative software design makes it possible to customize fields, provide reporting, and give alerts. Used efficiently, an EHR can help doctors reach conclusions more quickly and show information in a way that leads to faster diagnoses.
If the EHR isn’t configured efficiently, or if the data isn’t captured in a way that providers can access and leverage it to make smart clinical decisions, it becomes more of a roadblock than a powerful tool. Apathetic software users create inaccurate or missing data.