Over the last decade, the digital revolution has changed the medical industry in a variety of ways. In a clinical setting, the days of having large file folders to keep, organize, and recover patient information are long gone. Among the most notable developments in the healthcare business is the general transfer from a document-based backup system to an electronic health record (EHR). This article discusses the most common problems with Electronic Health Records (EHR) that providers face and their solutions.
Importance of Electronic health records
Documenting a patient’s data in electronic format is called EHR. Authorized users can access such patient-centered documents at any time, making the clinical procedure easier. The medical team has real-time access to the patients’ complete medical history, which includes diagnosis information, treatment options, follow-ups, medication concerns, laboratory test reports, and much more.
EHR is becoming an essential tool for hospitals and private healthcare professionals all around the world due to the multiple benefits it provides like medical billing services or physician credentialing services. It promotes better patient outcomes while lowering expenses for both the patient and the healthcare provider. It eliminates medical mistakes, resulting in better diagnosis and quality care. Furthermore, it promotes patient interaction and supports better quality care.
What are the common problems with EHR?
It should come as no surprise that implementing an electronic health record is a costly endeavor. The biggest share of the expected capital budget expenditure will go into optimizing, selecting, and implementing EHR. The cost of implementing an EHR system varies between $14,800 to $69,989 per provider, according to the latest study. In general, here the installation procedure can be divided into 5 steps: hardware setup, software cost, implementation support, staff training, ongoing network fees, and maintenance. However, during the implementation process, there may be unplanned costs. Among the most major barriers to EHR installation, particularly for smaller organizations and practices, is securing the finances.
Not everybody in the medical profession is on board with the concept of implementing technology in the hospital. Furthermore, some healthcare professionals are suspicious of the efficacy of Electronic Health Records. Employees in healthcare settings often show hesitance in abandoning the administrative procedures they are used to. In certain circumstances, employees are unaware of modern technological breakthroughs and their numerous advantages. As a result, EHR adoption is delayed.
Additional time for training
The employees must be thoroughly trained on the new process before the EHR system is deployed. Doctors and other medical staff must spend significant effort and time learning the new format. It is a time-consuming and inconvenient procedure for both – the staff and management. Mostly during the training stage, low- and medium businesses are concerned about losing business. Additionally, the personnel may view it as unnecessary stress at times.
Doctors struggle when it comes to an EHR system that does not fit into their current workflow. One other option is not having practice-specific EHR systems because a dentist’s workflow differs from that of a cardiologist, and vice versa. EHR’s ease of use is often limited by insufficient training or unavailability of the required components.
Another important problem in implementing EHR is privacy and data security concerns. Users frequently express concerns about data exposure as a result of a natural disaster or a cyber-attack. A strategic plan to ensure the privacy of personal health information has been established by the constitutional provision. In the event of a security breach, the company might face legal action and be forced to pay millions of dollars to solve the matter. As a result, ensuring the EHR’s data security becomes a primary obligation of the supplier.
Limited technical resources
Small/medium healthcare organizations and private practices often face this problem of limited technical resources. They usually have a technical support team on staff, which may lack the necessary hardware to support the EHR system. Building the team that understands EHR and purchasing hardware is a significant investment, and that is a major reason for small and medium hospitals and practices postponing EHR deployment.
EHR installation is more than just a technology upgrade and entails a culture shift in the company. As a result, EHR implementation’s change management components become a genuine difficulty. It must be effectively planned well in advance, as well as all parties must be committed. Without extensive preparation, the efficient development and long-term viability of the EHR systems would be a daft idea.
To design an EHR system that delivers the expected results, communication skills between healthcare providers and the IT vendor are required. It is a continual process, not yet another exercise, to guarantee that all participants’ aspirations are realized. The supplier’s problems and suggestions must be effectively addressed, as well as the vendor should have been able to design effective methods that meet the supplier’s needs. The objectives cannot be realized without communicating effectively.
Solutions of problems with Electronic health records
Recently, more and more hospitals are adopting electronic health records. As a result, health IT specialists and executives have devised innovative solutions to address the frequent issues that providers encounter when implementing EHR. If you are a healthcare provider looking to implement an effective EHR system, here is a list of possibilities to make the experience smooth.
Create a strategic plan
The first phase in EHR installation is to develop a clear strategic plan for current projects. Offer team members jobs and tasks, select physician supporters, and build a place for shared values and reliance. Ensure that the team is also prepared with backup plans. During the development process, the productivity of the organization may drop, the process flow will go crazy, and even patients will become irritated. It’s crucial to remember that the key to an effective EHR adoption is planning.
Consider consultants to be partners
EHR installation is a collective effort that necessitates participation from all team members consisting of suppliers, IT contractors, experts, administration, doctors, and others. Explain the system’s bigger picture and create a popular goal for everyone involved. This enables the development to be finished on schedule, on cost, also with high usability.
Stick to a Schedule
Quality standards when the EHR’s successful implementation is underway are a concern. Develop a realistic ability to ensure the deadline delays are as low as possible. Discuss how often one day of downtime will impact the organizational structure with your staff.
Demonstrate strong leadership
Leaders must take steps to implement change to better align the teams with the organization’s EHR adoption process. To lead the team members, create a sub-committee of experts with expertise adopting new IT systems in various sectors.
Ensure adequate training
The goal of EHR installation is to increase efficiency and enhance the system. The goals will remain unreachable if staff will fail in using the system properly and prefer to use conventional approaches. Implement a comprehensive continuous improvement process and explain how the current scheme would improve patient outcomes. Support employees by recognizing them whenever they achieve objectives or considering extra contributions when they work for long hours.
Prioritize the patient
Consider why and how the EHR will benefit patients when making decisions about its adoption. The needs of the patient are essential in the value-based healthcare industry. Even so, the patient is the major group of users in the EHR system.
Collaboration with experts
Request support from specialists who already are familiar with either the hospital’s workflows or the EHR system to ensure a successful EHR installation. Implement a strategy after consultation with the experts. This aids in predicting and promptly resolving difficulties along the process.
EHR development is not a lavish affair for healthcare organizations. In today’s environment, useful user-friendly EHR software is both a necessity and a liability for suppliers. With appropriate EHR implementation in place, organizations get one step closer to guaranteeing excellent health care.
Furthermore, there seem to be several obstacles to successful EHR implementation which can be resolved with adequate proper planning and execution. Moreover, the EHR software should also be adapted to the physician’s present workflow, which necessitates the involvement of health IT professionals who have been user-friendly with healthcare systems.