January 25, 2021
Switching electronic health records (EHR) can be a daunting undertaking, but it is crucial for the success of both doctors and their patients.
With the proper steps, updating an ECR can be painless and lead to higher protection of patient data and time savings for staff.
These four steps can ensure better EHR training to prepare for software replacement, giving your team the tools it needs for a more successful transition and elevated outcomes and interoperability.
The first step to a smooth transition to a new EHR is understanding the new features and capabilities of the software. Knowing the differences between the old and new system will help bridge understanding as the EHR is implemented.
John D. McGreevey III, MD, an associate professor of Clinical Medicine at Penn Medicine, studied new EHR programs and saw some of the crucial steps hospital need to take to transition health records to a new system.
He shared in a Penn Medicine interview that “hiring more IT staff for these transitions is sometimes necessary ,because EHRs can create new work as well as new maintenance tasks. Outside consultants for hire can help during a transition to a new EHR, but they may not have the cultural and political knowledge of the institution to be maximally effective.”
Ensuring that the IT department is not outsourced can help with understanding the old versus new EHR system. This will help not only tailor the program to meet a hospital’s specific needs, but also aid hospital workers who are used to the old system and resistant to change.
Transitioning to a new EHR takes teamwork. Effective communication while building a new system will lead to less mishaps.
Recognizing that a system is outdated and working together to build a stronger and safer program is important, and building a transitional plan can help lead to less confusion.
Strong training programs and working collaboratively to educate hospital staff will bring about an effective transition.
Patient safety is the primary reason hospitals are moving away from old systems and working to build stronger platforms. Understanding the risk of patient security breaches and working preemptively to avoid them is imperative in the early stages of EHR implementation.
This can be done by thoroughly testing EHR programs for putting them to use. Risk assessment (RA) professionals can also help a hospital foresee any risks as a new software is developed and put into place.
All hospitals are transitioning from a very different place. Medical institutes have varying levels of technology, resources and action plans to create strong electronic health record systems.
Different environments may require specific needs. For example, if a facility specifically treats blood cancer with bone marrow transplants, the hospital will require the EHR to host donor stem cell compatibility information.
Not all hospitals will have a similar EHR transition, and by developing a strong plan with your individual institution in mind, the process will be much smoother.