I’m sure you’ve seen tons of statistics lately about electronic health record (EHR) replacement. With nearly half of all providers unsatisfied with their EHR, it’s a hot topic in the industry right now. So if you’re in “EHR replacement mode,” it’s comforting to know that you’re not alone, right? Well, maybe just a little.
So if you’ve decided you are on the EHR replacement path, I’m sure your impending replacement project is keeping you up at night. Here are a few of the potential barriers to making the big switch that we see time and time again. I’m sure these are on your mind too:
1. Cost! This is always a tough one to swallow, but the benefits on the other side of replacement will make it worthwhile. It’s important to analyze what you are missing today and what you will get as a result of the transition. This will help keep you focused on the results you want to achieve versus the cost. In the end, the cost of moving to a new system may not be as high as the cost of staying on a system that doesn’t meet your needs in the long run.
2. Training…again! I’m sure you probably hate that you’ll need to go through training again. But think about it this way: You’ve already done the hard part of converting from paper to an EHR. Once you have learned one system, subsequent systems are much easier to grasp because you already have the “concepts and flow” of electronic record use. For most providers, this is not as big a deal as you might think. Yes, they need to learn a “new” way of doing things, but they may already understand how an EHR works… The mystique and maybe even the fear factor are already gone.
3. Data Conversion It is important when moving from one EHR to another to bring over only what is necessary and to leave behind that which is not. Think of it as an opportunity to “clean” up the data. There are many ways to accomplish this process and the right approach to moving data to the new system has to be thought out.
4. Implementation…again! This is similar to data conversion. However, implementation of a new system is less “dramatic” if well thought out and proper training is done. It is all in the preparation. From front desk staff to billing coordinators to clinicians, all parts of the team need to be involved.
5. Loss of productivity There will be some lag time, but replacing your EHR is an opportunity to “re-engineer” processes within the office. Preparation is the key and we have seen many providers get “up to speed” more quickly than on their initial implementation. Another key is “practice, practice, practice.” Learn to use the system, and build out functionality and pick lists to meet the needs of providers and their teams. Implementation plays a key role here. Good preparation is the key maintaining productivity during implementation.
By tackling these barriers head on, you can get through this replacement project and get back to sleeping through the night without EHR nightmares!
Here at NextGen Healthcare, we’ve helped hundreds of practices make the switch. If you are in “EHR replacement mode,” contact us. Our experts can help you through the process and provide a solution to meet your needs today and in the future.