3 Considerations for Choosing an EHR System that Works for Your Practice

3 Considerations for Choosing an EHR System that Works for Your Practice

The Health IT Dashboard found that 54 percent of US office physicians have meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR). EHR systems provide a number of benefits for your practice, such as enhanced patient care and remote access to patient records. While the benefits are significant, implementing the right EHR system for your practice requires a careful examination of IT suggestions, understanding what your practice wants out of its EHR, and preparing for potential deployment issues.

IT Collaboration

EHR systems with long feature lists may sound attractive to your practice, but they are not always feasible to implement on the IT resources you have available. Collaborate with your IT support team to understand any technical limitations you’re under with your practice’s infrastructure. Talk about on-premise versus cloud-based EHR systems, especially if you’re operating with older hardware and don’t want to upgrade software for the EHR rollout. An on-premise system uses the hardware at your practice. A cloud-based system is accessible through web browsers and apps, with most of the processing done on the EHR vendor’s hardware.

Survey the Practice

Employee engagement and buy-in is an important step in the selection process. You don’t want to implement a system that doesn’t truly meet the needs of the people using it on a day-to-day basis. It may go underused or improperly used if it doesn’t offer the necessary features. Survey your practice about work processes that could be made more efficient with EHR, as well as must-have features and the role EHR will play in their job duties.

Deployment Concerns

The shift from tried and true work processes to a system with the potential to transform your workflow takes some getting used to. The deployment time may cause issues with computer or network access with an on-premise system, so plan around potential deployment issues once your IT staff is working on installing the system. Once it is up and running, it’s important to implement a thorough training program so everyone in the practice understands how to use it and stay compliant with all health record regulations.

An EHR is a valuable tool for your practice, but only if you follow best practices in choosing the right system for you. Leverage your IT services team and employee feedback to understand the most beneficial systems, and be prepared for the deployment and training period.

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