Electronic health record (EHR) software enables providers to better manage patient care and achieve the safe and effective exchange of health information electronically. While there are many benefits to using EHR software, it will only deliver on its promises when it’s properly implemented.
When an EHR implementation fails, some businesses assume that the software is to blame, but this is not always the case. To avoid costly disruptions to operations, it is important to consider whether new EHR software is needed or if the existing software requires proper implementation.
Reasons Why Your Organization May Need A New EHR Solution
Today, the vast majority of health systems and providers in the U.S. use some form of computerized patient records. The digitalization of health records allows for greater consistency across health facilities and enables providers to easily gain access and add to patient records. If an existing EHR solution is not providing the desired results a new EHR solution may be required.
Some of the most common reasons why an organization may require a new EHR solution include:
Outdated And/Or Legacy Software
Outdated EHR software can quickly prove problematic and ultimately affect patient care. Upgrading or replacing this software can increase overall efficiency and productivity. New software may contain tools and technologies not available with legacy software that make it easier to maintain patient records. Replacing EHR software can also eliminate certain manual tasks which can save health providers time, money and stress.
Lack Of Ownership Or Change Management
Problems can also occur when appropriate internal owners are not available to support the EHR system. Lack of ownership can make it difficult to configure the software properly, manage the implementation, or address the organization’s ongoing needs.
Employees may also struggle with using the software or fail to see the benefits that it offers, resulting in the continued use of outdated or workaround solutions. Lack of ownership or change management makes it difficult for a company to grow and thrive.
Frequent Technical Difficulties
Complaints regarding technical difficulties are another common reason that companies consider replacing their EHR software. Over time, EHR systems can begin to slow down, crash frequently or freeze. When these problems occur, end users may express their concern over the reliability of the technology and may resort to paper systems as a trusted alternative.
What To Consider Before Going Back To The EHR Software Market
It is easy to blame the software when employees experience technical issues and other problems with their EHR solution. However, it is important to consider if the existing software has been properly implemented throughout the organization before investing in a new solution.
Here are some things to consider before purchasing new EHR software:
Assess The Functionality Of The Current Technology
Start by creating a list of functional requirements for the business, such as the ability to manage patient demographics, schedule and manage tasks, supervise patient reminders, record health data, write prescriptions, secure patient privacy and manage workflows. Compare this list to the EHR software to see if the solution is capable of accomplishing these requirements or if a new software solution is required.
Identify Any Potential Risks, Gaps Or Vulnerabilities
EHR software can pose certain security risks to health providers and their patients mostly related to the potential for data breaches and other cyber crimes. Financial risk is another factor to consider. Business owners and stakeholders must understand that EHR deployment comes with up-front costs that the business needs to initially absorb.
Review The Use And Implementation Of The Software
Do not always assume that the EHR software is the problem when issues develop. In many cases, the implementation process is often flawed. Before reentering the EHR software market, consider hiring an experienced business management consultant to review the situation and determine the source of the problems.
Determine Whether The System Is Actually The Problem
Lack of employee training can also result in an EHR that appears to have usability issues. Before undergoing a software selection process and investing in a new EHR, determine whether the problem is with the system or if the challenge lies elsewhere.
Speak With Our IT Consultants About Switching Your EHR Software
EHR technology continues to grow more sophisticated, increasing the risk of end-user problems and inefficiency. An EHR solution must be aligned with the company’s goals and be implemented properly to prevent wasted time and money. Working with an experienced strategic business and IT consulting firm can aid in both software selection and proper implementation.
To learn more about what to consider before switching to a new EHR software solution, speak with the IT consultants at Hartman Executive Advisors today.