Five quick tips for successful EHR implementation

Five quick tips for successful EHR implementation

Summary: Here's a short, to-the-point introduction to some key factors that can help you succeed in your EHR implementation.

TOPICS: Health

Over the past few years, I've talked quite a bit about the growing need for health care practitioners to use electronic health records (or EHR). Here are five such articles:

I'm guessing that probably more than a third of all the ZDNet Health articles I've written have been about EHR, because when you put IT and health care together, EHR is one of the biggest and most important areas of work.

No matter who you talk to, though, implementing a working, secure EHR system is quite the challenge. That's why, when I found the following short, to-the-point video about EHR success, it was an obvious winner to share with you:

Topic: Health


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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  • Way far behind

    It amazes me to see some doctors offices and hospitals still using clipboards and paper charts for healthcare consumers and well as vendors and third-party's. What year is this? Where are all the other industries going? Healthcare screams for tablet and smartphone usage and yet it has yet to be described as pervasive within the industry. I was impressed the other day when I went into one of the smaller private hospitals located close to me to visist a friend. They were all using Microsoft Surface tablets with the digital pen to sign of on prescriptions, treatments and even have patient information electronically stored and retrieved with a touch of a pen on the screen. This is where healthcare needs to be and quickly to reduce and offset the other large costs assocaited with this growing industry. Sadly this one hospital sampling is the exception, not the rule. This particular industry is literally screaming for this type of technology, mobile is made for an industry like this.
    • Well...

      ...a LOT of this has to do with software being HIPAA complaint. And right now, G-mail & Google Apps are NOT compliant, for instance.

      There is also the cost of hardware & software to be taken in to account. What with many organizations having had their budgets cut, due to Federal, State & Local funding reduced or eliminated, some places just do not have the wherewithal to move forward on EHRs.

      And then you have the daunting task of moving years of hand written data to the EHRs. That takes time & money to accomplish. And again, something not in large supply for many small to medium sized health providers.

      Like it or usually all comes down to dollars & cents.
  • Only some are behind

    The cost of entry to EHR is quite high, and often beyond the means of individual practices or clinics to afford. Of course, those entities are quickly becoming a thing of the past as larger groups assimilate them, in part to spread the cost of heathcare information technology as thinly as possible. Touch-screen computers have been used as you describe for more than a decade now (my own doc has been using them that long).

    As far as tips for successful implementation -- one stands above all others. Consider for a moment how EHR changes information workflow, and pay special attention to who is entering the information. In many cases, you'll find it moves from the lowest-paid employee (clerical staff or secretary) to the highest paid (physician). It is a big mistake to assume the physician has the patience for a poorly-designed interface; it should not take the doctor longer to input information than it did to write into a paper chart.