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What to Look for When Implementing an EHR

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May 10, 2019

What to Look for When Implementing an EHR

Jennifer Morency

picture What to Look for When Implementing an EHR

When reading the title of this article, you’re probably thinking, are we not past implementing Electronic Health Records? Haven’t most of us already gone through this a long time ago?

Technically, you wouldn’t be wrong, but healthcare organizations and professionals have moved past the technology itself to really delve into what it can do for them and how it meets the needs of today’s complex care organizations.

Meeting the Needs of Today’s Healthcare Organizations

With the move to value-based care, emphasis on data-driven technology and processes is increasingly important not only for interoperability reasons, but for sustainable payment and reimbursement models as well.

Take Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) as an example. Hospitals and physician practices are participating more and more in ACOs as payers adopt value-based reimbursement. With the goal of cutting costs and providing quality care for patients, ACOs must show continuous monitoring of patient performance and respect quality measures.

To achieve these goals, they must have technology on hand that allows them to share information seamlessly between healthcare professionals and hospitals. This is where Electronic Health Records (EHRs) come in. They allow ACOs to produce and manage valuable data across the entire patient care cycle.

What to Consider for an EHR Implementation

Over the years, EHRs have grown to become an essential tool in a healthcare organization’s IT infrastructure. However, there are many features to consider when choosing the right technology for a specific organization:

  • Ability to share information seamlessly with other sites/technology

    • This will be easier when interoperability is more widespread

  • Treatment of information

    • How does the EHR treat data and trends?

  • Third-party applications

    • Can your EHR do more when you need it? Your needs may change, so make sure your EHR is ready to evolve with you.

  • Prescription renewals

    • Most EHRs with ePrescribing capabilities will also have scheduling, note and lab integrations to treat the entire patient care cycle.

  • Adherence to quality measures

    • Make sure your EHR can track and report clinical data for specific quality measures.

  • Customizability

    • Is your EHR a one-size-fits all or does it allow you to personalize templates?

  • Presence of patient engagement features

    • Can your patients take charge of their health through a patient portal? Patient engagement is key for quality measurement.

Your EHR should be an extension of your practice, allowing you to reach your goals and augment your care offering. Make sure you choose the right tool that will allow you to do so and will evolve with your constantly changing workflow and needs.