EHRs, or electronic health records systems, represent an ongoing wave of change in the medical field in health offices big and small. Where offices used to have file rooms the length of the building filled with color-tabbed folders for each patient, now they are migrating to EHR databases to digitize and manage the same information. However, it's not as easy as just taking the paper information and inputting it into a computer screen. In fact, in many cases less than 30 percent of system implementations are fully successful the first time around.
There are number of reasons why EHR systems run into trouble, but the two big ones are people-related. Fortunately, these are factors that can be controlled and changed rather than being external challenges.
The success of an EHR implementation involves the team or group set up to manage the EHR implementation. This team has to have the necessary technical expertise as well as the weight in the office or business to push the system to completion. Especially in large medical organizations or businesses, a lack of a champion or sponsor team that has the technological and operational know-how usually spells doom for a system change. Without good leadership, the project fails.
Goals and Objectives
Second, a move to EHR solutions needs to have a clear set of goals and objectives. This feeds right into the contracting for software, hardware and service. If a health provider business simply engages in an EHR change without clearly defining what is expected or desired by the new resource, the project can go haywire quickly. With multiple hands on the steering wheel, the process can go political quickly with different groups or departments fighting over their own wants versus the organization's total need. Defining early on what the primary goals are as well as the tasks to meet those goals avoids this sort of mid-project chaos.
There are other issues that can cause challenges for an EHR implementation, but the two above issues represent some critical problems that cause many projects to go sour. However, as noted earlier, these factors are controllable. If the organization uses proper planning well-ahead of the project, the technical team can come in and fit right behind the leadership and goals planning. This avoids scope-creep, rising costs, change orders and confusion all around. Instead, the business gets a working EHR solution that it can grow and expand with.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us.