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EMR Implementation From Planning to Training

A couple of years ago the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society gave us a list to give practices a better idea how to allocate staff and whether you’ll need a project manager to help implement EMR. Their recommendations are as useful now as when they first appeared. Nice when somebody else takes the words out of my mouth.

1. You need to develop an implementation plan. Think about having the physicians most used to computers go live to help identify your EMR’s idiosyncrasies. When those have been resolved, let the remaining physicians try their hand.

2. Next, you should develop a policy for scanning and abstraction. You have to convert paper records into electronic format. Your physicians need to review charts and select files most important for patient care to scan into the EMR.

Factors Affecting EMR Success

We know that failure of EMR can be costly to a medical practice. How do can we measure the cost of failure? So how do we improve the odds against it happening?

Dr. Karim Keshayjee, an associate member of McMaster University’s Centre for the Evaluation of Medicines, and four colleagues set out to find answers to those questions.

Dr. Keshayjee says, “We know the failure rate is higher than fifty percent.” So Dr. Keshayjee’s team reviewed 1,100 published articles on EMR, distilling that to fifty EMR implementation articles. From that, they eventually came up with a list of 17 factors that may affect EMR success.

PHRs versus EMRs

Both Microsoft Health Vault and Google Health allow patients to store their own personal health histories online. It’s free.

How do these Personal Health Record systems work?

You create an account or sign in if you have an MSN or Google account. You can enter or modify your health history. You can pull records from practices, hospitals or insurers that have agreements with the Personal Health Record company. You can even up load data from devices like blood sugar meters.

Prerequisite Questions in Choosing EMR

There are a few elementary, but critical questions that all doctors should answer before they buy any kind of EMR.

Workflow Paperthink, Futurethink

The best way to start the process of getting the kind of EMR that you want is to adjust to the fact that workflow that runs on paper is far different than workflow that is monitored by computers. You run the risk of being locked into your old pattern of thinking. You think paper. You have to learn how to think digital.

You are about to propel your practice into the future. So don’t rush it. Take your time to understand the full reality of this elementary change in the lives of you and your staff.