Implementing Electronic Medical Records

The most crucial endpoint of implementing electronic medical records is the user acceptance and adoption.

When a practice is finally implementing an EMR, it will be very apparent if the electronic medical record company they have chosen has ignored or downplayed crucial components such as hardware, customization, or training.

A physician practice must be dedicated to thoroughly research the full scope of electronic medical records implementation for every aspect of their electronic medical records system.

Here are the typical, general steps of implementation:

  • System Configuration and Installation - the foundation for your EHR is built using the optimum hardware, network, and communications infrastructure to support it.
  • Clinical Content Customization - This is NOT a step provided by all EMR companies. This is an area where you, the provider, need to research to avoid template driven EMR's, which will force you to adopt a new workflow. If you can find an EMR vendor who will analyzes your practice’s existing dictation and forms and translates them into templates that emulate the way each provider documents an encounter, you will be way ahead of the game.
  • Training - because 100% user adoption is such a critical factor in EHR implementation success, providers need to negotiate for as much training as they can get with the electronic medical record package they purchase.
  • Interface to National Laboratories - submit orders and receive lab results electronically. When received, the lab results automatically populate the correct fields, enabling them to be graphed and analyzed. This is a critical piece of EMR that you will have to dig deep to get answers on from your elctronic medical records company. A provider to must find out how many interfaces their EMR vendor has done, with what labs, how long the interfaces take, and what is the cost of the interface.
  • Interface to Hospital Systems - Does the EMR provide interfaces to any hospital system with which your practice is associated.
  • Interface to Diagnostic Systems and Equipment - your EMR should provide interfaces to a wide range of diagnostic systems and equipment such as in-house lab systems, ECG/EKG, Spirometers, etc.

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