EMR Success Requires Some Attention to Detail

Marie Westerhof

Marie Westerhof

Posted on January 23, 2012

It’s no secret that transitioning to electronic medical records can be difficult for some practices.  Beyond the stress of choosing a system, financing, and teaching your team to use the equipment, many medical offices find themselves avoiding the amazing benefits of an EMR system simply because of the trouble they expect related to implementation.

As discussed by medical software blogger Katie Matlack, who covers medical software for Software Advice, a free online resource, EMR systems offer amazing benefits for office organization, patient portal compatibility, medical office marketing and overall improved patient care that doctors simply can’t ignore (and financial penalties for not implementing EMR by 2015 provide an additional reason for switching).  Matlack interviewed three providers who have successfully implemented EMR at their practices – which range in size from 5 to 26 practitioners – to find out what advice they can offer for physicians looking to begin using electronic medical records.  The suggestions her interviewees offered recommend a bit of detail-oriented thinking to set up a system that meets all the practice’s needs and runs as smoothly as possible.
Highlights from the list of tips include:

  • Carefully read over and arrange the vendor agreement details.  Have everything as a signed contract.  Being sure about your vendor agreement, product details, warranties, etc. will prevent a host of problems in the future related to miscommunications between you and your vendor.  (Addendum: it may be wise to have an EMR attorney look over your EMR contracts and agreements to help clear up any questions and be sure that the contract benefits you.)
  • Choose a system for your specialty.  A podiatry clinic has different needs than a cardiology practice or a pediatrician’s office.  To be sure that you’ll have the right features, pick a customizable EMR designed for your specialty.
  • Create a system for scanning records.  Design a system for your staff to help organize data entry.  Your system may end up being somewhat complicated, but having clear rules about whether to scan new patient files, chart manually, or enter directly will make transition much smoother during the workday.

Click here to read the original article (and five more tips).

Marie Westerhof

Marie Westerhof

Marie is the Director of Marketing at Medical Web Experts, and has over 10 years of experience in the development and execution of digital marketing campaigns for healthcare organizations. She also heads complex medical writing projects for healthcare networks, hospitals, large physician groups, and independent physician practices.

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