Key Considerations for Implementing Electronic Health Records – Part 2

  • Healthcare Administration
  • May 23, 2024
  • 4 min read
Key Considerations for Implementing Electronic Health Records - Part 2

As we discussed during our last blog post, if you are a practice manager or business operations manager who has been tasked with selecting the correct EHR software for your medical practice or company, this two-part article will unpack some of the critical elements that you need to address during your decision-making process.

Our last post compared the pros and cons of on-premises versus cloud-based software solutions. We also talked about the importance of the user interface. This article will expand on the final two major areas for you to consider during your search.

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Robust features, integrations, and analytics

Once you have decided that a particular software solution has an acceptable user interface, your next step should be to assess if it has appropriate features, integrations, and analytics. These represent the “backend” of your system and are essential when determining if it can operate how you need it to.

Automation is an increasingly important feature in all software systems, particularly EHRs. Look for software that offers advanced automation capabilities that allow your team to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of your patient interactions. Artificial intelligence-driven automation will become a more significant consideration over the next five years that you should keep in mind. Further, look for software that allows your team to make updates independently instead of relying on a technical support representative or a third-party software administrator.

Integrations with other systems also represent an essential feature set for most modern software platforms. Your EHR software should seamlessly integrate with your existing systems, such as your medical billing software or scheduling system so that you can streamline operations and minimize data entry errors. if your major computer systems do not talk to one another, you will create inefficiencies and increase the likelihood of errors.

Reporting and analytics represent the final domain of features you should consider when selecting your system. These can include reports regarding individual users, or individual locations within a multi-location practice. There are other ways to divide the data, such as by department or provider type. Make sure that you have flexibility in how you access your data and that it comes in a format that your team is ready to process when questions arise.

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Vendor considerations

Once you have narrowed the field to 4 to 6 platforms that meet your delivery method, user interface, and feature set needs, you should make one final cut based on vendor considerations.

Look for vendors that have a strong track record and positive customer reviews. Experienced vendors offer smoother implementations and better customer support. This approach is not a guarantee, as “experienced” vendors come with their challenges (namely, that they are often more complacent and less agile than software startups). However, being one of a software company’s first big clients is risky, so if you make that decision, go in with your eyes wide open.

Also, look for vendors with comprehensive training offerings and ongoing support for your organization after implementation. No matter how good a software platform is, you and your staff will have questions and needs after implementation, and you want to make sure that the partner you choose will be there to support you in your time of need.

Finally, look for vendors that demonstrate cost transparency. You must understand all costs associated with your selection, including one-time and recurring fees. This will be important to you in being able to budget appropriately for your expenses and make an informed financial decision about the platform that best suits your needs relative to the investment you make.

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Although it can be daunting, choosing the right EHR software can be exciting in developing your practice or organization if you use the principles described above. Consider the factors in this article as you select a solution to streamline your billing process and align your operational and financial goals. 

While selecting and implementing the software might be stressful, don’t forget it represents a long-term investment and improves the efficiency and success of your organization.

Yu Lee
Healthcare Administration Program Chair

Born in South Korea, Yu Chung Lee moved to Las Vegas to attend Spring Valley High School and then UNLV. She is now a member of our educational staff and is the instructor for one of our dental administrative assisting…Read Full Bio

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