Most any healthcare organization that has been through an electronic health record (EHR) implementation will tell you, it is not an easy task. Whether you are switching to a new EHR system or rolling one out for the first time, the implementation and transition present challenges that, if not addressed, can seriously compromise the benefits your are expecting from your new system. Fortunately, there are a number of reputable EHR consulting companies that have the expertise to guide your organization through the implementation challenges and provide ongoing services to help ensure that you are maximizing your new system and investment.
Common Challenges in EHR Implementations
While the implementation of a new EHR can bring many benefits to a healthcare organization, it can present a number of challenges, including:
Implementing a new EHR system can be very expensive. Obtaining the capital required to invest in the software and supporting infrastructure, along with the labor and expertise to complete the installation (as well as the ongoing management and maintenance of the system) can create a significant barrier for many organizations. When you add to this the pain of transitioning to the new system, which can lead to longer patient visits initially as clinicians learn to use the new system, the return-on-investment (ROI) of the new EHR can seem a bit uncertain.
Unfortunately, many healthcare encounter a challenge in getting their staff onboard to understand and use the new EHR. While technology of all kinds can bring a great deal of efficiency to most any industry, healthcare has a reputation of being slow to adapt to new technologies, regardless of the benefits it can bring to the organization and the level of patient care.
One of the main benefits of implementing a new EHR is in the creation of a steady and logical workflow for the organization. However, in practice, a new EHR implementation can initially create workflow confusion if it steps have not been taken to customize its use for your practice.
Usability and Training
While a new EHR can offer many benefits to your organization, these systems can be somewhat complex and (at least at first) difficult to understand and use in practice. Given this, staff training is seen as one of the most important components for a successful EHR implementation.
The Benefits of Working with EHR Consulting Companies
Many healthcare organizations have experienced a great deal of benefit in engaging with EHR consulting companies to assist with the planning and implementation their new EHR. Given the increasing value and complexity of EHRs, these implementations are seen as highly strategic projects that require the right level of expertise to assure their success.
In working with EHR consulting companies, some of the benefits you can expect include:
Development of a Strategic Plan
The strategic planning of a new EHR implementation is critical due to the amount of resources the project requires. Ensuring optimal workflow, preparing data migrations, creating buy-in, and training staff are all elements of the project for which the consulting organization can help you to prepare.
Identification and Mitigation of Potential Threats
Healthcare organizations must be sure to comply with data privacy laws and regulations. Many EHR consulting companies bring expertise around understanding potential security threats and offering suggestions for minimizing these as you move your EHR into production.
Efficient Use of Data
EHR consultants can help ensure that the massive volume of data collected through the system is stored and leveraged properly to derive the greatest possible value. If your organization does not have a dedicated analytics team, an EHR consultant can often provide these services for you.
Another major service EHR consulting companies often provide is in developing an effective training program to help you staff to understand the new system and how each employee will use it in their specific role. Proper training can often help to overcome buy-in challenges and ensure that your organization is getting the most out of its EHR investment.
LMS Portals: eLearning Platform for EHR Consulting Companies
LMS Portals offers a cloud-based, multi-tenant learning management system that allows our EHR consulting partner companies to launch and manage multiple private eLearning environments (portals) for their healthcare clients. Each portal you launch can be branded and customized to support the specific training needs of the healthcare organization and includes supporting tools for user onboarding, messaging and collaboration, tracking and analytics, and more.