Upgrading Electronic Medical Records
Businesses from every sphere are taking advantage of improved technology in a digital world and healthcare is no exception. As one of the most essential industries, having secure yet accessible records is crucial for doctors, PAs, and their patients to remain informed and up to date. It also ensures that they will be able to efficiently track data and even take preventative measures when needed. These digital records are called electronic medical records (EMRs) and with consistent improvements to their software required, enlisting consultants to perform these upgrades is an important task.
The EMR Upgrade Process
Upgrading electronic medical records improves productivity and, in the long run, is worth the cost. When it comes time to upgrade, there are a few things to consider. First, develop a project plan and a timeline either internally or through an outside consulting team. It’s important to disseminate the imminent upgrade throughout your company to keep everyone on the same page. Then, the software upload can be completed as scheduled, and the upgraded system can be tested.
Utilizing Consultants and SMEs
Hospitals and clinics typically need outside expertise to install or upgrade electronic medical records. This is why they turn to consulting teams and subject matter experts to get the job done. Upgrades to EMRs will increase both productivity and adaptability. Aspects like more user-friendly templates for medical professionals and increased data input options are some examples of the benefits of upgrading. Besides installing and upgrading, subject matter experts will also provide training for your staff so that they can make a smooth transition to the EMRs. This goes for upgrades too since the improved software may require additional training.
We reached out to Alicia Behrndt, the Chief Operating Officer of Our Family Healthcare, a successful medical practice in Saint Louis, Mo to gain their perspective. Our Family Healthcare switched to electronic medical records 3 ½ years ago (2019) and has since reaped the many benefits of the technological improvement.
The process required both the implementation of the EMR as well as training for the office’s staff. Alicia Behrndt noted, “Our staff has years of medical office experience but no knowledge of utilizing an EMR. The outside trainer was extremely valuable in teaching the physicians staff how to use the tool most efficiently and effectively”. The consultants were also able to smoothly transfer the once hard copy data into a new digitalized form. Behrndt shared, “We also added to the team the expertise of outside technology consultants including representation from the old system vendor, new EMR technologist, our IT consultant for our hardware, and an EMR trainer”. The COO reflected on the experiences of working with the consulting team, “Without the knowledge and expertise of each of the team members, the implementation would have been exceedingly difficult and not as successful”.
On top of training and implementation of EMRs, it’s also useful to receive consultation on which specific upgrades would best serve the staff and their patients. For instance, certain electronic record upgrades can reduce the amount of data by limiting inputs to streamline the process. Healthcare workers are experts in their field but not necessarily with this technology. An overly complex system or upgrade can make the supposedly more efficient process too encumbering for them. It’s the job of the experienced subject matter expert to recognize the need and ambitions of your business and establish the ideal upgrades for your EMRs.
Another thing consultants can check for and ensure is compatibility between the new electronic medical records with other administrative technologies. Whether it’s making various reports, transferring data, or backing up systems, checking for electronic compatibility in your office will further streamline your business.
Thanks for checking out our first blog in a series concerned with utilizing available resources and staying up to date. Be sure to check back next week as we discuss the importance of implementing Medical Informatics. These professionals work to gather and analyze data related to the Healthcare field.
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