An electronic health records (EHR) system is not only meant to be a database for patient information, but its purpose is to also streamline and improve your healthcare organization’s processes and outcomes. Optimizing and customizing EHR workflows requires the identification of pain points and any unique requirements for a specific organization. Then, step by step, layer by layer, IT experts can fashion a solution that maximizes inputs and outputs for the greatest benefit.
When planning your EMR optimization, here are five key considerations.
#1 Choose a System with Desired Customizations
Since optimizing an EMR system significantly contributes to the personalization or your healthcare facility, before you design in-depth workflows for your new software, make sure that you choose an EHR system that’s robust and flexible enough for your needs. Selecting the right system will make the entire implementation, integration, and optimization process smoother and more effective.
At HealthTech Resources, we have EMR consulting professionals who can help you to consider multiple systems and ensure you make the right choice.
#2 Conduct a Workflow Assessment
Next, gather all the information you can about the workflows in all of the departments where the new system will be used. Observe how end users document information and navigate the system to obtain info. When do frustrations arise? When do they use workarounds? Are these workarounds necessary because of the current system’s setup or is the process too clunky to use? Ask each set of end users what doesn’t work well for them and what they’d appreciate having in your new EMR optimization. After gathering information from numberous disparate end users, create an initial workflow plan to be considered for your new system.
Just like choosing the right system, HealthTECH offers EMR consulting experts who can help with the assessment and analysis of your current workflows, and then create efficient and effective workflows for your new system.
#3 Build the Right EMR Optimization Team
Throughout the optimization process, you’ll find yourself in need of experts with niche specialties to strategically move the process along. So, along with conducting a workflow analysis, also take a look at your in-house IT team. What is their current bandwidth? What is it projected to be throughout the EMR project’s timetable? If you took them off any of their current projects, what impact would that have on your healthcare organization? What specialties do members of your in-house IT team have? How well do they dovetail with what you’ll need for your EMR optimization? Just like with nearly any project, success largely depends upon the people who implement it.
Even if you normally don’t experience skills gaps on your IT team, it isn’t unusual for this to occur with a new EHR system. If you’d like for us to handle the analysis, just let us know!
#4 Leverage Technologies of Today (and Tomorrow!)
From using artificial intelligence to its fullest to incorporating patient healthcare data from smart devices, technology is playing a key role in EHR systems.
For example, once COVID arrived, telemedicine demand and usage exploded. Pre-pandemic, telehealth visits for Medicare patients existed in the “hundreds of thousands.” Once the pandemic hit, visits now numbered in the “tens of millions.” So, when optimizing your new EHR system, you’ll need to seamlessly combine data from in-office visits with at-home ones, providing medical professionals with the most up-to-date information. This includes diagnoses, lab results, treatments, prescriptions, and so forth. Choosing an EHR system that has asynchronous capabilities greatly expands the robustness of what your healthcare organization uses. Proactively prepare for the power of the blockchain, too, which will ultimately transform EHR patient records.
#5 Thoroughly Train End Users on the System
This probably goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyhow): the best technology, optimized to the fullest, won’t provide the efficiency and effectiveness you want and need if people don’t know how or aren’t comfortable with using it. So, a comprehensive training program, designed to teach how to use the system in the ways you’ve customized it, is vital. This is true when you first use the application; when you onboard new employees; and as refreshers.
Ways that our EMR consulting professionals offer training sessions that include groups of end users or by training superusers who will then train your teams (or a combination of the two). Training programs are engaging and interactive, giving people a chance to ask and get answers to questions; use the application as if it were live; and more. We have experts who capture process documentation to be used in these training sessions and in helpful reference manuals going forward.
HealthTECH Resources is the most knowledgeable of the EMR consulting companies today, providing you with the skilled professionals you need—right when you need them.
Partner With HealthTECH Resources
There are businesses that claim to be EMR consulting companies. In fact, though, they’re IT consulting companies that will accept clients who need EMR consulting. HealthTECH Resources is different, though. Our boutique agency has just one specialty: healthcare IT/EMR/EHR consultations. You’ll benefit from our 20-year-plus of experience, outstanding leadership, and in-depth professional network. We rapidly respond to requests for staff augmentation with experts often on-site within stringent timeframe requirements—as consultants, contract to hire professionals, or permanent placements.
By optimizing your EHR application, your medical teams, insurance specialists, and more will become freed up to spend more time on quality patient care—and less on paperwork and other routine tasks. So, a well-optimized application enhances productivity in ways that benefit the patients, medical professionals, and your healthcare organization. Plus, a well-optimized system facilitates greater rates of adoption, which helps your organization to realize a return on investment.
HealthTECH Resources provides skilled, experienced professionals for:
- Epic optimization
- Oracle Cerner optimization
- Allscripts / Altera Ooptimization
- MEDITECH optimization
- NextGen optimization
So, when you’re in need of EMR optimization services, please contact us online or call 602-806-8949. We’re ready to get started!
PRESIDENT/CEO AT HEALTHTECH RESOURCES
Larry has specialized in building strategic healthcare relationships for over 25 years, helping the nation’s top payors and providers solve some of their most pressing business challenges through an intelligent mix of staffing services, training, and consulting.