Epic upgrades are crucial to have the latest in electronic health record (EHR) functionality, to maintain consistent regulatory compliance and enhanced security, and to provide better patient care. Here, we’ll share how Epic consultants can optimize software upgrades to help your healthcare organization succeed.
What Are Epic Upgrades? Why Are They So Important?
This term refers to the process of updating your existing Epic system to a newer or more advanced version. This process gives your facilities access to new features and workflows in secure, regulatory-compliant ways and addresses any bugs in the software. Because of improved data management and analytics after an update—as well as data sharing and interoperability—your medical teams can provide better patient care. Plus, when you maintain current versions of Epic, you’ll keep receiving vendor support.
Major upgrades can occur about every twelve to eighteen months with each one requiring approximately nine months of planning. There can also be smaller, more niche upgrades occurring with Epic calling for updates/new releases about four times a year.
Upgrades Can Help Prevent More Costly Replacements
The healthcare industry comes with rapid change because of evolving regulations and other compliance-related issues. Plus, techniques and technologies to improve the health of patients and their outcomes are always advancing. Then, there are security matters. As hackers and others with ill intent keep seeking ways to illicitly obtain healthcare data, EHR systems must continually look to thwart them with better system protections.
When your healthcare organization’s EHR system is experiencing lags in its abilities to meet today’s cutting-edge demands, it can be very tempting—and sometimes appropriate—to switch EHR vendors. When your current vendor addresses the issues of concern, though, with upgrades that allow your facilities to continue to meet your needs, you’ve saved your organization both time and money by optimally installing these upgrades.
Improvements Experienced Through EHR Upgrades
Overall, EHR upgrades tend to focus on improving the productivity of healthcare systems that use their brand. By providing enhanced templates that can allow you to optimize them for easier navigation, these upgrades can make it simpler to manage patient data while having the important side benefit of streamlining usage; this is especially critical in today’s era when physician burnout is rampant and often affecting a healthcare organization’s ability to provide the service delivery they desire. Upgraded EHR systems are also often better at monitoring patient progress over time, which provides valuable insights to medical teams.
Technological changes, including hardware, seem to stand still for no one. So, EHR upgrades can often adjust coding and other elements to allow for seamless compatibility with devices used to input and then access the information.
Each of these benefits can naturally lead to increased patient satisfaction. As they find it easier to access their own information, this can reduce the burden on healthcare teams because of fewer phone calls and questions; this frees up time that can be used to further improve the delivery of patient healthcare; allow for better collaboration between medical teams and patients; and increase the potential for improved patient outcomes.
Plus, EHR upgrades can often facilitate administrative tasks, including billing, scheduling, and more. This can help to save time and money for healthcare organizations as office issues are more efficiently addressed.
Role of Epic Consultants in Epic Upgrades
When it’s time to upgrade, you’ll want high-quality IT professionals on your team. They will craft the framework for future operations of the application, one that provides the support your medical teams will need to provide outstanding patient care.
Your in-house team, though, will have a range of duties to regularly perform for your healthcare organization and will often need assistance for the best possible upgrades. Epic consulting companies can seamlessly fill any staffing gaps with the IT specialists necessary to precisely fit each position.
Specific ways Epic consultants can help include:
- Assessing the current system and the elements of the specific upgrade
- Planning the Epic upgrades alongside your in-house team
- Implementing the upgrade and integrating it into your current technology
- Educating end users about changes
- Supporting your IT team and end users
- Migrating data
- Ensuring security
What you’ll need will vary based on staffing gaps and bandwidth challenges.
Benefits of Hiring an Epic Consultant for Epic Upgrades
When you choose experienced Epic consultants, you have professionals with exactly the right niche specialties you need for your upgrade. They stay up to date with the latest opportunities with the EHR software, so they can leverage their experiences to intricately address the Epic upgrade in ways that will provide the most benefit to your healthcare organization.
When you don’t use consultants for your Epic upgrade, you’ll be taking your in-house team—which doesn’t regularly handle upgrades—away from other crucial tasks where they manage your technology.
Choosing the Right Epic Consultant
You’ll want Epic consultants with in-depth experience and knowledge about the Epic system, in general, and the relevant update, more specifically. Here’s more about choosing the right agency for your Epic upgrades.
Here at HealthTECH Resources, we are an EHR consulting company that specializes in healthcare IT services, such as EHR upgrades. To learn how our highly qualified Epic consultants can maximize the success of your upgrade, contact us online or call (602) 806-8949 today.
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.