What Is An EHR? – Forbes Advisor


If your healthcare practice is considering getting an EHR system, it’s best to follow these steps to ensure the right decisions are made.

Assess Your Organization’s Readiness

Before searching for an EHR system, consider whether you’re ready to use one, both financially and operationally. Make sure you have a strong business case and the right budget to implement a new system.

Build an Implementation Roadmap

Once you’ve decided you’re ready for an EHR, create a plan for how to make that happen. Your roadmap should answer questions like:

  • Who are the stakeholders who need to sign off on each decision?
  • How long will the system take to be completely implemented?
  • How and when will staff be notified and trained on the EHR system?

Choose a Certified EHR

There are many robust EHR systems on the market. It’s important to note that you should opt for a certified EHR over a noncertified one. Certified EHRs meet the functionality and security requirements set by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Check out the best EHR software on the market.

Train Staff on How To Use Your EHR System

Getting a new system is only half the battle—the other half is making sure all staff are trained and comfortable using it.

Many EHR systems come with training programs, but it’s important to do your due diligence and check to see if the existing programs have:

  • Role-based training, so that everyone receives the appropriate training for their specific job function
  • Strong customer or account support functions, so that any follow-up questions can be answered quickly and accurately
  • Feedback loops for improvements to be made continuously

Plan Your Go-live Lead-up

Going live with a new system is a big deal, so it’s important to have plans and protections in place leading up to it. For example, you should:

  • Determine system testing needs before and immediately after you go live
  • Figure out how much downtime there will be if any during the transition between systems
  • Make a plan for communicating your change in systems to current patients
  • Backup your data as a fail-safe

Assess Learnings and Make Improvements

After your system goes live, you can compare metrics like patient satisfaction rate, physician satisfaction rate and error rates to what they were previously. Continue to monitor your practice’s performance and make any adjustments necessary based on feedback.



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